“Secularism” is perhaps the most distorted, abused and molested word in the Indian political context today. The Congress and the Communists claim exclusive authority to distribute certificates of secularism to its cronies and allies (formal or informal).
Anyone leaving the Congress’ camp and joining — or even indirectly praising — the BJP-led NDA coalition, immediately stands the risk of losing this Congress-issued certificate of secularism. It is a travesty! The Communists in any case are increasingly becoming irrelevant in the Indian polity. Going by the opinion polls, the Congress’ days are numbered too.
The Congress’ tryst in engineering and abetting riots is worthy of recollection. The ethnic strife in Assam over the last two years, largely due to the illegal and uninhibited influx of Bangladeshis, where hundreds were killed and lakhs were displaced has happened under Congress’ watch. That Shri Manmohan Singh is a Rajya Sabha MP from Assam is worth noting in this context.
What action has he taken against his party’s government in Assam? What are Rahul Gandhi’s views on the matter and how does he propose to deal with this crisis? The English media, which is ever-eager to haul Narendra Modi over the coals for even using a harmless metaphor, turned a blind eye to this unfolding tragedy. One eminent editor (in)famously and casually sought to blame his channel’s deafening silence and lack of coverage of the Assam riots on the “tyranny of distance”. Would the same yardstick or line of reasoning apply if it were to happen in Gujarat?
The Muzaffarnagar riots in 2013, in which several died and thousands lived in abominable conditions in relief camps all through the bone-chilling winter, also happened under the watch of Congress’ ally, the Samajwadi Party, which shrouds itself in a farcical burkha of secularism. In most riots in India, Congress has had a direct or indirect involvement. History bears this out.
The Congress’ role in the massacre of Sikhs in 1984 is well known. But roll back to any time period – in the Nellie riots of 1983, where over 5,000 are believed to have been killed, the Congress buried the Tiwari Commission report; the Bombay riots of 1993 where close to 900 people died under Congress Chief Minister Sudhakarrao Naik’s watch (and also allegedly due to delayed deployment of the Army by Defence Minister and then Congress leader Sharad Pawar); or the Surat riots in 1992 where 152 people died under Congress CM Chimanbhai Patel’s nose; or the 365 deaths in Hyderabad riots in 1990 under Congress CM Chenna Reddy; or the 1,161 deaths in Bhagalpur in 1989 under Congress CM SN Singh… I can go on!
Even more recent statistics by UPA’s own Ministry of Home Affairs points to 5,921 incidents of communal violence between 2005-12, a significant number of which were in Congress-ruled states such as Maharashtra and Assam or states ruled by their allies such as Uttar Pradesh.
Congressmen actively catalysed the unbridled and grossly illegal infiltration of Bangladeshis in Assam, which altered the demographics of several border districts and led to severe competition to claim the (limited) resources of the region. They also blessed these infiltrators with voter ID cards, ration cards and Aadhar cards.
These arbitrary allocations of taxpayer-funded resources, coupled with demographic alteration and patronage to certain anti-national elements, was akin to Congress showing a red robe to an enraged bull. Reaping political dividends out of tragedies is deeply engrained in the Congress’ DNA.
They believe in profiting from grievously unfortunate incidents like those mentioned above yet label other parties such as BJP that work for sabka saath, sabka vikaas, in pejorative terms.
A short glimpse of Congress’ own record in catalysing riots, as highlighted in this post, demonstrates that the Congress’ hand is bloodied. I am confident that an enlightened and mature electorate will respond to this Congress party, which has attempted to drag this nation into this faux debate of secularism-communalism, in fitting terms, and choose a decisive and determined leader who stands for nationalism, peace, economic growth and human development. There is no doubt that India will choose Narendra Modi.