Thy Hand, Miscreant!
Over the last few decades, it seems, severed heads of cows and its different body parts scattered in temples have gradually lost their riot value. In the last couple of elections in Delhi, this old tactic failed to mobilise Hindu ire against Muslims. Now is the time for riot planners to try something more surefire. Like something related to Ayodhya.
To BJP, Ayodhya is a strategy that never fails to bring in votes. The Ayodhya experiment has always succeeded, including in Gujarat 2002, when a coach carrying pilgrims from Ayodhya was burnt down mysteriously. A telegram from Godhra railway station GRP to Delhi headquarters coming in the first few minutes of the fire said, “RSS men are setting fire to coaches in Sabarmati Express.” That telegram was suppressed.
A single-column news in The Times of India (New Delhi edition) said the next day that RSS men were preventing a fire engine (fire tender) from coming to the area where the train was burning. This news, too, was never followed up. What followed was state-orchestrated anti-Muslim arson and killing on a large scale.
Later, Ashok Singhal of the VHP said they had conducted a great experiment (in organising an anti-Muslim pogrom). “Villages after villages have been cleansed of Islam, and Muslims have been chased out, “ he boasted.
This man is back again in Ayodhya, armed with a similar plan. The UP government is faced with the biggest threat to its existence. Any day they can stage some stone throwing or stabbing and start a pogrom like Gujarat 2002.
The occasion thus created is “chaurasi kosi parikarma”, in which sadhus and assorted VHP activists would march through six districts of UP around Ayodhya, building up anti-Muslim anger and hatred through their fiery speeches and use of belligerent symbolisms. Wisely, the UP government has withheld permission for this.
In the familiar Parivar style, different Sangh organisations are speaking in different voices, with one purpose: creating communal tension and cashing in on it during elections in coming months.
As usual, BJP is showing unconcern over the programme, but its activists are seen supporting the sadhus and others across the districts in their attempt to raise communal temperature.
By speaking in different voices the Sangh succeeds in confusing people about its real intention. On one hand BJP is telling Muslims that it is secular and soliciting their vote, on the other it is supporting surreptitiously VHP’s anti-Muslim agenda. On one hand Modi is talking about a non-communal “development” agenda, on the others his hand-picked campaign chief for UP, Amit Shah, accused of mass murder in 2002, is reviving the Ayodhya campaign. Ayodhya has created great riots in 1992 and 2002, it can create a bigger pogrom today.
Already UP is standing on dynamite. Dozens of anti-Muslim riots have been staged during Akhilesh Yadav’s rule. All that the VHP-BJP-Bajrang Dal combine has to do is connect those smaller fires to create a huge conflagration in coming days. To survive in the present and prosper in the future the Samajwadi Party government must stand up to the bully and face it down. It must be done now. Tomorrow can be too late. –IOSCA g