A Nameless Indian Speaks
The ongoing General Election seems not meant for the common man like you and me, who have no personal identity to flaunt in public. This common Indian also doesn’t have any power to be a part of political decision-making. Only thing one can do is exercise his voting right in favour of a candidate of his or her choice.
But, which candidate? If one is favourably disposed towards the BJP and votes a BJP candidate, so that Narendra Modi becomes the next Prime Minister, the voter will be called “a Right-winger or a Saffronite”. The worst, he (even a Hindu) may be branded as ‘non-secular or anti-secular’ by the ‘other’ Hindus.
And these so-called ‘secular’ Hindus in various so-called secular parties like Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Trinamool Congress, JD (U) and the new member in the gallery Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) have ganged up to stop the whirlwind called Narendra Modi.
To achieve ends, these parties and their leaders are resorting to what we call as “Saam-Daam-Dand-Bhed” (by all means). The worst card under their sleeves is the communal card, which they are openly using to give surge to divisive politics.
The buzz word of this so-called secular, anti-BJP, anti-Hindutva parties is to ‘Create as much hatred as possible amongst the voters, especially the minorities, to keep Modi out of the race’. So did SP supremo, Mulayam Singh Yadav and his party colleagues Azam Khan and Abu Azmi. But, if one reacts to it, these political parties take no time in branding the person as a hate monger, divisive politician and a fascist. As happened with the BJP’s Amit Shah.
The recent communal riots in Muzaffarnagar, UP, and the failure of the Akhilesh Yadav Government to tackle it are well-known facts. It caused a dent on SP’s Muslim vote bank. As a damage control exercise and to woo minorities especially after the Shahi Imam’s call to the minorities to vote in favour of the Congress, Mulayam Singh gave one of the most derogatory statements in India’s political history.
Referring to the death sentence awarded to the rapists in the Shakti Mills, Mumbai case, Mulayam said, “Rape is a mistake that boys commit and the sentence should be repealed”. What can be more heinous than this statement? Can an aam aadmi, especially the women, living in UP feel safe in such a state?
Why did he selectively comment on Shakti Mills gang rape case and no other rape case such as the December 16 gang rape case of Delhi? Because, out of the six accused in the Mumbai gang rape case, five were from the Muslim community. Out of the three sentenced to death, two belong to the minority community. And, he made this statement while addressing this very minority vote bank. Playing dirty and divisive politics, he tried to show sympathy towards the community by ostensibly giving the message that the rape accused were awarded the death sentence because they were Muslims.
But, has Mulayam ever realised that in the case of a heinous crime like rape, communities irrespective of religion or political ideology share similar views – that of zero tolerance for rape and rapists?
Mulayam’s another trusted lieutenant Azam Khan said, “Those who fought for victory in Kargil were not Hindu, but Muslim soldiers”. His invective didn’t stop there. He used absolutely derogatory language in his address, such as, “Kutte ke bachche ke bade bhai Narendra Modi ji. Amit Shah gunda number ek aur 302 ka mujrim”. Does India need or deserve such a ‘secular’ leader? Can such a man become the custodian of our democracy? Should he even be allowed to hold any public office ever?
No doubt, the Election Commission served a notice to Azam Khan, as also to Amit Shah, putting a ban on their campaigning.
The only fault of Shah was that he had responded to Khan’s hate speeches. Shah had said, “This election is about voting out the government that protects and gives compensation to those who killed Jats. It’s about badla (revenge) and honour”. Did Shah anywhere say that one has to teach a lesson to Muslims or Muslims are behind the ills in UP? What he said was clear – it was against the SP Government in UP.
Another SP leader from Mumbai, Abu Azmi went ahead to say, “Punish women too in rape cases and women who have sex outside marriage should be hanged. If rape happens with or without consent, it should be punished as prescribed in Islam”. Abu Azmi should remember that he is in India and not in Taliban-riddled Afghanistan and that this democracy is run by tenets of a respected Constitution and not by the diktats of some religious zealots. Else, he can take the first flight out of India to Kabul.
Blame game is an essential component of a healthy democracy where each party has the right to blame the other. But Mulayam Singh’s gang of SP leaders is misusing this freedom to blame by hitting below the belt and pitching one nameless, faceless Indian against another, a Hindu against a Muslim, to stay in power.
(The opinion expressed in this column is solely that of the writer – Nameless Indian)