Editor's Picks(1-4 of 4)
Exposed BJP and Sangh Pariwar naked!
India against Corruption seems to spoil the grand party and it has exposed BJP and Sangh Pariwar naked!Jethmalani has strongly pitched for projecting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate in the next Lok Sabha elections. Modi is the best package for Hindutva as well as economic ethnic cleansing!
Skype ID: palash.biswas44
Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday targeted BJP president Nitin Gadkari, accusing him of receiving personal favours by getting around 100 acres of agriculture land in Maharashtra after the Congress-NCP government there bent rules.Aided by lawyer Prashant Bhushan and another IAC activist from Maharashtra, Anjali Damania, Mr. Kejriwal alleged that rules were bent by the Maharashtra government, particularly scam-tainted former Irrigation Minister Ajit Pawar to benefit Mr. Gadkari. He claimed that vast tracts of land were acquired from farmers for building a dam in Umred taluka of Nagpur district and excess land that should have been returned to the farmers was given to Mr. Gadkari and his company following Mr. Ajit Pawar’s intervention. Kejriwal said instead of acting as an opposition party and criticising the government for acquiring land it could not use in an area that is parched for water, Gadkari saw the potential of the land in close proximity to a dam, and quickly bought it.The revelations came to light in a month long investigation done by Anjali Damanya RTI activist and physician who has also joined Kejriwal's newly formed party. US corporate imperialism, zionist global order and India incs jointly launched a venture to get Sangh Pariwar in power once again replacing the scam inflicted unpopular UPA government so that the continuity of economic and foreign policies be maintained and economic ethnic cleansing may be intensified invoking radical hindu nationalism. The corporate media is doing excellent groundwork.But India against Corruption seems to spoil the grand party and it has exposed BJP and Sangh Pariwar naked! India Against Corruption (IAC) continued its tirade against politicians Wednesday, targetting BJP chief Nitin Gadkari in the second 'expose' after Robert Vadra a week ago.Meanwhile, stirring the hornet's nest in BJP, Ram Jethmalani has strongly pitched for projecting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate in the next Lok Sabha elections. Trapped within, sangh pariwar has no other option but to opt for aggressive Hindutva. Modi is the best packge for Hindutva as well as economic ethnic cleansing!Rallying behind party President Nitin Gadkari, senior BJP leaders on Wednesday rejected charges of any wrongdoing by him in acquiring land in Maharashtra and said the allegations would be fought politically and not legally.In a bid to be politically even-handed, social activist Arvind Kejriwal today targetted Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Nitin Gadkari’s land dealings in Maharashtra. After alleging a sweetheart deal between Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son in law Robert Vadra, real estate firm DLF and Haryana Chief Minister BS Hooda, Kejriwal today tried to prove that he and his organisation, India Against Corruption, was not ‘soft’ on the BJP as had been alleged by the Congress and civil society earlier.
Utilising a much-hyped press conference here to "expose" Gadkari, the activist-turned-politician alleged that all parties were involved in a cosy relationship of "looting" the country even though they raise issues against each other just for the sake of it.Specifically, Kejriwal alleged a quid pro quo between BJP and Congress-NCP government of Maharashtra, saying Gadkari and his party maintained "silence" over various issues of corruption like the irrigation scam surrounding the Maharashtra government.
Meanwhile, Alleging that Robert Vadra used his 'connections' with the Gandhi family to accumulate wealth and commit other improprieties, Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday questioned Arvind Kejriwal for restricting his expose to Vadra only and not attacking the Congress president on the issue . On the other hand,Congress on Wednesday rejected the demand for an inquiry into Robert Vadra's land dealings suggesting the action taken by Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka on a land deal involving the son-in law of Sonia Gandhi was an afterthought. Dismissing the charges against Vadra as "absolutely baseless", party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said "no inquiry is needed. No inquiry is necessary. I outrightly reject this". He said this to a question whether Congress favoured a comprehensive probe in the matter as serious questions have been raised by the IAS officer on Vadra's land deal. Alvi said if at all any inquiry has to be conducted or any action has to be taken, then it should be on the basis of any complaint filed before the government of India or any appropriate agency. "All of us appreciate that the officer was transferred on October 11. And he took a decision on this piece of land (of Vadra) on October 12 and 15. Hence, his transfer has nothing to do with this land. How can you relate his transfer to this particular land issue"?Noting that according to media reports, Khemka was transferred nearly forty times, he wondered why nobody questioned the reason behind his transfer on earlier occasions. "It's not possible that the last 39 transfers happened without any reason. There must be some reason behind it. There must be some administrative reason (for the latest transfer), which can be replied to best by (Haryana) Chief Minister," Alvi said. He also pointed that Haryana government has already constituted a committee and ordered a "time-bound inquiry" into the issues raised by Khemka whose report will be out in a month.
Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid clarified his comment on India Against Corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal saying his comment was taken out of context. Khurshid said what he meant was that he will fight back the allegations made by Kejriwal. Khurshid said his voters will fight back the charges and that it was a matter of language.Khurshid also quoted lines from a poem, 'Sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai, dekhna hai zor kitna baazu-e-kaatil mein hai' (The desire for sacrifice is now in our hearts, we shall now see what strength there is in the boughs of the enemy.)
The Law Minister on Wednesday had reportedly threatened anti-corruption crusader-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal, saying till now he has been wielding a pen and "it is time to replace ink with blood". He said, "I was made the Law Minister and asked to wield a pen…now it is time to replace it with blood."
''Are Gadkari's business interests clashing with that of the farmers of Vidarbha?'' Kejriwal asked.
He took the instance of a village in Umraid taluka, Nagpur where land was given to Gadkari for farming. Kejriwal said this land, almost 100 acres, was excess after a dam was completed. The original owners who had given up this land wanted it back from the government as it was excess, he said. ''They were all farmers. They were told after much delay that the land was for beautification. But this land was later given to Gadkari. Why not to farmers?'' Kejriwal asked. Kejriwal also accused then Maharashtra irrigation minister NCP's Ajit Pawar of illegally favouring him in this matter.
Kejriwal questioned why Nitin Gadkari did not raise his voice when water for irrigation was being ''diverted to power companies''. ''This is because Nitin Gadkari runs five power plants in Vidarbha and three sugar factories,'' he said.
Earlier IAC member Anjali Damania had accused Gadkari of refusing to help expose the irrigation scam in Maharashtra.
* Why can't BJP expose Cong corruption like IAC, asks Arvind
* What kind of links does BJP have with Cong, asks Kejriwal
* Gadkari's biz empire's interest clashing with farmers: Arvind
* Are farmers committing suicide because of Gadkari, asks Arvind
* Nitin Gadkari given huge tracts of land by Ajit Pawar: Arvind
* Farmers' land given to Gadkari by flouting rules: Kejriwal
* Land was virtually taken by force from farmers: Kejriwal
* Money being sent by Centre state for dams, but corruption makes them dysfunctional
* Most of the water from these dams has been diverted by Ajit Pawar to sugar and power companies
* 71 power plants likely to come up in Maharashtra
* if these are built all the water from irrigation dams will be diverted to power companies
* 5 power plants of Nitin Gadkari in Maha
* 3 sugar companies in Maha belong to Gadkari
* Rs 70,000 cr worth of public money spent on irrigation: Bhushan
* This money was given to contractors in return for bribes: Bhushan
Read Kejriwal's full report:
Is BJP in opposition?
Or are BJP leaders in bed with ruling parties?
Whose interests does Mr Gadkari represent?
Is there a conflict between the interests of Maharashtra farmers and Mr Nitin Gadkari’s businesses?
Is Mr Gadkari’s business flourishing in Maharashtra at the cost of dying farmers?
Anjali Damania learnt about the corruption going on in construction of irrigation dams in Maharashtra. She filed several RTI applications and exposed the scam. She filed a PIL in Bombay High Court in April 2012. Agitated by the scam, she met Sh Nitin Gadkari on 14th Aug 2012 to request him to take up the issue strongly.
She was completely shocked to hear Gadkari’s response. He said – “How could you expect us to speak against Mr Sharad Pawar? Chaar kaam wo hamare karte hain, chaar kaam hum unke karte hain.”
Mr Gadkari has denied any relations with NCP or its leaders. Anjali set out to find the truth. The investigations carried out by her and others in the last one month have given a glimpse into what are these “chaar kaam” that NCP has done for Mr Gadkari.
India Against Corruption (IAC) has asked its cadre in Chhattisgarh to compile records of alleged cases of corruption against key leaders of the state's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party as well as the opposition Congress, a senior member of the outfit said on Wednesday.
"IAC member Manish Sisodia held a lengthy discussion with the Chhattisgarh unit of the IAC Tuesday and emphasised the importance of expanding the base of the IAC in the state to the district and block levels," a senior IAC member told IANS.
Sisodia, the source said, advised IAC members to compile whatever proof possible of the involvement, if any, of leaders of the BJP and the Congress in mining and land deals.
Sisodia, who addressed the media Tuesday at the end of his one-day trip to the mineral-rich state, said, "Corruption is the root cause behind the Maoist problem plaguing Chhattisgarh."
"The moment corruption in the government machinery and among leaders of the state is uprooted, the problem of Maoist violence will end," he said.
Talking about the entry of the IAC into politics, Sisodia said, "As of now, the group is preparing to contest the 2014 parliamentary elections. However, if the people want it, IAC could also participate in the 2013 assembly polls in Chhattisgarh and four other states. A final decision on this will be taken later."
Soon after Arvind Kejriwal alleged that Gadkari had acquired large tracts of farm land in Maharashtra through improper means, BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley came out in strong defence of the party chief, saying the charges were "false and baseless".
Addressing a joint press conference, the two leaders took a dig at activist-turned-politician Kejriwal, saying he was rubbishing all parties to "hog the limelight".
"Lot of hype was created about the press conference as if some big bomb is being exploded... He (Kejriwal) tried his best to dig out some scam but could not find anything," said Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha. "We are happy that our national president is not involved in any scam. The party is fully with him," she said.
Dubbing Kejriwal's press conference as "just like an election rally", Swaraj said, "We will fight politically. We won't go for defamation suit."
Jaitley said since Kejriwal was forming a political party, he has the ambition of hogging the "limelight".
"A mountain of what was not even a mole-hill sought to be created... The hitman (Kejriwal) has scored a self-goal."
In a letter to BJP President Nitin Gadkari, he said the party must declare its prime ministerial candidate to help convince the voters in its pre-2014 election campaign.
"I do not think that the choice is difficult...I would want Narendra Modi whose integrity and administrative ability are not in doubt," Jethmalani, a Rajya Sabha member, said in his two-page letter.
The party, which has kept the issue of Prime Ministerial candidate in the backburner with several contenders on the scene, got the letter from Jethmalani who said he wanted to attend the recent Surajkund meeting of the national executive to which he was not invited.
Speaking in favour of Modi, he said, "He has been a victim of diabolic propaganda directed to projecting him as an anti-minority bigot. This undeserved black spot is easy to erase. Every aspiring candidate should do some sincere introspection and discover his own disqualifications."
Referring to minorities, he said, they must be given complete assurance of security and opportunities for becoming prosperous and progressive.
"All past wrongs must be forgiven and forgotten. This requires projecting those who have earned the respect and confidence of the minorities," Jethmalani said.
When asked whether Gadkari was also in the race for Prime Ministership, he said, "I personally think that I will prefer Modi."
Jethmalani said Modi was "head and shoulders above many people in terms of integrity, in terms of efficiency."
He went on to say that not just declaring the Prime Ministerial candidate, the party must also form a "shadow cabinet" in advance.
"In fact a shadow cabinet must be projected with a clear pledge that one third of our cabinet will be non-party experts in their individual fields with impeccable reputation for integrity and intellectual ability. It is for such people that Rajya Sabha is primarily meant.
"It may cause heart burning to the diappointed ones but it is better to face it rather than leave the voters in uncertaintly," Jethamalani said.
Stating that the BJP's election campaign in the next two years will be to highlight the ruling party's corruption which will be the main vote earner, he cautioned the BJP leaders to be above board.
"It is absolutely imperative that our leaders and candidates must have no skeletons in their cupboards," he said.
The lawyer-turned-politician said "We owe to our voters a correct exposition of our brand of secularism. Every religious belief, practice or expression is subject to the paramount needs of the Republic and its value system of public health morality and order."
Taking up the issue of black money, he said, "credible rumours are circulating that some of our aspiring leaders have announced 'black money is no issue' and our spokesmen are under instructions not to emphasis this matter in public."
Details of “Chaar Kaam”
We attach herewith stories of two families from a village. Land in this village was acquired by Maharashtra government to construct dams. Land acquired was far in excess of actual requirements. According to rules, the excess land should either be returned to farmers or leased out to them for farming. Flouting these rules and despite repeated requests from farmers, the excess land was handed over to Nitin Gadkari’s organizations by Ajit Pawar, the then Irrigation Minister. This was also in violation of rules because land belonging to irrigation department cannot be transferred or leased to private organizations. When farmers protested, they were threatened by Gandkari’s henchmen.
Since Anjali set out on her investigations, Ghadge, the farmer from Umred, is being repeatedly threatened by Gadkari’s men. This morning, he called up Anjali and started crying as he could not stand the pressures.
It is well known that farmers in this region have been committing suicides in large nos. These dams have been constructed for providing water for irrigation to farmers in this region. Central Government has also been generous in granting funds for construction of these dams. However, almost the entire water is being diverted for power and sugar industry. For instance, in Umred taluka, Lower Vena Vadgaon Dam was meant to provide irrigation water to these farmers. This dam has just one canal, which is non-functional. So, there is no question of the water reaching the farmers for irrigation. Instead, the entire water from this dam has been permitted to be used by Nitin Gadkari’s firms and other industries in that area.
This is the story of almost all dams constructed in Maharashtra in the last few years. Almost the entire water from these dams is being diverted to power industries, which have mushroomed on the banks of these dams. Power industries need a lot of water. Ajit Pawar has diverted water meant for irrigation to power industry on large scale. These industries either belong to politicians from all parties or have strong political connections across all parties. Therefore, none of the parties wish to raise this issue.
Some people might argue - doesn’t the country need electricity? Even if the dam water is being diverted for producing power, what is wrong in it? We completely agree that the country needs power. But the water to power industry should be provided honestly and in a transparent manner. It is cruel to divert the water meant for irrigating the lands of dying farmers. Huge funds are sanctioned for constructing dams to save the dying farmers. In order to construct dams, their lands are forcibly acquired, making their condition further miserable. But finally, the water from these dams is completely diverted to some industrialists through deceit? Isn’t that wrong?
When the interests of farmers were being sold out to favorite industrialists, why was Nitin Gadkari silent? Why did he not raise his voice against it? Thirty-three new coal based thermal power projects have been given approval as of 2010 and another 38 are pending approval. When these 71 plants come up, they will need 2049 million cubic meters of water per year due to which there will be not a drop of water for irrigation in a region where farmers commit suicide every day.
Nitin Gadkari himself has five such power producing industries and three sugar industries in Maharashtra. And that is the reason why Nitin Gadkari did not wish to raise the issue of corruption in irrigation dams. In a short span, Gadkari has built a huge business empire in a short period with more than 15 companies in sectors including construction, sugar, distillery, power, coal, agro etc
Nitin Gadkari wrote a letter to Sh Pawan Bansal in central Government requesting him to release Rs 400 crores to contractors constructing irrigation dams. When this issue got highlighted in media, Gadkari said that he had written five such letters and would write ten more similar letters. He said that he wrote these letters because he was worried about the condition of the farmers and wanted that the dams should be constructed soonest. Did he write even a single letter to any government and request them not to divert farmers’ water to industrialists?
In some areas, Gadkari’s companies are a source of huge pollution causing inconvenience to local people. For instance, in Umred, Gadkari owns a power industry. Fly ash from this industry is polluting the air in that village causing breathing problems for the villagers. Likewise, flyash has been disposed in local river thus polluting the entire river. Despite repeated complaints from the villagers, obviously, no action has been taken by the government because the Gadkari has excellent relations with all parties in power.
In this short while, Anjali has been able to find out the above “chaar kaam” that ruling parties have done for Nitin Gadkari. If thorough investigations are carried out, many more such instances would emerge.
When Mr Gadkari receives a favor from the ruling coalition of Congress-NCP in Maharashtra in the form of irrigation dam water and farmers’ lands, what does he offer in return as quid pro quo? He mortgages the trust of the people of India. He assures them that as opposition, he would not allow his party to speak against ruling establishment’s corruption. He assures them that even if his party is forced to oppose due to media pressures or political compulsions, the opposition would merely be cosmetic. He is correct in saying – “How can we oppose them? Chaar kaam wo hamare karte hain, chaar kaam hum unke karte hain.” For him, politics is meant to enhance business opportunities rather than fight for people’s rights. Due to the inherent compulsions of his business empire, is it possible for him to head the main opposition party of India?
Is Mr Gadkari a businessman or a politician? A politician is expected to fight for aam aadmi. A politician is expected to fight against the injustice and corruption of ruling establishment. In that struggle, a politician is expected to face consequences. In sharp contrast, a businessman, due to the compulsions of his business, tries to keep all parties happy. So, can a big businessman ever be expected to honestly represent people’s interests?
It is strange that BJP has amended its constitution to accommodate another term for Nitin Gadkari.
The story of Gajanan Ghadge and other villagers
In Khursapur Village, Taluka Umred, District Nagpur in Vidarbha part of Maharashtra, the Lower Vena Vadgaon Dam was sanctioned. Work began in 1982
A villager Gajanan Rambhauji Ghadge and his family lost 89.95 acres of land to the Dam. They were compensated at a mere Rs. 5000 per acre.
1982 - 1997
Only 23.5 acres of their land was directly used in the Dam project. During this period Ghadge and his family were tilling the balance 66.45 acres that was still not used and they grew soyabean, cotton and jowar.
In 1995 Nitin Gadkari’s owned Purti Power and Sugar Limited set up a power plant, a sugar mill and a distillery in the same village near the dam.
The Dam was completed and the entire submergence area was filled with water and he lost most of his land. However, there was nearly100 acres belonging to various villagers which was not utilized by the dam and was lying just outside the dam area. Out of this Ghadge’s portion was 12.5 acres which was still under his possession and cultivation.
1997 - 2007
Sub Divisional Engineer, Shri Parvat gave Ghadge permission to till 18.75 acres of unused land (out of which12.5 was from his original plot) and Ghadge continued tilling it for 10 years. (Exhibit 1 “paanpati slips”)
The villagers approached the government that they wanted to buy back the land that was not utilized but the government did not heed the demand. Ghadge wrote the CM Vilasrao Deshmukh, Minister Irrigation, Minister Land Revenue, Collector Nagpur and Nagpur Rehabilitation Officer, on 5 December 2000 requesting that he be returned at least the portion that was not submerged as they had no other source of income. (Exhibit 2 Ghadge’s letter to CM)
By a letter dated 28 January 2002 the irrigation department wrote to Shri Gajanan Rambhauji Ghadge that he must stop leasing and tilling the land as the balance land will be used for beautification of the dam and as a tourist destination. (Exhibit 3 Letter by Irrigation Department to Ghadge)
VIDC Resolution (Exhibit 4) – Unused land handed over to Nitin Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari, the then MLA and BJP Maharashtra President, wrote a letter to the Irrigation Minister, Ajit Pawar number 211 dated 4th June 2005. In the letter he requested that 36.51 hectares of unused, acquired land should be given to Purti Sinchan Kalyankari Sanstha, Wardha (Gadkari’s organization) on a 99 year lease and he also recommended that the proposal of Gems of India for 11.27 hectares should be granted.
Within 4 days, on 8th June 2005 the Irrigation Minister recommended that this letter be tabled in the Vidarbha irrigation development Corporation (VIDC) committee meeting scheduled for 22 June 2005.
VIDC passed resolutions numbered 23/2 and 23/3 related to the land which had been acquired from the farmers but not utilized in Khursapur Village, Taluka Umred, District Nagpur in the Vidarbha part of Maharashtra, by the Lower Vena Vadgaon Dam.
In resolution number 23/2 it was agreed 31.598 hectares of land which was acquired from villagers but not utilized in the Lower Vena Vadgaon Dam should be given on lease by a “special grant” to Purti Sinchan Kalyankari Sanstha Wardha. It was further decided that 5.36 hectares should be given to Gems of India Nagpur.
Handing over of land to Nitin Gadkari was illegal - In this committee meeting, it was clearly brought out that such handing over of land to Nitin Gadkari was in violation of a government letter No JAY1097/(309/97)/Mopra-2 dated 6 April 2005 wherein it was categorically stated that all the Irrigation Development Corporations should not lease or rent any additional land that has been with them for a prolonged period of time to private organizations. As per their rules no 19(2)(A) and no 28, made when the irrigation corporations were founded, it was stated that neither buildings nor land should not be rented, leased or sold to private organizations. The department secretary insisted that land should not be given in violation of these resolutions. However, Secretary’s objections were over ruled. Resolution 23/2 was passed unanimously. This resolution has been signed by the Irrigation Minister Shri Ajit Pawar and Irrigation Secretary Shri R M Landge
Possession of land had not been taken yet. The lower bureaucracy perhaps did not know about this transfer of land to Nitin gadkari. So, as per rules, on 29 September 2006 Shri Komawar of the Irrigation Department Vadgaon wrote to the Sarpanch of the affected village that the unused land owned by the government should be given to the farmers to till on a first come first serve basis. (Exhibit 5 Letter from Irrigation Department to Sarpanch)
28 November 2007 VIDC Resolution (Exhibit 6) – Further land handed over to Nitin Gadkari
VIDC passed resolutions number 8 related to the land which had been acquired from the farmers but not utilized in Khursapur Village, Taluka Umred, District Nagpur in the Vidarbha part of Maharashtra, by the Lower Vena Vadgaon Dam and had been given on lease to Purti Sinchan Kalyankari Sansthan Wardha.
It was discussed that 5.36 hectares was meant to be leased to Gems of India, Nagpur but the organization stated that they could not lease the land due to some difficulties and request VIDC to take it back from them. The committee discussed that the plot meant for Gems of India was adjoining the plot given to Purti Sinchan Kalyankari Sansthan Wardha by the earlier resolution No 23/2. It was discussed that Shri Nitin Gadkari, BJP Maharashtra President had requested, vide a letter, that this additional 5.36 hectares should also be given to Purti Sinchan Kalyankari Sansthan Wardha through a “special grant”. (Exhibit 6 )
Since it was already agreed to give away this 5.36 hectares, it was agreed that it would now be given to Purti Sinchan Kalyankari Sansthan Wardha through a special grant in stead of Gems of India. This was passed under resolution no 32/8 on 11 October 2007.
This resolution has been signed by the Irrigation Minister Shri Ajit Pawar and Irrigation Secretary Shri R M Landge
On 6 June 2008 Ghadge and other affected villagers wrote to the local MLA stating that according to a Stage Government Directive, 1984, it was said that if land acquired by the Government was not utilized for 10 years it should be returned to the original land holders. They were not just original land owners, but they were also tilling the same land since 1982 and hence they said the land should be returned to them. They made the same request to the irrigation department. (Exhibit 7 Letter from villagers to the MLA)
On 21 June 2008 Sub Divisional Engineer Shri Komawar called Ghade to the field. When Ghadge went there, officials of Purti Group Shri Dive, Shri Jhade, and Shri Chafle were with Shri Komawar. They all informed him that the land he has been tilling has been given to the Purti group by the government and he should hand over the possession. He refused to do so saying that how can they take away land he has been tilling for 15 years without even a prior notice. Some of the Purti officials and their henchmen began threatening and intimidating him and Ghadge fled from there.
A few days later, when Ghadge was out of town, Purti people forcibly took possession of his land. They fenced the field that was lying ploughed and even planted soyabean overnight. On his return on 28 June 2008 he made a police complaint about the same. (Exhibit 8 Ghadge’s NC) Ghadge spoke to the MD of Purti but was threatened and told “do what you can” but you will not get the land back.
Ram Puniyani has exposed BJP agenda. Just read:
Secularism And BJP’s Dilemmas
12 October, 2012
Putting on masks with changing times are the compulsions of electoral politics for many parties, more so with a party like Bhartiya Janta Party. BJP so far has been doing this with great amount of ease, but lately its dilemmas are increasing in intensity due to its track record in the political arena during last two decades. One such attempt to change gears or put on a new mask was attempted by L.K. Advani in the recently held BJP executive in Delhi (Sept 2012). Mr. Advani in the speech which was circulated had written about "re-projecting the party's commitment to secularism" in his valedictory function speech. While speaking he stumbled as he was face to face with something which BJP does not like in the real sense, secularism, and so he skipped this S word in his spoken speech.
To begin with recent things, it is from last few months that Neetish Kumar has been saying that NDA should have a leader with a secular image. His hint was to oppose the claims of Mr. Narendra Modi, who is a strong candidate for the post of PM, for BJP and thereby of NDA. Neetish Kumar with his own electoral compulsions has been avoiding Mr. Modi, not touching him even with a barge pole. Since Kumar and other allies are very crucial for BJP to come to power, BJP has been in two minds about projecting Modi as the PM candidate. As such also BJP had a complex calculation while dealing with the issue of secularism and Indian state.
BJP is the at one level the political wing of RSS, in which RSS trained swyamsevaks are in the lead with some non-RSS background leaders also scattered here and there. Still the primary control of BJP is with the RSS trained swayamsevaks. In turn BJP’s political directions are controlled by the patriarch, RSS, which takes most of the crucial decisions about BJP policies. It is not too far back that Nitin Gadkari was imposed on BJP as the President, and then making exception to the rule he was ‘re-elected’ as the President mainly due to the dictates of RSS. Earlier also there are examples galore about the RSS determining the direction of BJP in the main. It’s also true that within the given parameters, BJP does have some autonomy also, but that relates to mundane affairs not in the major policy making.
The major brunt of campaigning for BJP is also done by the RSS volunteers, who are the major bulwark of BJP political electoral machine. All the top leaders of BJP, from Vajpayee, Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitly and Nitin Gadkari are the swayamsevaks trained in the RSS shakhas. For them, RSS has the primacy over any other thing and this gets reflected times and over again. Once Vajpayee, when he was Prime Minister, was speaking in the gathering of NRIs in Staten Island in US. He exhibited his primary loyalty to RSS by saying that he may be the Prime Minister, but more than that he is the swayamsevak of RSS, a right, which nobody can snatch from him. When Advani in an effort to make an image changeover from the Babri mosque demolisher to the potential PM candidate, went on to praise Jinnah and his 11th August 1947 Speech in Pakistan, RSS immediately put the reins of control and Advani was immediately marginalized from BJP leadership, a ground he has been trying to regain by various means, to no avail. Similarly when the previous avatar of BJP, Bhartiya Jansangh had dissolved itself to merge in the Janata Party, in the aftermath of dreaded emergency, its leadership broke the Janata party and re-emerged as Bhartiya Janata Party. The issue was that the socialists in Janata party had demanded that the Jana Sangh faction cannot have duel membership of Janata party as well as RSS. This faction rather than severing relation with RSS promptly broke the Janata party and came out.
RSS is primarily committed to the agenda of Hindu Rashtra, Hindu nation, a concept parallel to the concept of Islamic nation, which had become the base of Pakistan. Now the paradox for BJP is that it has to come to power through an electoral process, in a country with diversity in religion and culture. It does want to impose Hindu nation but that is not possible without capturing power in the centre. For capturing power they have to adopt the norms of electoral politics and play the ‘vote bank ‘politics as other parties do. The aim has been first to polarise the Hindu votes and then to appeal to votes of other sections of society. Polarization of section of Hindu votes has been achieved by BJP through Babri demolition, Post demolition riots and Gujarat carnage. Having achieved this, for winning over the dalits and other weaker sections the strategy is to co-opt them through mechanisms of social engineering through programs like “Samajik Samrasta (collaboration between castes) and Hindutvisation of Adivasis through programs like Ghar vapasi (returning home) for Adivasis, telling them they are Hindus who had to flee to the forests due to the intimidation of Muslim kings, so they must return to Hindu fold. In the same effort for winning over Adivasis, the tribal areas witnessed anti Christian violence.
As for as Muslim, the biggest religious minority is concerned they have given mixed signals. Having given the signal to section of Hindus, the challenge has been to win over the Muslims’ votes as well, as all Hindus will not vote for BJP at any time. So the first effort was to project Vajpayee as the leader, as Vajpayee was a most suitable mask. It was very part of his persona, to the extent of people went on to say that he is the ‘right man in the wrong party’. To oppose Congress Advani coined the word pseudo secularism for the policies of Congress. Surely Congress is no secular angel, as it has compromised with communal forces and in the game of vote bank politics, has played the role of ‘opportunist communal’ party. This is in contrast to BJP which is party programmed for Communalism. After Vajpayee period BJP has been trying to put on a secular mask. But the job is not easy and they have to play the role close to that of a trapeze artist. Not to lose polarised vote bank of Hindus and at the same time to win over Muslims votes.
It is in this direction that Bangaru Laxaman once said that Muslims are the ‘blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh’. Advani tried this by offering secular Jinnah comments and now this gem from him is again an attempt in that direction. Same Advani in part of his speech, which he did not read, said, “We should, with full conviction, reassure our brethren belonging to the minority communities that we brook no discrimination or injustice in dealing with different sections of our diverse society.” Who will believe that except the novice!
Whether such a new mask will cut any ice wit