Thursday, September 21, 2006

Some Random Political Thoughts

BJP stands for the Bharatiya Janata Party , in case you have forgotten. The media darling just over a year back, the BJP seems to be in the news now for all the wrong reasons. Has the BJP become a rudderless ship , tossed this way and that by the waves , having no control ( indeed , no idea ) over the path it needs to take. Sadly , it would seem so. Sad for me personally, because the reasons I initially supported BJP still stand - probably are more relevant now.

I was in New Delhi at the time of the 1984 riots. I was all of seven years of age then - a very impressionable age. I have read Rajiv Gandhi's comments on the riots since then , "When a giant tree falls, the ground shakes". Of course things were not quite so simple as that , they never are.We used to stay in RK Puram Sector 5 . There were around 25 families staying in our block at that time , 2 of them Sikh. At that time Congress was ruling Delhi , so by a strange coincidence no policemen used to come when Sikh homes were being pillaged. I still remember my father and the rest of the non Sikh males lighting bonfires and staying guard throughout the night to ensure the safety of our Sikh brothers. This went for one whole week. At that time I did not realize the seriousness of the situation ( what does a seven year old know ). Maybe later I would have been outraged that any political leader ( let alone the PM ) could justify such a cold blooded progrom to wipe out a whole community. Thankfully nothing serious happened in our neighbourhood during that nightmarish week, but I have never considered the Congress as a serious political option since then.

There were two issues that attracted me to the BJP then - Article 370 and Uniform Civil Code. Strangely enough there is one party in India that shares the BJP stand on these issues - CPM. Only problem is our Marxian brothers conveniently forget this in the "greater" cause of isolating fundamentalism.

I personally feel that the destruction of the Babri Masjid was a situation that should have been avoided. Having said that , lets not attach too much importance to this. This was after all a 350 year old mosque where no prayers had taken place for over 40 years. And therein lies a strange tale. Strange because the Babri Masjid site was disputed even at the time of independence. Pt Nehru had ordered the site locked and no one was allowed entry . No one , that is till 1989 , when VHP were given the keys to the site. The credit for this went to Rajiv Gandhi and to a small extent , to a Muslim lady named Shah Bano.

Shah Bano had been divorced by her husband and she had filed a court case for alimony. The case went right up to Supreme Court which ruled in her favour citing Common Civil law ( common to all Indians irrespective of religion , caste or language ) . The mullahs saw this as an attack on Muslim Personal Law. They went up in arms and the Rajiv Gandhi govt ( they had 400+ MPs at the time ) brought in a Constitutional amendment to nullify theSupreme Court verdict. Of course to balance this kind of blatant minority appeasement they came out with a "majority package" as well. They gave the keys to the disputed Babri Masjid site to the VHP and gave them permission to perform shilanyas. Talk about letting the fox guard the chicken coop. The rest , as they say , is history.

1 comment:

Bino said...

What happened to Indira Gandhi and Rajeev? They both violently assassinated. I am not saying the assassination was right, but this is one way time correct history.