Friday, April 4, 2014

Who's Communalizing #Elections2014?

This week, Congress President Sonia Gandhi shared the stage with the Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid to ask all Muslims to vote for the party 'to keep communal forces at bay.' As always, the leftist media swooped in to once again to highlight Narendra Modi's history with the 2002 riots and itself called for all Muslims and 'secular' people of India to vote on religious lines and save India from being divided on those very lines. Thankfully, there is some media today, paid or otherwise, that listened to Modi, who said the truth: staring at a massive defeat in the elections starting next week, the Congress is resorting to rabid and open communalism.

The Shahi Imam himself was an interesting choice - he is well-known to be someone who says that he is concerned with issues related to Muslims alone. Just today, he asked all Muslims to vote for the Congress. For him, India is certainly divided into two separate nations with their own issues, own history and own identity. Fortunately for India, his influence is limited to the bylanes in and around the Jama Masjid; but of course, for a desperate Congress, even that represents some votes.

Who is communalizing this election? The Congress is and this is very clear if you just listen to the speeches made by Rahul Gandhi and juxtapose them with those of Modi. Rahul Gandhi has consistently spoken of riots and sectarian violence: it is the only card he has. The aim is of course to scare Muslims in believing that there is an existential crisis just around the corner for them. Sadly, the Congress finds that while Muslims do certainly hate Modi, they are not afraid of him; India's secular culture is not the Congress' copyright and it will survive without the Congress. The issues for Indian Muslims are those of all Indians: economy, jobs, governance and corruption and those are exactly the things that Modi has been talking about. If the Congress wonders why Modi is so popular then they should listen to his speeches and the things he talks about. Sadly, they will also realize that their wasted 10 years give them absolutely no cover.

Communalism is dangerous for India for the same reason that all crime is a danger: citizens should not have to live under the threat of violence. The state's only duty is to guarantee the safety and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution; given that, the state must make way for enterprise to create jobs, livelihood and prosperity. These are not related to any caste or religion but matter to everyone. And this is exactly what Modi has been saying - of anything, this has been the BJP's most secular election campaign in its 30 year history. His economic vision is what the country needs and that is why he is so popular.

By contrast, Rahul Gandhi is four generations old and represents a dying, decayed idea of a big, patriarchal state that everyone must owe allegiance to in order to live in safety and prosperity. This idea may have been fashionable in an old India; it has been rejected by the young people of this nation. By resorting to such open communalism, the Congress is simply showing its lack of creativity - or perhaps the fact that it is this sort of politics that has kept it alive right from Partition. 

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