Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Gujarat: Godhra issue and BJP

Caste and religion cannot fulfill the basic needs leave alone developing a state.

As soon as the findings of Justice UC Banerjee committee were made public, BJP was quick to deny the findings of the reports and term it as 'absurd'. It would have a different story altogether had the report indicated that the train was burnt by the people of minority community, for that is what the largest Hinduvta party of this country has been proclaiming all these years. Communalism has always been one issue which the BJP has never failed to evoke, be it the Babri Masjid, be it the attack on Akshardham or be it the Godhra incident.

The BJP after the Sabarmati train was attacked declared that the persons behind the attack were Muslims. Perhaps they didn't realize that what repercussion this statement would cause.

This small statement was enough to destroy the life of thousands of people, it created hatred in the minds of innocent children who had seen their fathers and mothers being killed and raped. It didn't help that the state at that time was being ruled by a man who according to himself was a "Hindu" to the core. A Hindu who would kill a fellow human being on slightest provocation. True that this whole incident might have brought political gains for BJP, and for Atal Behari Vajpayee but was it worth it? The two people who could have stopped the carnage, the PM and the CM, couldn't do much because it was their own party workers who were supervising the whole series of Godhra aftermath. Vajpayee, who till then had a spotless political career, would perhaps never forgive himself for being an accessory to such a heinous crime.

The Godhra incident and its terrible consequences destroyed the image of India and led us to realize that even after so many years of evolution, evil still exists inside us, an evil that feeds on our artificial religious sentiments.

Even now one fails to understand what the BJP is trying to gain. On the one hand it states that it's on the path to transforming itself into a secular party, and on the other it rakes up issues which are solely aimed at gaining Hindu vote bank.

The BJP is pinning its hope on the court verdict which is yet to come on the Godhra issue; they only know that what they have in store if the judiciary also endorses the finding of the committee.

What the BJP and company, including other parties like Bahujan Samaj Party don't realize is that the era of caste, class and communal politics is dying a slow death, and whichever political institution practices these agendas will soon find losing whatever it has achieved in yesteryears. The most glaring example of this is the recent Bihar assembly election. Political pundits were of the view that Bihar along with UP is one region of India, where the caste and class plays a very vital role in deciding who's going to rule the state. The Lalu Yadav led RJD confirmed this view when they successfully won the previous two assembly elections, but what they didn't realize was that however deep roots are, if you neglect the structure you are bound to fall. Though the people of Bihar took their time but when they decided that enough was enough they showed Lalu the door.

Even a common illiterate villager realizes that caste and religion cannot fulfill his basic needs leave alone developing a state, and if the political parties think that they can ride on religious or caste sentiments to win votes, they should think again.

The Left parties should be appreciated for changing themselves and moulding themselves with changing time. They are a good example of how a political party, howsoever rigid should be ready to change its role, with change in time. Now, they are following a flexible approach and are wonderfully playing the dual role of keeping the government in check and thereby also following the objective of welfare of the general mass. They do not follow "charlatan-politics". What they think is wrong they protest against it, this was visible the way they ostracized Bush.

Development has always been a core issue of any election, it's only that sometimes it has been overshadowed by some more "important issues", but that is bound to change and political parties should sensitize themselves to the changing scenario. Why even the Congress ruled state of Chhattisgarh and MP were toppled, the simple reason being that the mass didn't believe that development was done in their state.

The coming elections would not be fought on issues of religion, caste or class, more important issues like water, electricity, road, and education would determine who would emerge as the winner.

This kind of political development is very good for democracy in the long run.In the rapidly changing world scenario, only that country would survive and go to the next level, which would break free the shackles of communal, caste and class. There are more important issues which need to be addressed, and it's now upon these parties to realize, and usher a new beginning. The future of Indian politics looks secure in the hands of young leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Varun Gandhi, Naveen Jindal etc who are aware of what is required for this country to develop. Only time will tell whether the new young face of Indian politics is able to deliver the promised new era or not.


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