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Pragya debate that has been silenced by the BJP
In My View

Pragya debate that has been silenced by the BJP

P.C. Punnen

P.C. Punnen

Pragya Thakur, a lady who defeated former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Digvijaya Singh and who is one of the accused in the Malegaon blast, has again made news. She said Nathuram Vinayak Godse, the killer of Mahatma Gandhi, is a Deshbakt or patriot. Rahul Gandhi has said in parliament that it reflects the heart and soul of the saffron party and the RSS. That could be true. A debate on her unnecessary remark has boiled down to a mass discussion on the role played by our leaders in what can be called our freedom struggle at a time when the BJP is finding that its attempts to win the elections and its way of winning the call to form a government has failed; Amit Shah has ended up with egg on his face. Pragya has had to apologise in parliament on Friday. She said she respects Mahatma Gandhi’s contribution to the nation and claimed that her remarks were twisted.

Nobody takes her apology seriously. She will say the same thing again. There is no way of silencing her opinion. The prime minister had disapproved her remarks earlier and warned her of action against her. Now she has been barred from the position she was given as a member of the defense committee.

The issue is what role the party led by Mahatma Gandhi and others played till 1947 when the country was divided into two; India and Pakistan, and the role of the communists and the RSS and the British. The BJP's Vajpayee's role has been reported; I have commented on it quoting Subramanian Swamy's words on it. The role by all four is not laudable; all four have adopted double standards. The British for example, decided to leave India by 1948 and Mountbatten had to meet the target set by British prime minister Clement Atlee. The Congress contrary to Mahatma Gandhi's will, decided to back Jinnah's demand for a separate nation for Muslims. The Communists supported Jinnah. The Congress later did the same and the RSS did not participate in any freedom movement but backed the British and opposed Jinnah. The British was in dire straits after the world war, and they had to quit. That is what now we call the freedom struggle resulted in.

Gandhi and Nehru were poles apart, as far as governing the country was concerned. Nehru appointed Dr. Ambedkar as his man to write the constitution.  Ambedkar and Gandhi never agreed on anything. Gandhi was on a hunger strike against the move to give Harijans reservation and he almost died. No wonder Gandhi abstained from India's Independence Day celebrations.

In this context the BJP, the Congress and the Communists are deliberately misrepresenting the facts. They praise for Gandhi, the murdered Gandhi. They lose no words for praising him and deliberately proceed in actions which are often against his idea.

The role of the Shiv Sena which had supported Nathuram Godse and for 30 years was an ally of the BJP now joining hands with the Congress and the NCP may appear strange to people . But that is what the Shiv Sena has done since its formation. First it was against the communists then it turned against south Indians, then against Muslims and north Indians and later sided with the BJP all for power and pelf. Now they are with the Congress and for secularism. The aim is power, something that no politician can abandon. They may have to adopt stands which may seem to be quite different from their stand last week. In this game the BJP, the Congress, the Communists are all the same. Today they might say something bizarre to the masses and they would defend their policy with words that ordinary people won't understand.

The same thing can be said about parties like Muslim League, Kerala Congress and Telugu Desam and Nitish Kumar’s JDU. The least said the better about them. In today’s politics there is no saying which way Nitish Kumar will go when the situation demands. He may tie up with Laloo Prasad as he has done before and the Congress will play second fiddle to it. Ditto can be said about other political parties especially Mayawati's BSP. In short, a few MLA's posts or MP's posts are what matter, nothing else. We, the voters are fools. But fools too understand politics.

The game or joke will continue. There will be more Pragyas and there will be more pontifications or political ambitions of people.  But what will happen to the BJP and the Congress. Next elections will show. Chattisgarh elections are due shortly. In West Bengal, the BJP was routed by Mamata Bannerjee's Trinamool Congress.

The political games that parties play are truly intriguing.