People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 29, 2007
BJP: From Communalism To Crookery
BABUBHAI Katara, BJP member of parliament, is in jail pending trial. He was arrested at the Delhi airport trying to smuggle out two persons on his wife and son’s passports. Since he was caught red-handed just before boarding the flight, there was no chance of a cover-up. The police investigations so far reveal that this was not the first time the MP has undertaken such an enterprise. Already four other MPs are being investigated as their names have been linked to the illegal immigration scandal. Of these, there is another BJP member of parliament and three belonging to the BSP. Katara has brought parliament to disrepute and he should be punished for the crime according to the law. This alone is not sufficient. Parliament should proceed against him as was done in the cash for question case involving ten MPs.
The fact that Katara is a BJP MP and a leading light of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Gujarat casts a different light on the whole affair. It highlights the character of the BJP and the Sangh combine. Majority communalism provides a good cover for all sorts of charlatans and venal persons to flourish. Aggressive communalism espoused by the RSS outfits encourages its storm-troopers to flout the law to persecute the minorities and play the role of custodians of “Hindu” culture and morality. Intimidating Muslims, Christians, artistes, intellectuals and young women who refuse to conform to their distorted values have become the hallmark of their activities. From such witch-hunting to breaking the law for mercenary motives is a short step. Given the rightwing character of the BJP, the affinity to all sorts of money-making activities comes naturally. Bribery and corruption are something useful to hurl against political opponents, but which gets sanctified when power is within its grasp. After the latest episode, who will take seriously the BJP’s clamour about Quattrocchi and his bribe taking in the Bofors issue? The BJP should hold up parliament demanding that all those involved in human smuggling be caught and punished!
L K Advani has rejected the charge that the Katara case exemplifies the degeneration of the BJP. He is only denying what can be seen by all. The latest scandal affecting the BJP parliamentarian was preceded by the bribery-for-questions case in which six of its members were implicated and expelled. Incidentally, the BJP opposed their expulsion in the Lok Sabha. Who can forget the tape showing the BJP president, Bangaru Laxman, receiving money, or, the scams galore during the Vajpayee government. The Tehelka tapes revealed shocking glimpses of high-level corruption under the NDA regime.
What makes the BJP stance intolerable is the hypocrisy and the holier-than-thou attitude. It keeps talking of “chaal” and “charithtra”. It claims it is the embodiment of “su-raj”. It is time that the BJP takes a realistic look at itself and take remedial measures. Otherwise, the BJP that is known as the party of communalism, will soon become notorious as the party of crookery too.