November 20, 2009 Leave a comment

The recent rout of BJP in the election was dubbed as the fall of the communal agenda. But, contrary to the belief, Rajiv Gandhi was the one in 1986, who recognized the political potential of Hindutva, before Advani envisaged its gains.

In context of India the ‘other’ was located in Pakistan, during the Khalistan movement and the Assam separatist movement. Indira’s Congress held that Pakistani Government had perpetrated these subversive movements, who wished to avenge Bangladesh.

The two identities became antithesis when Babri Masjid was opened to Hindu sadhus for worship by Rajiv Gandhi in 1986. Until then the sadhus were only allowed to enter the Masjid premises, once in a year and worship in the temple that they called Ramjanmabhoomi.

Till 1987, Hindutva did not feature anywhere in BJP’s resolution or literature. After the assassination of Mahatama Gandhi, the parent party, Jana Sangh had further distanced itself from the ideology of the Hindu Mahasabha. It fought the 1984 general elections on its “Five Commitments” – “nationalism and national integration”, “democracy”, “positive secularism”, “Gandhian socialism” and “value-based politics”. The elections saw decimation of BJP, with the party struggling with only two seats in the Lok Sabha.

In the following years the BJP realized that the “Five Commitments” had dazed the political workers of BJP, the RSS cadres. At the same time it realized that Congress had been successful by the playing the Hindu Nationalist card. Therefore, in 1989 at its National Executive Committee meet at Palampur, BJP adopted the Babri Masjid issue as an election issue. BJP added 85 seats in its kitty in the 1989 elections.

When the ranks of Rahul Gandhi say something like had a Gandhi been active in 1992, Babri demolition wouldn’t have happened, it becomes important to remind that it is their activities which set the mood for the demolition.



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November 20, 2009 1 comment

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