Former US President John F Kennedy once said, “Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.” But this famous quote does not hold well in the peculiar circumstances occasioned by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) rout in general elections: it has not been orphaned; it has rather found numerous wannabe guardians who have been lecturing the party for quite some time how it would get back to reckoning.
The main message of the self-styled and self-appointed guardians of the BJP is: give up your opposition to Muslim appeasement. The way things are going, one should not be surprised if our intellectuals start pressuring the BJP to accept the recommendations of the Sachar Committee Report, that blueprint for dividing the nation on religious lines.
By the way, the Janata Dal (United), the BJP’s biggest ally, has embraced Sachar. “It is unfortunate that the recommendations of the Sachar Committee have yet not been implemented. JD(U) demands that these recommendations are immediately implemented. Not only Dalit Muslims but Dalit Christians be also given SC status,” the political resolution passed by the national executive of the party said. So much for the pompous declarations made by media Brahmins that the politics of identity is on decline.
The BJP’s defeat does not mean that its criticism of Muslim appeasement is without any justification; nor does it mean that the threat of jehadi terror has subsided and BJP leaders are merely creating a bogey to divide the society. Jehad remains a menace to not just our country but to mankind; it is a medieval, supremacist ideology propounding the subjugation, if not annihilation, of all non-Muslims.
This is as dangerous to the Muslims as it is to the non-Muslims, for most Muslims do not subscribe to the puritan ideology promoted by the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. In fact, the rise of Wahhabism, which is championed by Osama bin Laden, has brought more violence, misery and wretchedness to Muslims than that to non-Muslims. Of the reign of terror unleashed by blood-thirsty jehadis in Swat/the whippings of innocent people, the ruthless suppression of women, the razing of girls’ schools, the ruination of economy—most of the victims are Muslims.
Further, the retaliation to jehad also means considerable loss of Muslim life, as evident from the fighting going on in Afghanistan and the north-western parts of Pakistan.
Much of the rise of jehad is due to the perfidy of intellectuals all over the world. For instance, the feminists in Western countries, while not missing any opportunity to pontificate on the real or imaginary glass ceiling in democracies, are intriguingly silent on the pathetic conditions of women in Muslim countries.
Closer home, liberal commentators thoroughly scrutinise the actions and statements of the Sangh but are loath to analyse the growing power and influence of Muslim fundamentalists in Indian polity. They also have little to say about the incessant flow of Bangladeshi infiltrators, the spread of madrasas and their retrograde doctrines.
Most insidiously, our intellectuals blame all jehadi violence to some ‘socio-economic’ root causes and the misinterpretation of Islam. It is like saying that female foeticide in Hindu society is because of only economic factors; it has nothing to do with the Hindu value system. But that is incorrect. Fortunately, no Hindu organisation has jeopardised the efforts to check this social menace by calling these anti-Hindu. Theology can never be ignored.
But, unfortunately, the Muslim clergy has not been forthcoming in its denunciation of jehad. In June 2008, the well-known seminary did criticise violence but it was not unequivocal. “The religion of Islam has come to wipe out all kinds of terrorism and to spread the message of global peace,” the Darul Uloom’s grand mufti Habibur Rehman said in a fatwa. “Islam rejects all kinds of unjust violence, breach of peace, bloodshed, murder and plunder and does not allow it in any form (emphasis added).” This practically absolved the terrorist who could say that his violence was just.
In the wake of September 11 attacks, former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said in an interview, “The people who brought down those towers were Muslims and Muslims must stand up and say that is not the way of Islam. Passengers on those planes were told that they were going to die and there were children on board. They must say that is disgraceful. I have not heard enough condemnation from Muslim priests.”
Many commentators say that the BJP should transform into a ‘Centre-Right’ party. The prime example of such an entity is the Conservative Party of the UK, which was so successfully led by Thatcher. The Tories’ decline began when they decided to discard Thatcher and her truly Centre-Right ideology. Resistance to Muslim appeasement is an integral part of any Centre-Right doctrine.
Yet, the political pundits want the BJP should also turn a blind eye to the ongoming jehad. They want it to become the B team of Congress.
(The author works with The Political and Business Daily.)