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HVK Archives: BJP is against Hindus too: Jyoti Basu

BJP is against Hindus too: Jyoti Basu - The Observer

Sankar Ray ()
February 19, 1998

Title: BJP is against Hindus too: Jyoti Basu
Author: Sankar Ray
Publication: The Observer
Date: February 19, 1998

West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu in his first election
campaign meeting in Murshidabad district here on Wednesday
branded the Bharatiya Janata Party as "basically against the
Hindus too, not Muslims only." The party talks of Hindutva, but
work against Hinduism, he said.

In a 20-minute speech to 40,000 strong gathering, the 84-year-old
politburo member recalled his experience of strong criticism of
the eroding basis of Indian polity. "I met different leaders,
academicians and statesmen in South Africa and the UK. They
grudgingly said that we in India could do nothing when the 500-
year-old Babri Masjid was de. molished," he said expressing
concern over the downslide of Indian secular tradition."

To drive his point home, Mr Basu said that Hinduism never taught
people to practice religion by destroying other religious faith.
The nation, he felt, is facing a crucial turning point and if the
BJP comes to power, India will be facing another vivisection.

Mr Basu took on the Congress for drifting from the tradition it
built by fighting against the British colonialism and felt sad
about its present plight. "This Congress is different from the
Congress that waged a battle against the British colonialism.
Time was when many people sacrificed their lives, went to the
gallows and many households were ruined in that freedom

The party is enmeshed in corruption. "Some of Its former
Ministers were in jail for corruption. Some are on ball. The
party is breaking up and this is regrettable."

Reiterating the role of Congress in forcing the midterm poll, Mr
Basu stated that its leadership had no solid reasons to withdraw
support from the United Front Government that the Congress
supported unconditionally from outside. "A final judgement on the
assassination of Rajiv Gandhi proclaimed death sentence to 26
persons, an unprecedented verdict. None of them belongs to the
DMK. But the Congress didn't have the patience to wait and
withdrew support from the UP Government.

The CPI(M) leader blamed the dual nature of secularism of the
Congress. "We have always appealed to the Congress to fight
against communalism but in vain. Two days before the demolition
of Babri Masjid I phoned up the then prime minister P.V.
Narasimha Rao to tell him that the Kar Sevaks would assemble in
Ayodhya not to sing devotional songs but to demolish the shrine."

He warned about further weakening of the Congress. "There are
many communal elements in the Congress and those that joined the
Trinamul Congress are objectively communal elements."

The veteran Communist leader lambasted the Congress leader for
slavish attitude in wooing Ms Sonia Gandhi. Now the Congress
leader sack to save themselves by failing on the feet of a
housewife. I know her and her family members, for quite a long
time. But what does she know of politics." The Congress leaders
are not only with Sonia but her son too. Mr Basu later asked the
people to rally behind the United Front saying that it alone
could tackle the situation.

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