Tamil Nadu

‘Hindutva’ in focus as BJP faces protests

This is an apprehension that many BJP leaders discretely expressed at informal party deliberations when Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko stormed out of the National Democratic Alliance earlier this month.

After a lull, Tamil parties seem to be taking up the issue of ‘Hindutva’ once again, probably as a reaction to the growing concern that the BJP is trying to gain a foothold in Tamil Nadu.

While Mr. Vaiko listed the attempted imposition of ‘Hindutva’ ideology in the Dravidian heartland of Tamil Nadu as one of the primary reasons for leaving the alliance, the anti-BJP campaign gained traction on Wednesday with VCK leader and former MP, Thol. Thirumavalavan announcing a protest on December 23 against the alleged fascist Hindutva policies of the BJP government at the Centre.

The protest date has been fixed in proximity to the visit of BJP national president Amit Shah to Chennai on December 20 and 21.

Mr. Thirumavalavan listed a number of instances where the Centre was trying to impose a culture driven by ‘Hindutva’ on the rest of the country, including the recent controversy over announcing December 25 as ‘Good Governance Day.’ These were essentially anti-minority and anti-Dalit actions, he argued in a statement.

A senior Tamil Nadu BJP leader said some in the alliance the party had put together for the Lok Sabha elections, including some Dravidian and Tamil nationalists groups, had kept in cold storage for a while usual accusations of ‘Hindutva’ against the party. “Since the alliance is changing shape and some have left, we were anticipating such a campaign,” the leader said.

The party functionary also acknowledged need to articulate a strong reply to any such campaign. “We have a strong Union government focussing on development. We will focus on this,” the leader added.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 5:51:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hindutva-in-focus-as-bjp-faces-protests/article6702408.ece

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