In an attempt to woo Muslim voters in Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, regional parties promised to ban Hindutva outfits and assured that there would be no place for Sanskrit in the State
T S Venkatesan
In the name of appeasement and pseudo-secularism, political parties should not promise impracticable, impossible things to hoodwink the voters. That is what has happened in Tamil Nadu. Taking a leaf out of the DMK manifesto, the fledgling People’s Welfare Front (PWF) comprising CPI(M), CPI, MDMK, VCK, Tamil Maanila Congress, DMDK has come out with its joined manifesto for the May 16 assembly polls. Among others, promises have been made to ban Hindutva outfits like RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP etc and leave no place for Sanskrit in Tamil Nadu.
The DMK in its manifesto assured that the ownership of encroached Hindu temple would be transferred to squatters. Concrete steps will be initiated to retrieve the Wakf properties from the encroachers to give back to mosques. “This is a rank Muslim appeasement and nothing but to woo their votes. What can you expect from Karunanidhi, the staunch Hindu baiter who wears Muslim’s skull cap in Iftar parties? Voters would give him a befitting lesson in this poll”, commented a VHP leader M Swaminathan.
“For Muslim students to learn Urdu, special tuition centres would be set up all over Tamil Nadu. There will be no place for Sanskrit in the State”, thundered PWF coordinator and MDMK general secretary Vaiko. He released the alliance’s 80-page manifesto in Chennai on April 28. The PWF has unbundled its sop bag overflowing minority appeasement and anti-Hindu policies.
It also promises protection of rights of all minorities, special schemes for the upliftment of Muslims in education, economy and living standards, special projects for Muslim women to give better education & employment, and equality to minorities in all sectors.
Its other minority wooing measures: Extension of SC reservation benefits to converted dalit Christians; Earnest efforts to early release of Muslim youths who have been languishing in prison; All pending cases against Muslims would be reviewed; Ensuring the worshipping rights of minorities; Banning of RSS and other Hindutva outfits.
“He has joined forces that are waging losing battle against Sanskrit. It seems Vaiko or his partners in the combine do not know the history. It has been in vogue since the Vedic period and it had withstood all onslaughts to belittle its importance. How they dare to say that Urdu would be propagated at the cost of the public while belittling the great Sanskrit?”, questions another VHP leader.
“Muslim youths have been arrested and put behind bars for terror related activities and not for patriotic activities. PWF made this promise only to fulfill Muslims’ pre-poll demand. Regarding the banning of RSS, Nehru and Indira Gandhi had tried many times in their life unsuccessfully which Vaiko and his cohorts have conveniently forgotten”, said a BJP cadre Kausik.
The PWF manifesto also accused the Modi government of misusing the official machinery to give fillip to communal activities in the country. It also blamed RSS and other Hindutva forces for their attempts to instigate communal violence in the country by propagating falsehoods. “Of late, Hindutva elements have been grouping together in the country. To checkmate their further growth, we would bring together all democratic progressive forces, Backward, SC/STs and minorities. In the name of Cow slaughter ban, innocent Muslim people were killed”, it said.
PWF promised to bring new measures to nullify effects of the Common Civil Code, if Centre enacts any legislation towards this direction. “In Schedule Tribe’s community certificates, the word ‘Hindu’ will be deleted if the PWF is voted to power.
“Vaiko had earlier unsuccessfully attempted to play politics with caste. Now he wants to divide the country on communal lines”, said a BJP leader. Vaiko, who was detained in POTA for his pro-LTTE remarks in 2002, never learnt a lesson, if one goes by his outbursts, barbs before mike or seeing crowds recalled a political commentator.