It may not be off the mark to say that the BJP-Muslim dichotomy has to do more with the party’s fallacy of supremacy stemming from its ideological commitment to majoritarianism than with the latter’s lack of esprit de corps (“A BJP-Muslim entente cordiale?” March 10). The Congress and like-minded parties cannot be deemed to be perfectly altruistic and free from the calculus of vote-bank politics, when they go the whole hog in espousing the interests of Muslims and providing a platform of sorts for them to fight against the canker of communal forces. That said, the BJP, guided by its mentor RSS, has played no cameo role in whipping up a hate-campaign against Muslims under the pretext of correcting historical wrongs and prejudices. In this context, Mr. Arun Jaitley’s appeal to “judge us by our record” sounds hollow. The party was compelled only by the force of circumstances to “put the Ram Janmabhoomi issue on the back-burner” as the issue has long since ceased to be a rallying point.
The onus lies entirely on the BJP to reach out and, more important, change fundamentally from within. The core of Indian values, its inherent pluralism and secularism, is not negotiable, and cannot be replaced by the distorted sort of majoritarianism. Secular Indians have invested a lot in weaving the unique tapestry that is India.
Patriotism, according to the Hindutva brigade, is nothing but making clarion calls against Pakistan. They have not only misinterpreted patriotism, but have also sabotaged the very essence of love for one’s motherland.
If cheering for the Pakistani cricket team is considered an act of sedition, then what should the hoarding of black money in Swiss banks be regarded as? We need to give serious thought to the very concept of “patriotism.” Whenever a Hindu-Muslim riot flares up, the ultimate sufferer is our country.
The national party should realise that half-hearted apologies on election-eve are no expression of remorse. Similarly, having some Christians in Goa’s Cabinet cannot win over the hearts of all Christians. The balloon of fake propaganda is sure to burst in the coming election. For there to be an entente cordiale, the BJP must come out with the actual rehabilitation of Gujarat’s Muslims in the places from where they were displaced.
K. Malikul Azeez,