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Mainstream, VOL LVII No 38 New Delhi September 7, 2019

Majoritarian Politics will Doom Democracy in India

Saturday 7 September 2019

by Mustafa Khan

To protect democracy in India it is necessary to prepare for a long drawn out war of which the context of 2019 election in West Bengal is an example of a battle only. However the NCP leader got a wrong import of it as if it requires martial training and military preparation as the RSS did in the tribal invasion in Kashmir in 1948. Sharad Pawar also wants training cadres like the RSS to fight elections. Wielding batons and practicing guns as it was the instance in BJP leader Narendra Mehta’s school in Navghar, Mira Road, Thane is trifling.1 This is good for civil war. But we are still far from one. Instead of entering the house of the enemy and punishing him there we entered Kashmir and attacked a place which we proudly claim our own land.

Instead of the Indian Army the RSS cadets wanted to fight it out against the tribal invasion from across the border. Fools rush where angels fear to tread. The consequent mobilisation of the Army in 2001 in the aftermath of the attack on Parliament was also like that as was with the more recent knee-jerk reaction to the Pulwama attack. We have blundered as did designated Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi who wanted to fight the election against President General Musharraf in 2001-02 in Gujarat by referring derogatively to Muslims of the State as “mia Musharraf”. As a consequence Musharraf took the matter of genocide of Muslims in Gujarat to the General Assembly of the UNO. It was foolhardy reminiscent of PM Jawaharlal Nehru taking the Kashmir dispute to the UNO.

A repeat of it is underway currently in West Bengal where elections are over but the BJP is continuing its battle against the Mamata Banerjee Government. The BJP protesters wanted to take the bodies of three supporters to Calcutta to repeat what Modi had done on February 28, 2002, allowing the ABVP to take the dead bodies of kar sevaks from Godhra to Ahmedabad to display the charred bodies and arouse communal hatred for the minority community and extract a bloody revenge, nothing short of a genocide of Muslims.

In a democracy all people are considered to be equal. This is a fact established by assertion and through practice. It is enshrined in the Constitution of the land. It cannot be abrogated by any swing in politics or election result.

The election result shows that Modi does not accord any equality to the people of West Bengal because he is a threat to the “independent India’s most precious facet: a functioning multi-party democracy”.2 He does not want to countenance the TMC Government. The violence in Gangarampur on June 8 is a deliberate violation of the rule that all parties should avoid victory processions. But the BJP is provoking unrest by organising such processions even after a fortnight of the declaration of results. The spectacular display of the water cannon on the unruly BJP protesters on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 will be remembered as a war memorial of a fierce battle to maintain law and order!

The unrelenting and still willfulness of the Governor and the PM’s intention to enforce Governor’s Rule and snatch power from the hands of the Chief Minister, reminds of other battles. It contrasts with PM Vajpayee’s intention to remove Modi during the Goa conclave of his party in 2002 but the PM and CM both showed impunity.

However what is happening in West Bengal is even worse: it is a conspiracy hatched to end democracy once for all and plant Hindu-Muslim divide of the already fractured reality of east West Bengal and Bangladesh. The RSS ideology is again at it as it was during the Great Divide of 1947.

But there is something that militates against it or, to put it in the words of Robert Frost, something that doesn’t like a wall (between neighbours). What was the bond of two neighbours Maqbool and Rubon on June 9th that powered the rickshaw driver to rush his Hindu neighbour who was writhing in advance labour pain that to the delivery of a healthy boy named Shanti? The quintessence of Moditva/Hindutva is to destroy this age-old rapport as they did in 2002, 2013 in Muzaffarnager, and now again in West Bengal.

Does India of RSS not see the need for a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well? 


2. The Guardian

Mustafa Khan, who resides in Malegaon (Maharashtra), has the following blog:

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