The Election Commission of India has registered a criminal case against Varun Gandhi, the son of sitting Pilibhit MP Meneka Gandhi and late Sanjay Gandhi, for his anti-Muslim speech in an election rally, but this new and the front runner of BJP’s youth brigade with his outrageous remarks only characterize a new age of communal campaign.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has so far distanced itself from Varun Gandhi’s comment, though it is yet to confirm any action against the Gandhi scion. The party high command rather went to believe more on Varun’s statement that the videotape was doctored, as party leader Venkaiah Naidu said that he would like to find out what exactly the Gandhi said.
BJP’s Muslim representatives like Shahnawaz Hussain and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi have criticised the inflammatory speech delivered by their own party leader and expected party leadership to take strong action. However, there is yet to come a strong condemnation from any of the top party leaders, neither from the national president Rajnath Singh nor the Prime Ministerial candidate LK Advani.
The anti-Muslim remark, which was aired on almost all television news channels, shocked the whole nation as it came from the mouth of someone who carries the principles of Nehru-Gandhi family. Comments such as: ‘all Muslims should be sent to Pakistan’ are completely out of the mark, and no way should be tolerated in order to maintain “harmony and unity” in a democratic secular nation.
Vote-bank, identity politics and communal polarisation are not new in Indian politics but the laws of the land never permit anyone to create mutual hatred between different castes and communities. Political campaign against any individual is acceptable to some extent that to of no attack on private life, but such denigration of an entire community is utterly flammable.
BJP’s statement that law would take its own course isn’t enough; the party should come out against the speech candidly. And to the election commission there seems a clear case under the Indian Penal Code and the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Time has come to take stern action against such act that is undignified and provocative in all nature. This would be an example for our young leadership in the years to come.
s sandhuMarch 19, 2009 at 12:00 AM