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Tale of two NDA governments

Vajpayee advised Modi to observe 'Raj Dharma' i.e. to perform the duty of the State without discrimination
Peoples Voice on March 17, 2016 - 1:43 pm in Society

Prabhakar Sinha
National President, People’s Union for Civil Liberties

The NDA 1 was led by P.M.Bajpayee. He was also a Sanghi like Modi. They both have a shared ideology and goal. Bajpayee was a committed RSS man and went to the extent of splitting the Janta Party when it was proposed that the members of the Janta Party should not remain in the RSS. The BJP was formed after the split in the Janta Party on this issue. Yet there is a marked difference between the two NDA governments. The most fundamental difference was discernible in the approach to the riots of 2002 in Gujarat where Modi was the C.M. Prime Minister Bajpayee advised Modi to observe ‘Raj Dharma’ i.e. to perform the duty of the State without discrimination. It was a clear indictment of the conduct of the Modi government. India under NDA 1 was more or less undisturbed. The various institutions were allowed to function more or less without the interference of the government. A little interference and a little murmur in some reputed educational institutions was noticed or heard but there was no upheaval (except Gujarat). The government functioned normally with some conflict and cooperation with the opposition. The Parliamentary system did not show unbearable strain or appeared to be breaking down .

The NDA 2 under Modi presents a sharp contrast. The educational institutions appear under an invasion. The FTII at Pune remained closed for months. Top scientists/administrators at IITs have left. So have scholars at other highly reputed educational institutions. Hyderabad Central University was turned into a battle field between ABVP and other students organisations with the Union Ministers directly being involved. Normalcy is not yet restored there. Subramaniam Swamy made a most astounding suggestion that the JNU should be handed over to the Army for a few months. Then in February a crack down followed after a meeting of students at which slogans like , ‘we will fragment India,’ ‘Afzal Guru Zindabad ‘etc were raised. A case for sedition was filed against the President of the Students’ Union Kanhaiya Kumar and a few others. Home Minister Rajnath Singh stated that the happenings at the JNU were linked to terrorist leader Saeed in Pakistan. All involved were branded Desh Drohis. Criminals from the legal profession affiliated to the Sangh-BJP invaded the Patiala House Court and beat up students from the JNU, media persons present there to cover the proceedings and also Kanhaiya Kumar ,who was in custody and in the court room. The Delhi police , which is directly under the Home Ministry allowed the goons to beat them up with impunity. A BJP MLA Sharma not only beat up someone with impunity but declared that he would shoot dead anyone who raised a slogan against his mother (meaning motherland ).

Eating beef is turned into highly emotional and inciting issue. People are intercepted by mobs on roads on suspicion that they are carrying beef. The same happens to train passengers. Akhlaq Ahmad in UP is lynched to death due to a rumour that he was cooking beef in his house. Beef has been turned from a legal issue to an issue of nationalism. Haryana C.M. Khattar declares that those who want to eat beef must go to Pakistan .

RSS -BJP men exhort Hindu women to produce at least four children to counter a marginal rise in the population of the Muslims. Hindu Jagaran Manch launches its ‘Ghar Wapasi’ movement to convert Muslims to Hinduism. The RSS and Jagaran Manch men announce dates by which there would be no Muslims or Christians in India.

And when it is alleged that intolerance is rising to a disturbing level , Muslims saying so are called terrorists and asked to go to Pakistan and Hindus are branded anti-national.

These are some of the hard undeniable facts. There is no difference of opinion on them except on the rise of intolerance. On the others , there is the usual controversy on who is responsible for them.

P.M.Modi has been a silent spectator. He has not played the leader that a Prime Minister is. His Ministers and M.Ps have been indulging in most provocative hate speeches but the P.M. has remained silent. Why ?

There can be two different explanations. One is that he has let loose his ‘Fauz’ to do the job while himself remaining silent to give the impression that he does not approve. This way his objective can be achieved without himself taking the odium and getting his image tarnished in the eyes of the people abroad.

The other explanation is that he does not approve of all that are happening. He would like to achieve the objective he shares with the Sangh but in his own way and time. He realises that these incidents adversely affect his image and standing in the world but is helpless before the Sangh , which bestows its patronage on the people making the hate speeches. Why should the RSS pay no heed to Modi’s concerns? Because after the Bihar elections , the RSS is not sure of the outcome of the 2019 Parliamentary elections. It is in a hurry and wants to accomplish as much as it can before the 2019 elections. Its immediate concern is in conflict with the immediate concern of Modi though they have a common long term goal.

Why does not Modi confront the RSS ? This is where Bajpayee and Modi are absolutely different. Modi is a CREATURE OF RSS which Bajpayee is /was not. Jan Sangh was formed in 1951 when Bajpayee and Advani were adult and were already known political RSS men. Gradually, they grew in stature. Because of their stature , no RSS leader could take them lightly. They could defy the RSS if a need arose because they were not beholden to the RSS for their position in politics. Modi began his political career as a Pracharak of the Sangh. It is the Sangh, which assigned him different jobs. He owes his rise in politics entirely to the Sangh. This is not to deny that he rose higher and higher because he always proved equal to the job he was assigned. BUT NOW THE IMMEDIATE INTEREST OF P.M. MODI AND THAT OF SANGH ARE NOT IN CONVERGENCE BUT IN CONFLICT. If the unrest /happenings do not have Modi’s blessings , Modi ji must muster courage to stand up to the Sangh in the interest of the country and appear as a national leader in his own right and not only because he is the P.M.

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