BY SAEED NAQVI
Why is it a constant battle between Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh and the Sangh Parivar? Where is the mounting support for Digvijay Singh within the Congress so that political war can be waged with the Parivar?
But why would Tweedledum wage war against Tweedledee? Sometimes they are on the same side. Take the demolition of the Babari Masjid on 6 December, 1992. Was PV Narasimha Rao less guilty than Kalyan Singh?
Ahmad Patel is a Congress leader from Gujarat closest to Sonia Gandhi. Why did he not escort the Congress President to Ahmadabad after the February 27, 2002 Gujarat pogrom to see the pathetic condition of Muslims in camps?
Batla House, Azamgarh, Malegaon, Mecca Masjid are all Hindutva plots exposed by Digvijay Singh. Each one is a valid issue, but where is the Congress to take up the chorus? All the sparrow heads can cook up are 4.5 percent of 27 percent and so on. The stupidity of it is astounding. They really imagine they have fooled the community.
Never in history has the police shot and killed members of a congregation in a mosque. This happened two hours drive from New Delhi in Gopalgarh, in Rajasthan a Congress ruled state adjacent to yet another Congress ruled state, Haryana.
Not only did senior Congress leaders not make an early appearance, even the great independent media (except Indian Express) did not cover the tragedy.
The election season is in full swing. On my table is a newspaper open on a page showing six young men wearing black hoods. The story in Mail Today reads: “Six activists of the right wing Sri Ram Sena, who had planned to spark communal violence in the North Karnataka town of Sindhagi by hoisting the Pakistani flag on the mini Vidhan Sabha premises are now lodged behind bars.”
Apparently, some very obvious clues led to the arrest of the six. But why were the alleged culprits being handled with such caution: why have their heads been covered with hoods? We have grown so accustomed to photographs of youngsters with beards and skull caps a day after their arrest that hoods look like an aberration.
When the Sachar Committee was formed in 2005, Muslims thought justice was at hand. A delegation from Gadchiroli, a remote town near Nagpur, submitted to the committee photographs of a house where alleged Hindu extremists fabricated beards, clothes and varieties of Muslim disguises. The Sachar Committee also sent the photographs to Sonia Gandhi.
Leaders other than Digvijay Singh have chosen to sit on the fence on all such incidents. The result of this fence sitting is that the Muslim, once a congress vote bank, are today in quest of all manner of alternatives. In UP, the Peace Party, is not a negligible phenomena. Just as Mayawati can weave coalitions while she has the support of chamars, so is the Peace Party banking on the community of Muslim weavers as its base vote. Other backward caste Muslims may drift towards the Samajwadi Party leaving a handful of Aashraf (upper caste Muslims) wondering what to do.
It is in such circumstances that Digvijay Singh with his consistent anti-communalism should be profitably supported by the Congress. Mani Shankar Aiyar is another Congressman who would have credit among Muslims provided, of course, that he has respite from TV chat shows. Do you know who is the most popular public figure among newspaper reading Muslims? Justice Markandey Katju! Remember, the undisputed leader of Indian Muslims until his death in 1964 was Jawaharlal Nehru.
The other day, President Pratibha Patil gave her ascent to the gau-vansh vadh Pratshedh (sansodhan) authored by the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The anti cow slaughter Bill gives inclusive powers to investigating agencies and provides for seven years jail sentences as compared with six month in Maharashtra. There is no restriction on cow slaughter in Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar and all the North Eastern states.
In 2002, the Gandhian scholar Dharampal (at the instance of the NDA) researched the issue and traced the incremental increase in cow slaughter to the British requirement of beef for their troops.
Digvijay Singh may like to obtain a copy of Dharampal’s book which has on its cover the note in Queen Victoria’s hand written to Viceroy, Lord Lansdowne in 1893.
“Though the Mohammadans cow-killing is made the pretext of agitation, it is in fact directed against us, who kill far more cows for our army…..”
(Saeed Naqvi is senior Indian journalist, television commentator, interviewer, and a Distinguished Fellow at Observer Research Foundation. Mr. Naqvi is also a mentor and a guest blogger with Canary Trap)