Published On:07 February 2012
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

BJP manifesto: Muslim hatred remains at the core of party agenda

By Mohammad Shahid Parvez

Lucknow: Muslim hatred, as expected, is once again the hallmark of the BJP manifesto for the ongoing UP Assembly elections. The party’s anti-Muslim stance came to the fore when it declared in its manifesto that the party would scrap the 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities within the OBC quota announced by the Centre if comes to power. While opposition to minority quota, which it calls religion based quota scheme, finds pride of place on the first page of the 72-page party manifesto the temple agenda is confined to one liner in the preface that says the party is committed to remove all hurdles in way of the temple construction. Besides other things the party also promises to distribute free cows to the poor, ban cow slaughter in the state and to establish Ram Rajya. Apart from the Muslim hatred the saffron party’s opposition to minority quota is aimed at wooing the OBCs by presenting itself as guardian of their interests as the manifesto says “ BJP is committed to protecting the interests of the OBCs. It will immediately scrap the 4.5 per cent minority quota once it comes to power.”

Failing to revive its favourite Ram mandir and Ram Rajya issues, the party tried to derive some mileage from Anna’s movement and made corruption a poll issue. Its senior leader LK Advani undertook anti-corruption yatra across the nation. The party also organized a Muslim sammelan to woo the community and convey the message that it was not against Muslims. But the party was caught on the wrong foot on corruption issue and lost moral ground to raise the issue when it admitted into its fold the tainted Babu Singh Kushwaha, expelled from BSP for his alleged involvement in one of the biggest scams in the annals of the state. Frustrated and down and not knowing what to do, the party saw a ray of hope in the Centre’s announcement of 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities. Although Sikhs, Budhists and Christians, besides Muslims will benefit from the sub-quota the saffron party lost no time in expressing its opposition to the Centre’s move because it suited its purpose. As the party has no remarkable work during its governments’ tenure at the Centre and in the state with which to go before the electorate, it saw in the minority quota an opportunity to reach out to OBCs and win over their favour without any worry of losing Muslim votes as the community never voted for it. As the BJP thinks that the greatest beneficiaries of the quota will be Muslims its opposition is on the basis of its favourite theme of appeasement but the party has given it the colour of Mandal.

And, the party summoned the services of Uma Bharati and Kushwaha for the purpose. It is an irony that BJP, predominantly a party of Baniyas and Brahmins, found no OBC leader in its state cadre capable enough to campaign for the party in the community. Uma Bharti, the former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, was summoned to contest from the state and was initially even projected as the party’s chief ministerial candidate in UP. However seeing resentment among state leaders the party high command dropped the idea of projecting a chief ministerial candidate for the time being. And Kushwaha, a former BSP leader, has been asked to campaign for the party separately even though it has suspended his party membership till he is cleared of charges against him.

Another point in BJP manifesto is the distribution of cows to the poor, and laptops to students. The manifesto is silent over whether the cows will be given to Muslims and Christians also? If the reply is in affirmative, as it should be because the party can not distribute gifts on religious lines when it opposes the quota for the same reason, one wonders as to how the party that promises to ban cow slaughter will ensure the safety of cows given to Muslims and Christians who may use it for beef. The selection of cow is significant as the Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi asks’ why only cows, why not buffaloes?’ The reason for this is not far to seek. Cow is a religious symbol for Hindus particularly in this part of the country. The BJP aim in promising to distribute cows and ban its slaughter is clearly to draw poll benefit by arousing religious sentiments of Hindus.

The party also promises to establish Ram Rajya if it comes to power in the state. One wonders what type of Ram Rajya will the saffron party give to the state? Will it be like that in Gujarat where thousand of innocent Muslims were massacred, or as in Karnataka where the Chief Minister along with Reddy brothers set a record of looting the state or for that matter as the party government is establishing in Madhya Pradesh by making surya namaskar compulsory in schools in the state? BJP is a party that survives on Muslim hatred which forms its basic ideology. It is this communal ideology of the party that was into play when Babri Masjid was demolished, Muslims were massacred in Gujarat or surya namaskar was made compulsory in Madhya Pradesh. When the party talks of Ram Rajya it does not mean the Ram Rajya that Mahatma Gandhi dreamt of but a Hindu Rashtra in which Muslims have no place. It uses the term only to confuse the people.

However, all these promises of the saffron party appear to be a fools dream when one looks at the ground realities and the prospects of various parties in the elections. By all accounts, including pre-poll surveys, SP and BSP are the main contestants for power in the state while Congress is all set to push the BJP to fourth slot. The saffron party knows it only too well that it will not be in a position to form government in the state. Then what is the harm in promising the impossible if it gets some votes for the party.

[Mohammad Shahid Parvez is former News Editor, National Herald, Lucknow. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Uttar Pradesh). He can be contacted at mshahidparvez@gmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on February 07, 2012. Filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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