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Who harvested whose hate in Gujarat?

Who harvested whose hate in Gujarat?

Author: S Gurumurthy
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: December 23, 2002

The Gujarat election result has hit the 'seculars' like a thunderbolt. They are howling 'harvest of the hate', 'Moditva at work' 'pogrom on minorities' and so on. Days before the Gujarat elections, the secular media had virtually written off the BJP. But the results were an electric shock. It demonstrated not just the rift between the 'seculars' and the Hindus but also that the seculars were blind to a rising tornado of Hindu reaction -not against the Muslims, but the seculars themselves.

The Hindus saw secular parties, the media and intellectuals work in tandem. They saw this triumvirate even egg on a constitutional authority like the Election Commission to side-step laws to advance the cause of 'secularism'. They saw a clear contrast in the EC's conduct. For instance holding elections in Kashmir amid gunfire but refusing to conduct elections in Gujarat on flimsy grounds It virtually scrapped the 3 lakh displaced Kashmiri Pandits' right to vote. On the other hand, the same EC deferred elections in Gujarat citing that a few thousand Muslims were not at their usual address to vote. The EC banned the VHP yatra, prohibited reference to Godhra and singled out Modi's speeches for monitoring. They saw the media enjoy and support every word and action of the EC. The Hindu mind was silently watching all this.

During campaigning, the Hindus did not hear BJP even utter the word Hindutva during the campaign. But they saw the Congress engage in duplicity. They read their Gujarati manifesto espousing 'soft' Hindutva with the English version reading just opposite. They saw Sonia starting her campaign at Ambaji temple, but accusing the BJP of using religion. They saw the Congress party asking its Muslims leaders not to campaign in Gujarat, Muslim visitors to the party office not to wear their identity cap. They also saw two hundred saffron- clad Sadhus and sants abuse the BJP as an anti-Hindu party. They saw the media approve and encourage the duplicity. They read the media write ad nauseum: "Not a single Muslim will vote for the BJP" or that "KHAM (meaning 'Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim) combination will work". They read the secular logic, which proceeded thus: That Muslims as a vote bank is not just acceptable but imperative to protect secularism; that different castes being persuaded to vote on caste lines is necessary to save secularism; but Hindus voting as such even on what the whole world perceives as Islamic terrorism is anti-secular and communal. Therefore, to appeal to Hindus to unite to save the nation from 'Islamic terror' is communal, but to appeal to Muslims to defeat a party fighting Islamic terror is secular; to recall and observe annual shraadh for the Babri structure is a secular duty but to recall the roasting of over 50 Ramsewaks in the first election held after one of the greatest human tragedies is not just anti-secular, but against the laws.

They also saw the secularists cultivate a dangerous view among minorities. That is, only those insensitive to majority sentiments are secular; that merely being appreciative of the minority sentiments is not secular enough. The Hindus clearly saw the double standards of the seculars and their dangerous logic. Also, the point of agenda of the seculars: to secure BJP's defeat at any cost. The Gujarat electorate have pointedly rejected this Hindu-hate politics of the seculars. If secularism means consolidating Muslims as ballot papers and splitting the Hindus on caste lines, they thought it was their national duty to resist such pernicious deconstruction of India. This is precisely what the Gujarat voters have done. They have performed a national duty. Decades back, Gandhiji showed the way when he staked his life to resist the British attempt to sever the Harijans from the Hindu society. Then, who harvested whose hate in Gujarat? Did Modi harvest the hate the seculars created? Or did the seculars harvest the hate they themselves created?

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