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Mainstream, VOL 62 No 5 February 3, 2024

Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, Feb 3, 2024

Saturday 3 February 2024


Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, February 3, 2024

Multiple fronts are targetted simultaneously by the machines of the right-wing Narendra Modi Govt and its auxiliaries in society on a 24/7 basis. The 2024 National election campaign by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for a third term for the Modi Government, is in full swing; The Hindutva project for a Ram temple in Ayodhya has mostly achieved its goal —it was inaugurated on 22 January with the Prime Minister leading the show clearly to reap political benefits and now the Hindutva formations are going aggressively after other mosques on their target in Mathura, Kashi and elsewhere. The courts are being worked upon for this; Secular activists in civil society and opposition political parties are being targeted to demobilise the opposition, just before national elections. A series of events in the past 10 days gives a sense of the wide-ranging action to go after opponents and make capital from a socially divisive agenda. Suranya Aiyar a gutsy Delhi-based woman had announced her three-day Gandhian fast against the building of the politically driven Ram Temple on the ruins of the Babri Mosque. So now she has become a target of repeated threats by right-wing trolls, the uncles of the Resident Welfare Association (RWA) in a residential area of South Delhi. [1] [2]. A Fourth-year student of the federally funded National Institute of Technology in Calicut, Kerala, has been suspended for a whole year for protesting against the consecration of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. The Mughal era Gyanvyapi mosque in Varanasi has just been been ordered by a court to allow Hindu worship in the basement of the Mosque [3], [4] A 600 year old Mosque in Mehrauli in South Delhi has just been bulldozed and demolished by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) [5] The Home and Office of Harsh Mander a former bureaucrat and a prominent figure of India’s civil society was raided by the CBI —an investigation agency. “The ministry had said that Mander was regularly writing columns for newspapers such as The Indian Express, The Hindu, The Wire, the Hindustan Times, The Quint & Scroll.” [6], [7] Nitish Kumar, the Opposition leader from Bihar has left the INDIA alliance (opposition alliance) and suddenly joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) National Democratic Alliance (NDA) [8]. On 31st January the Enforcement Directorate, the central government’s investigative agency arrested Hemant Soren, the Chief Minister of Jharkhand state and a member of opposition INDIA alliance [9] Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra led by the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi came under attack in BJP ruled Assam state but has moved since and reached other areas. The Congress party must do all to mend fences with all opposition parties and strengthen the INDIA alliance. Only a united opposition can counter the juggernaut of the ruling BJP in the coming elections and provide some respite from the relentless assault on secular & democratic space in India society.

February 3, 2024 —HK

[2’Move out’ if still against Ram temple consecration: RWA to Mani Shankar Aiyar, daughter RWA president Kapil Kakar said that the residents have...

[3Varanasi court permits Hindu worship inside sealed basement of Gyanvapi mosque; masjid committee to appeal

[7CBI raids human rights defender Harsh Mander’s NGO, office and residence; no arrest made

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