What fringe elements?
This the real BJP
By Faraz Ahmad
When Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti used the ‘Haramzadon’ epithet for those challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Delhi assembly elections, about this time last year, she was dismissed by an indulgent mainstream and the media as a “fringe element” who wasn’t really articulating the views and the position of India’s ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
But that first time member of Parliament who by Modi’s reckoning was rather new to Delhi and politics was actually rewarded for the vitriol she had been spewing in her public meetings and made a minister.
Same is the case with the Nawada MP Giriraj Singh who too was immediately rewarded for asking all those opposed to Modi to go to Pakistan. He too was made a minister in Modi’s council of ministers. Mahesh Sharma again a first time MP and a Minister at that, in whose constituency the infamous Dadri butchering of Mohammad Akhlaq took place and he dismissed it as just an “accident” was also immediately rewarded for describing former President A P J Abdul Kalam a “nationalist despite being a Muslim” with Kalam’s Type VIII bungalow right on the Rajaji Marg. Incidentally 10, Rajaji Marg, which Kalam occupied post retirement as the President of India, was one of the very few double storey bungalows in the Luttyen’s zone. Even the Prime Minister’s Race Couse Road bungalows are all single storeyed. That bungalow is right opposite the Army headquarters and was given to Kalam because he as President of India, had retired as the Commander in Chief of the Indian Armed Forces. Now who made all these so-called fringe elements ministers? You guessed it right. Of course Modi. Nobody else.
But every time there was a howl of protest over such remarks the numerous BJP spokespersons from Akbar the great, to Sambit Patra to Nalin Kohli and our very own Shrikant Sharma would half heartedly whine and whimper that this was not the official party line and the party did not approve of this, dismissing these as “fringe elements”.
However this is the forked tongue of the Sanghis who always speak simultaneously in two voices. One the one hand BJP apologists played these utterances down as coming from “fringe elements” on the other the party was upfront in putting out the ad in all Bihar newspapers on November 4, attacking political opponents of the BJP, Lalu Prasad, Nitish Kumar and the Congress party as desecrators of the Holy Cow.
People’s memory maybe short but the whole controversy over beef was started by none other than Narendra Modi himself who in the run up to the general elections had accused the then UPA government of “Pink revolution” explaining later the term as the increase in export of beef by India implying that a Sonia Gandhi led Congress had no love for Mother Cow. It was also the running theme in Modi and BJP campaign throughout the long drawn five phases of Bihar assembly polls in which Modi addressed 26 rallies a record for any PM campaign in any state, including Modi’s earlier campaigns in Maharashtra, Haryana and even in Jammu and Kashmir.
The second issue was Musalman the terrorist, at heart a Pakistani whose allegiance to the Indian nation is questionable and he survives nee thrives with the patronage of Nitish and Lalu. Modi raked up the “Darbhanga module” to polarize the electorate against former Darbhanga MP M A A Fatmi’s son Faraz Fatmi contesting in this election. BJP president Amit Shah left none in doubt when he said that there will be celebrations in Pakistan were the BJP to lose in Bihar, implying that all those seeking to defeat the BJP are Pakistanis with no loyalty to Mother India.
Third: Nitish and Lalu and of course Sonia Gandhi too are out to take away your reservations for the OBCs and Dalits and give these to the Musalla. These were the only three points of campaign throughout Modi and Amit Shahs’s speeches, duly and promptly followed up by the state BJP be it Sushil Modi, Giriraj Singh or Anand Mohan Singh and even a moderate Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
What did it boil down to: that Musalman, the terrorist, with his loyalty to Pakistan, who slaughters Mother Cow and eats beef is going to take away the reservation and the two devils Lalu and Nitish are patronizing this Enemy. So don’t vote for them. That’s it. That’s what the final November 4 advertisement in Bihar newspapers stated unambiguously. Now is this anything but a communal campaign?
There is nothing new about the Cow issue. The first time BJP’s earlier avtar the Akhil Bharatiya Jana Sangh received any electoral recognition in India was in 1967 general elections riding the hump of the Cow—anti cow slaughter agitation. So Cow has been milked by the Sanghis for political ends time and again.
But now the BJP under the able leadership of Narendra Modi is ready to brazen it out. So why hide behind the coat tails of the “fringe elements.” Be under no illusion. This is mainstream BJP.