People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Vol. XXX

No. 15

April 09, 2006


Total Disconnect With People


AFTER having decreed that Mohd Ali Jinnah is secular, Advani has now declared that the BJP can “work together” with the Congress. In a joint press conference with the BJP president Rajnath Singh on the eve of launching their twin rath yatras, Advani said that the BJP and the Congress can, “make common cause in a very wide area of politics and governance.” Of course, he added the condition that the Congress must shed its policy of “minority appeasement.”


Such an assertion is in fact nothing new. The RSS has all along maintained that it can do business with the Congress. Its only complaint is that the Congress today is relying on the support of the Left for the survival of the UPA government. What is left unsaid is that the BJP could well support the Congress if the latter discarded the Left.


This only reconfirms, if ever such a reconfirmation was necessary, that the RSS/BJP see the Left as the most consistent champions of secular democracy, irreconcilably opposed to communalism. In seeking to distance the Congress from the Left, the RSS/BJP hope to weaken the process of consolidation of the secular democratic republic. On the other hand, they have not so implicitly revealed that it is possible to do business with the Congress given the latter’s proclivity of adopting a policy of “pale saffron” or “soft Hindutva”. The Congress can respond to such overtures by the BJP only at its peril.


The CPI(M) and the Left shall however resolutely continue to combat communalism as a virus that is directly in contradiction with the consolidation of a secular democratic modern India. In a country of India’s diversity and complexity – diversity that extends beyond religious diversity and includes linguistic, cultural, ethnic etc – the strengthening of our unity and integrity can only be done by strengthening the bonds of commonality that run through this diversity. Any effort to impose a uniformity on this diversity will only weaken and eventually destroy the unity and integrity of the country. Communalism seeks to do precisely this by aiming to convert the secular democratic republic into a rabidly intolerant fascistic “Hindu Rashtra”.


By the BJP’s logic anyone who espouses the cause of the welfare of the religious minorities is indulging in minority appeasement. The inspiration for these twin yatras, the country was told, came in response to the terrorist attacks in Varanasi. The reason these attacks took place, according to the BJP, was because of the policies of minority appeasement followed by the UPA government. Should one conclude that the attacks on the Indian parliament and the Red Fort, twice on the Raghunath Temple, at Akshardam etc under the NDA rule were due to the Vajpayee government’s policies of minority appeasement! The ridiculousness of their reasoning is there for all to see.


The main problem with the RSS/BJP since their electoral defeat in 2004 has been their failed search to identify issues on which they can retrieve some of their lost mass base. But being congenitally opposed to taking up any issue that concerns the improvement in the livelihood of the vast majority of Indians, the BJP seeks, at every available opportunity, to inflame communal passions as the only means to garner political support. Apart from believing that India is a country which can be nothing else but a Hindu rashtra where religious minorities can live only at the mercy of the religious majority, the RSS/BJP uses communalism as a tool for political mobilisation.


Given this, it is only natural that they should rave and rant at the Left since they find the CPI(M) as the main obstacle in the unfolding of their diabolic designs.  Under the Left leadership, millions of people today, all across the country, are in the midst of struggles on vital issues of daily existence. That the BJP has chosen this occasion to launch these yatras only reveals its complete disconnect with the peoples lives and their ongoing struggles. That it has chosen this time when important sections of our country are in the midst of a serious electoral battle also shows its irrelevance in these elections. The states where elections are being held together send nearly 120 MPs to the Lok Sabha, a number that can determine the character of a coalition government at the centre. The BJP must only be hoping that these yatras may give them some media space when otherwise during these elections they would be seen as simply politically inconsequential.


The danger which all patriotic Indians must be vigilant about, however, is the consequence of the communal polarisation that these yatras will invariably stoke. The country and the people need to concentrate their efforts on resolving the pressing problems facing the vast majority of our people and not be diverted into fratricide communal tensions.