More than 100 demonstrators participate in a 2013 London demonstration against the abuses of Narendra Modi.
â€œElect Narendra Modi as Indiaâ€™s next prime minister and you would be safe and secure. The Court has given him a clean chit. Donâ€™t believe in propaganda against BJP. We believe in the supremacy of Indian constitution. Hindutva is nothing but a way of life and Muslims are part of the family. Tell us where did we go wrong and we will bow our head and apologize and accept our mistakes and shortcomings.â€
This is what the President of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) said, addressing a gathering of Muslims. Not in exact words, but this was the gist of his speech to a Muslim audience. How should Muslim Indians react to this statement and how should the world react to this change in the BJP tone?
Seemingly, it sounds wonderful that the BJP is offering an apology. But if viewed carefully, Rajnathâ€™s statement is full of arrogance and shrewd Chanakya -style diplomacy. After all it was Chanakya who said, â€œA person should not be too honest because straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.â€ Or â€œnever share your secrets with others and never reveal to them what you truly think if you want to dominate.â€
The BJP president in his speech was essentially saying, â€œwe did not commit any mistakes but if you point out to us that we were wrong and we also admit on the authority of our own analysis that we were wrong, we would admit.â€ But the most dangerous part of the statement that he made was in defense of Hinduism. It is a way of life, he said, and we believe in the supremacy of the constitution. He was implying that Hindutva would be given a constitutional framework once his party comes to power. He probably forgot to realize the existence of the caste system in this way of life that has turned Indiaâ€™s majority as sub-humans through its long history.
His defense of Modi was ridiculous and childish that shows his conniving politics. Chanakaya again came to his help here as the great Hindu diplomat once remarked that rulers have a right play with facts in order to stay to power.
The President of the BJP, further, said that Modi is innocent of Muslim genocide as the court has absolved him of all accusations.
Non-conviction of an accused does not mean that the crime was not committed and the accused was not responsible for the crime. It simply means the lack of sufficient evidence on the part of those who collected information. It might also mean manipulation on the part of those responsible to look into the matter. It may also mean manipulation of evidence. With RSS strongly present in state and federal structures, police and intelligence, and even in judiciary and academics, nothing can be ruled out. After all, it was in Gujarat that many fake encounters were engineered under Modi.
In the eyes of many Indians, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Modi is not clean. His hands drip with the blood of the innocent citizens of his own state. He proved his incompetence in protecting the lives of his stateâ€™s citizens. How can we trust him with the rest of Indiaâ€™s citizens?
BJP believes that its image among Muslims is built on false propaganda spread by Congress and others. But, facts speak louder than words.
Several reliable and objective studies, both academic and governmental, have clearly revealed that the BJP leadership and cadre were involved in engineering violence against minorities including Muslims during the last 66 years of Indiaâ€™s independence. More than a million people were reportedly killed in these riots and acts of violence. Who can forget the demolition of the Babari Masjid? The BJP leadership was there to incite their cadre and it witnessed the brick by brick demolition? The Ram Mandar rath yatra was engineered by BJP and slogans raised against Muslims in those rallies were part of the official policy of the party. In their internal meetings, questions about the loyalties of Muslims are always raised as they are considered fifth columnists by many of them.
BJP is the political wing of RSS and the hostility of the RSS towards Muslims and other minorities is well known. At the time when the BJP chief was speaking with Muslims, hundreds of cds and thousands of pamphlets against Muslims and Islam were in circulation all over the country.
In the Muzzafarnagar riots, late last year, the BJP members were said to be leading the rioters and inciting people to kill, burn and rape Muslims.
Yet, the BJP has the audacity to say that if proved by court and pointed to it by Muslims, then it would look into their charges and if their researchers pointed out to us that we were wrong, it would apologize.
Obviously, what was said by Rajnath is nothing but an exercise in shrewd diplomacy. After all it was Chankaya, part of the Upper caste Hindu diplomacy in the past, who had justified all deceitful means to grab power. The BJP leader playing the game that politicians like him always play. The party that demolished a house of worship and proudly describes the violence as an act of their Hindutva cannot be trusted.
Nevertheless, let us assume that the BJP is sincere in its offer to apologize.
Here is the litmus test. Withdraw Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate and assure the country that because his character has been tainted as he has been accused of committing genocide against Muslims, he should never be considered a contender for the highest position in the country. Let us ask Rajnath to go back to his party and convince its brass of the usefulness of the withdrawal of Modi from national electoral race. Otherwise, what he said in a gathering of Muslim is nothing but an exercise in deceit. Muslims are no strangers to deceit in India and elsewhere too.