Desperation in the Saffron Ranks
Frustration is building up into desperation in the ranks of the right wing Hindutva extremists. They are increasingly demonstrating their restiveness over absence of a worthwhile cause capable of lighting the communal fuse. The throwing of a piece of beef by one of their activists in the Pochamma Temple in Hyderabad serves as an index of their anxiety over communal calm that promises to deprive them of a cause célèbre. They are simply unnerved at the turn of events that bear no scope for fomenting communal disharmony. Thanks to the prompt police investigation and action, the culprit, one Shivakumar, said to be an activist of a rabid communal outfit, was arrested before situation in the communally sensitive Hyderabad could drift into much disorder. Parts of the old city however suffered curfew for several days with innocent people from both communities being taken into police custody. The incident is not unique of its kind. On the eve of the New Year, seven Ram Sene activists were arrested for hoisting a Pakistani flag on Tahsildar’s office in Sindgi in the neighbouring Karnataka. Prompt action by the police averted communal mayhem. The two incidents, read together, are indication enough that right wing politics essentially thrives in a communally surcharged atmosphere and the extremists would go even to extent of desecrating a temple and even more brazenly hoisting a Pakistani flag on an official edifice. The extremists seems to have honed their skills in all such acts that could be easily blamed on Muslims and enrage their own coreligionists.
Politics under a democratic polity is a game full of complexities. Most often political groups survive and thrive by villanising the other. If the ‘other’ happens to be from a different community, then even communal poison could be injected to foment hate. Now that the larger plots behind several bomb blasts—Ajmer Dargah, Makkah Masjid, Malegaon, Samjhauta Express—having been unraveled, it requires little intelligence that Hindutva politics is out to contrive enemies and don the victimhood by stage-managing sacrileges against members and symbols of its own core constituency. Though this was long apprehended to be the part of their bag of tricks, it has come out into the open with the incidents. The impartial nature of police investigation is laudable and would go a long way in restoring people’s confidence in them. But it makes a sad commentary on the principal opposition party, the BJP. The party has certainly lost its ideological moorings. Desperation of its comrades-in- arms makes it evident more than enough that fizz is already out of the parent body and it is a pale shadow of its former saffron self. The hunt for the new ideology and issue must start now for them. One hopes they mend their ways and give up their partisan view of a larger India.