The BJP government has wasted this unprecedented mandate by doing nothing to liberate the country from the slavery of pseudo-secularism
Though Ambrose Bierce cynically defined ‘Politics’ as “the conduct of public affairs for private advantage”, only ‘politics’ can be the most effective instrument of bringing transformation in any democratic country.
After the tragedy at Pulwama in February 2019, nationalists were hoping that the government would abolish Article 370 and its offshoot Article 35A. However, their hopes were shattered
And to get political power just for the sake of power serves no purpose, and is self-destructive.
After toiling hard to give an absolute majority with 282 Lok Sabha seats to BJP in 2014, BJP’s traditional supporters had expected that BJP would implement its perpetual pre-election promises of “justice to all and appeasement of none”, Uniform Civil Code, abolition of Article 370, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Hindus in Kashmir etc. etc.
Moreover, it was expected that the BJP government would dismantle the Congress-led governments’ pseudo-secular edifice; and would liberate India from the poisonous weed of pseudo-secularism.
Though the term “secularism” actually implies equality before the law for all citizens irrespective of their religion, for self-proclaimed “secular” political parties in India, anything which is anti-Hindu or pro-minority is “secularism”.
Surprisingly, after getting power on the nationalist agenda in 2014, BJP has not fulfilled any of its above-mentioned pre-election commitments.
On the contrary, like a Congress clone, BJP government has continued (and expanded) Congress-led governments anti-Hindu, discriminatory, pseudo-secular and minority-appeasing laws and policies which are destroying Hindu civilization.
BJP government has not repealed or amended any existing law to stop discrimination against Hindus and to treat Hindus at par with other communities.
The mandate of 2014 was a mandate for transforming India. But as explained below, the BJP government has wasted this unprecedented mandate by doing nothing to liberate the country from the slavery of pseudo-secularism.
Since what is done after winning elections is more important than just winning elections, BJP’s non-fulfilment of its perpetual pre-election promises and its continuation of Congress-led governments’ discriminatory laws and policies has deeply disappointed and alienated many of its loyalists who feel betrayed.
Following brief points illustrate this fact:
- “Uniform Civil Code” is forsaken
Implementation of “Uniform Civil Code” has been the constant refrain of BJP since its inception in 1980, as also of its predecessor Bharatiya Jan Sangh since its inception in 1951.
And even B.J.P.’s Election Manifesto of 2014 had promised implementation of Uniform Civil Code with the following words: “BJP reiterates its stand to draft a Uniform Civil Code.”
Moreover, though Uniform Civil Code would make India a real secular country; though Supreme Court has suggested its enactment in a number of its judgements; and though Article 44 of Indian Constitution also wants the government to implement it, B.J.P. government just abandoned this concept.
- Article 370 and Kashmiri Hindus
Though BJP’s Election Manifesto promised abrogation of Article 370, and return of Kashmiri Hindus “to the land of their ancestors with full dignity”, BJP government has done nothing in this regard.
Rather, by compromising its stand on Article 370 for which the great nationalist Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherji sacrificed his life, BJP formed a coalition government with the separatist People’s Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir in March 2015. This coalition continued till June 2018.
Though this Article can be repealed easily by issuing the Presidential Notification under Clause (3) of Article 370 as per Cabinet Resolution which does not require any voting in Parliament or any Constitutional amendment, whatsoever, BJP government has taken no action in this regard.
After the tragedy at Pulwama in February 2019, nationalists were hoping that the government would abolish Article 370 and its offshoot Article 35A. However, their hopes were shattered.
many of BJP’s traditional supporters feel deeply disappointed and alienated. Their lack of enthusiasm for BJP is bound to influence the elections in 2019.
- Discrimination against Hindus
Though secularism means equality before law and non-discrimination on grounds of religion, Hindu religious and educational institutions and Hindu temples are subjected to government’s interference whereas minorities enjoy full freedom in this regard.
Discrimination against Hindus is fragmenting Hindu society. To escape this discrimination, some Hindu sects proclaim that they are not Hindu. While earlier, Ramakrishna Mission had claimed itself to be a non-Hindu minority, now some Lingayats in Karnataka want to be considered as non-Hindu.
In 2016, Dr Satya Pal Singh, BJP member of Lok Sabha from Baghpat had introduced his Bill Number 226 seeking amendment of Articles 15, and Articles 25 to 30 (of Indian Constitution) to extend the religious, educational and cultural rights stipulated therein to every community, whether majority or minority. This Bill wanted to treat Hindus at par with other communities without depriving minorities of their rights.
Shockingly, BJP government did not pass this Bill and allowed it to lapse thereby continuing the discrimination against Hindus in religious, educational and cultural matters.
- Expansion of minority-appeasement
Congress-led government constituted Sachar Committee and started the Ministry of Minority Affairs in 2006; and implemented Sachar Committee’s recommendations granting scholarships, financial incentives and special schemes only for minorities; and excluding Hindus from said benefits. While in opposition, BJP condemned these policies as communal, divisive and “appeasement” of Minorities.
Surprisingly, after getting power in 2014, the BJP government has continued and expanded these minority-centric policies and is allocating thousands of crores of rupees every year for minorities.
Some of the schemes run by BJP government exclusively for minorities are named in Hindi as Nai Manzil, “Padho Pradesh”, Shadi Shagun, “Naya Savera”, “Nai Udaan” etc. etc.
Besides, BJP government has expanded Multi-sectoral Development Plan for Minorities to 308 districts, naming it as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram.
These schemes divide the nation into majority and minority and violate the principles of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enshrined in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.
Though it requires just a Cabinet decision to help all deserving people irrespective of their religion and to abolish the Ministry of Minority Affairs and its policies, BJP government has continued Minority Affairs Ministry and has expanded its activities.
- Right to Education Act, 2009
“Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009” was passed by Congress-led government. This Act puts the government’s absolute control over Hindu-run schools while minority-run schools are exempt from this Act.
This Act requires Hindu-run schools to provide free education (with negligible compensation from the government) to at least 25 per cent students from weaker sections and to comply with many other rigid conditions.
Since minority-run schools are exempt from this Act, it has made the cost of Hindu-run schools prohibitive shutting down thousands of Hindu-run schools all over the country.
Though education is crucial for the survival of any civilization; and though this Act is destroying Hindu-run schools, BJP government has continued this Act, and has done nothing to ensure that all schools, whether run by the majority or by minority community, are either covered by this Act, or are free from this Act.
Words. Mere words
The right of ‘equality before the law’ for every citizen irrespective of his religion is the basic attribute of any ‘secular’ country.
With the BJP in command, it was expected that it would implement its perpetual promises of equal rights and same laws for all Indian citizens irrespective of their religion; and that there would be no discrimination against any citizen whether belonging to a majority or to a minority community. And there would be justice for all; and appeasement of none.
But BJP’s perpetual promises remained just words. Mere words.
Till the last day of last Lok Sabha session in February 2019, nationalists were expecting that BJP government would pass Dr Satyapal Singh’s Bill number 226 of 2016 to treat Hindus at par with other communities regarding religious, educational and cultural rights. But the BJP government did not oblige.
After the tragedy at Pulwama in February 2019, nationalists were fervently hoping every day till the day of announcement of General Elections to Lok Sabha in March 2019 that BJP government would delete Article 370, the root of all problems in Kashmir. But their hopes were belied.
But ultimately, it is the general public which fights elections and decides political parties’ fate. It is notable that after getting power in 2014, BJP has not fulfilled even one of its core pre-election promises like the implementation of the uniform civil code, justice for all and appeasement of none, abolition of Article 370 and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Hindus in Kashmir etc. etc. Besides, the BJP government has continued to implement Congress-led governments’ anti-Hindu, pseudo-secular and minority-appeasing laws and policies which while in opposition, BJP used to condemn. Because of these facts, many of BJP’s traditional supporters feel deeply disappointed and alienated. Their lack of enthusiasm for BJP is bound to influence the elections in 2019.
It is tragic that BJP forgot who had voted for it and for what in 2014. It is also tragic that BJP has frittered away the massive, glorious and precious mandate it got in 2014 to liberate the country from the slavery of pseudo-secularism.
And therefore, BJP may find it difficult to get a similar mandate in 2019.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.