The ‘Economist’ had spoken! On grounds of ‘sectarian hatred’, the ‘Economist’ had endorsed Mr. Rahul Gandhi. The endorsement is riddled with logical inconsistencies. First, the magazine provides no proof of Modi’s speeches in the 1990s. Even if he did, does it matter now? Second, on what grounds, does a track record of 12-years of riot-free administration command a lower weight than the riot of 2002? If he was responsible for that, he is responsible for 12-years of riot-free administration too.
Second, as for administration response, the proof has been furnished for all to see. The Gujarat Government responded faster than other governments have done before and after. Army was deployed quite promptly and neighbouring Congress-ruled States refused help, when requested. Both Hindus and Muslims were casualties of the riots – of course, more Muslims died. Recently, the Supreme Court praised the progress made on the Gujarat riot cases.
Not wearing the skull-cap and not attending Iftaar parties are not so much affronts to Muslims as failure to lift their economic conditions are. Modi has done the latter while other so-called secular parties have done the former while keeping Muslims ghettoised, poor, illiterate and jobless.
Educational and job reservations for minorities, and a proposed legislation (‘Communal Violence’ Bill) that pre-assigns blame to the majority community and pre-supposes wrong conduct on its part are examples of Sectarian politics.
As R. Jagannathan has asked of Ms. Sonia Gandhi in his latest article, isn’t her appeal for Muslims to vote en bloc a sectarian appeal? Does it not foment communal divisions and bitterness?
He has rightly posed a question in the end:
If an appeal to Muslims to consolidate their vote is secular, would a similar appeal to Hindus be communal? [Link]
As the interviewer (ET NOW) of Dr. Arun Shourie mentioned, if BJP got more than 220 seats, it would be a secular party for other political parties! [Link]. Such is the level of commitment to and concern for ‘secularism’ in Indian politics.
India’s secularism is ‘minority’ism – pure and simple – practised to the detriment of the minorities themselves!
In the final analysis, for many of the sceptics and opponents of Modi, it boils down to this:
Somehow, they have persuaded themselves to believe that Modi’s 12-years of governance in Gujarat is a fantastic theatre – a master-act of a charlatan. He has very cleverly hidden his tiger’s paws and would unsheath them, as soon as he came to office, engulfing India and the neighbourhood in an orgy of sectarian and communal violence and bloodshed.
It is difficult to argue against the arrogance of prejudice.
To endorse the Congress Party – after they had left the country in shambles in so many ways and for which India will pay a price for a long time to come – tantamounts to ‘cursing’ India and condemning India to eternal economic, political and social stagnation.
To ask the BJP to consider somebody else for Prime Ministership, as ‘Economist’ had done, when the party had officially announced that Mr. Modi will be their Prime Minister if they form the government is not just mischievous but also malevolent.