Upper-caste liberals must understand that the Bharatiya Janata Party has won continuously since 2002 on the politics of hate, Hartosh Singh Bal, political editor of Caravan the magazine said on Saturday.
“For 20 years it’s been the same winning pattern and it’s a challenge to the idea of India. It is a failure of the wider left to include many more in its ranks,” he told the Press during a speech at an event organized by Janhastakshep, a campaign against fascist designs. National Capital Club.
“Take a look at what the BJP has done in Uttar Pradesh. They appointed a Muslim Pasmanda (Danish Azad Ansari) as the sole cabinet minister Yogi Adityanath. They appoint several Pasmanda Muslims to state Waqf councils. Who was stopping the Liberals from being inclusive? If we don’t recognize that, we can’t challenge them,” Bal pointed out.
The BJP had not fielded a single Muslim candidate in the UP Assembly polls.
The Janhastakshep event was organized against the rise of the culture of hate in the country and the way the promotion of a “culture of hate” in daily life by the Sangh Parivar, headed by found Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, sanctified her.
From Modi’s victory in 2002 in Gujarat to Yogi’s victory in 2022 in Uttar Pradesh, everything was based on Hindu majoritarianism and hatred of Muslims. The BJP has a strong and unbreakable vote bank in northern Vindhyas, which includes the upper castes, including Brahmins and Baniyas.
“For most of these upper castes, it is obvious that Congress has not taken up the challenge. The Aam Aadmi party is not a challenge for the BJP. The hate-based consolidation of upper castes is well thought out and directed towards building a new untouchable class – Muslims,” Bal said.
With the rise of the Bahujan Samaj party of Kanshi Ram, the Bahujans had a party, the Samajwadi party represented Yadavs and a few other OBCs, so it was obvious that the upper caste vote bank would go to the BJP.
The BJP is working towards the permanent untouchability of Muslims, Bal pointed out, and stressed that ‘Hindu Rashtra’ cannot exist without the creation of this class. “The dissidents of this project are Punjab, West Bengal, where there are 30% Muslims; Tamil Nadu, which has strong cultural roots, and Kerala,” Bal said.
He said we have to understand that the numbers are with the BJP. The population of Uttar Pradesh is growing rapidly and it is their growing voter base. Bal observed that this was disturbing.
Former Delhi University professor Shamsul Islam said the Hindutva project aims to make Muslims the new Shudras. “Muslims are hardly represented anywhere, yet hatred against them is growing,” he said.
He pointed out that it must be understood that the RSS is also against Hindus, not only against Muslims and Christians, who are in the minority anyway. “RSS is against the fight for equality. When the Constitution was passed, the RSS reiterated that they want Manusmriti, which is against most Hindus and women,” Islam added.
Instead of realizing this, Islam claims, Muslim leaders are getting sucked into the dialogue about the hijab. “We are now fighting cases claiming that the hijab is an integral part of Islam. We are playing RSS game. We have to fight the disease and not just the symptoms,” Islam said.
Pointing out the use of violence in a decentralized manner, publisher and co-founder of the news site ThreadSiddharth Varadarajan said the BJP realized that the usefulness and consequences of large-scale riots were limited.
“However, the cumulative impact of lynching, hatred and creating doubts about each other has a much greater effect,” he said.
Underscoring this point, author and activist Sanjay Kak said the justification for the murder and dispossession of Muslims is being worked on and the film the Kashmir Files help this project.
The erasure of Muslims from everyday life as a policy is ongoing. “They are trying several things – love jihad, hijab issue, conversion, land jihad, triple talaq, Babri Masjid verdict. They are bleeding Muslims with several small cuts. They try to normalize a lot of things,” Varadarajan said.
The politics of violence is growing in the country and the media has played a role in maintaining this cycle. “The newsrooms where the majority of upper castes are employed do what they actually believe in. They have always embraced the BJP and they want to do so. So, when you see newsrooms openly supporting the BJP, there is nothing to be surprised about,” Bal pointed out.