Today's India worried over rupee, graft, rape, food bill, not Ayodhya

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Updated: Monday, August 26, 2013, 16:51 [IST]
 

The politicians of this country always find their priorities misplaced. The communal rally called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Ayodhya on Sunday and the state government's 'committed' efforts to stop it served the nation little. Yet, the Parliament was rocked by the uproar over the confrontation, which many believed to be a staged one, to reap political harvests.

How does it matter for India, whether the saffron camp successfully finished the rally or whether the pro-minority forces halted it? Putting it simply, the saffron brigade may help the BJP gain some more seats in UP by polarising voters, but from a nationalist perspective, this is going to harm the party more. The BJP can't talk about pro-development and pro-communal politics at the same time.

Through the Ayodhya face-off, the BJP and Samajwadi Party (SP) have aimed to defeat the common enemy called the Congress. One is aiming for the Hindu votes while another is looking for the minority ones, leaving rivals like the Congress and BSP without any share.

But the saffron brigade hasn't achieved much so far apart from getting a media coverage and making statements that the Ram temple will surely be in place. The SP, on the other hand, might gain more than the saffron followers and undo his error of allying with former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh.

Why is the BJP taking an unnecessary risk? It could not have a better opportunity to aim at the throne in New Delhi, given the pathetic state of affairs that the country is witnessing in public life, whether be it corruption, women's safety or corruption. Each of these issues are having a gross impact on the common man of the country, particularly the youth who are staring at the future with a sense of despair. In the India of 2013, a common Indian is more concerned, say for instance, with the safety of herself or his female family members and friends on the roads than whether a temple replaces a mosque in North India.

In New Delhi

Samajwadi Party Chief Mulyam Singh Yadav speaks in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Monday during ongoing monsoon session.

In New Delhi

BJP member Yogi Adityanath speaks in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Monday during ongoing monsoon session.

In Ayodhya

Women look through the window of their house as VHP activists scuffle with policemen before getting detained in Ayodhya on Sunday.

In Ayodhya

RAF jawans stand outside a Hindu temple in Ayodhya as the State Government launched a massive crackdown against those planning to join the ‘Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama' in Ayodhya on Sunday.

In Ayodhya

A RAF jawan with a tear gas launcher keeps vigil as the State Government launched a massive crackdown against those planning to join the ‘Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama' in Ayodhya on Sunday.

 

 

VHP leader Praveen Togadia was taken into custody

VHP leader Praveen Togadia was taken into custody from Gola ghat in Ayodhya on Sunday as the State Government launched a massive crackdown against those planning to join the ‘Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama' in Ayodhya.

VHP leaders and sadhus was taken into custody

VHP leaders and sadhus was taken into custody from Gola ghat in Ayodhya on Sunday as the State Government launched a massive crackdown against those planning to join the ‘Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama' in Ayodhya.

In Lucknow

VHP Chief Ashok Singhal was taken into custody at Lucknow Airport on Sunday as the State Government launched a massive crackdown against those planning to join the ‘Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama' in Ayodhya.

VHP Chief Ashok Singhal was taken into custody

VHP Chief Ashok Singhal was taken into custody at Lucknow Airport on Sunday as the State Government launched a massive crackdown against those planning to join the ‘Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama' in Ayodhya.

In Ayodhya

A sadhu is standing with security personnel on guard in Ayodhya.

In Allahabad

Police arrest Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists who were participating in a campaign rally for their upcoming '84 Kosi Yatra' programme of Ayodhya, in Allahabad.

In Ayodhya

Sadhus walking at a platform at the Ayodhya Railway Station.

In Ayodhya

Sadhus at a tea stall near Saryu Ghat in Ayodhya.

In Ayodhya

Security personnel patrol a street in Ayodhya on Friday.

In Ayodhya

Security personnel patrol a street in Ayodhya on Friday.

In Ayodhya

Army during flag march ahead of VHP's Parikrama in Ayodhya.

There is no reason to feel elated by the fact that the 2013 Yatra (or its failure) will repeat what had happened in the 1990s, despite the presence of a much powerful electronic media now. In the 1990s, the Hindutva was something untested as a pan-Indian political movement and hence had a lot to offer. Like the Emergency in the previous decade, cultural nationalism was a new weapon in the 1980s and 1990s to counter the strong base of the 'secular' Congress and it had delivered on the expected lines.

From just two MPs, the BJP emerged to taste power for the first time in 1996 and led a government for the full tenure in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It had seen a transformation from an aggressive opposition party into a responsible and inclusive ruling party and the process is irreversible. Does its saffron affiliates understand the importance?

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley remarked on Sunday that Narendra Modi, the BJP's chief of the poll campaign committee for 2014, should be made the prime ministerial candidate and take on the UPA government. Jaitley, known to be close to Modi, might be trying to remain in the latter's good books, but his remark has raised a basic question about the BJP's apparent vagueness.

In the 1990s, the BJP had two faces, Vajpayee and Advani, and it had successfully played the cards as per the situation. Today, all its hopes lie on Modi, no matter what the general perception is, and a slight mistake could jeopardise all the hard work that the leader has put in over the last decade or so to improve his image and make a smooth entry into the national politics.

If Modi is speaking about his Gujarat model at various public programmes and asking the Centre to learn from it thereby trying to leave a positive impact in people's mind, then why is the BJP eyeing to make narrow gains in the UP by playing the polarisation card and that too in a game which has largely got outdated?

India doesn't care about Project Hindutva and neither can India be ruled by provocative measures. The principal opposition party must concentrate on issues like economic slowdown, food security bill, corruption and crime against women in the Parliament. After all, these are the real stories that will affect the nation and its people over a long term and need to be fixed.

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