What happens when Donald trump makes hateful appeals to violence against the people who oppose his politics. A peaceful protester at the Tucson rally gets sucker punched by Tony Pettway. What happens when Mohan Bhagwat vows to teach the young people of this country, to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’. Angry and drunk Hindu youth in a Delhi park beat up three Muslim students, for not saying “Jai Mata ki”.
The incident in Delhi is a direct outcome of the hateful and communal statements issued by the BJP, one after the other. Earlier, four Kashmiri students in Mewar University were arrested on charges of eating beef in their hostel rooms! What’s more, they were shamed by a mob of angry protesters and arrested on the campus premises, for allegations which were eventually found to be false. This is not even the first such incident of mob-shaming. Dadri is a glaring example of how people are being instigated into disturbing communal acts of violence and hate.
The latest, in a long list of BJP’s accomplishments is its youth wing ABVP, who beat up members of the rival political parties in Karnataka. Two functionaries of the All-India Students’ Federation (AISF) and the All-India Youth Federation (AIYF) were distributing pamphlets on the “saffronisation of education”, when they were beaten up by around 80 Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) members in Tumakuru. While silencing political opponents with violence is not new, the use of nationalism to silence opposition is. The use of communal profiling as a weapon against political opposition, is BJP’s genius. Rohith Vemula was alleged with conducting ‘Anti-national’ activities, when he was sitting on a hunger strike to protest the administration’s decision to cut him off from his scholarship. The JNU students raising slogans for “Azaadi against poverty” were arrested for chanting “anti-national” slogans. Now with the students raising awareness against saffronisation of education; it was alleged by their attackers that they had chanted slogans of “Pakistan Zindabad”!
In an interview to a journalist, Smriti Irani explained how BJP was tolerant with the following example. She explained how, even Amir Khan, who despite being so openly vocal against the government, was the face of the official tourism campaign. The ever-so-tolerant minister forgot, that every khan in this country has a constitutional right to lead an official campaign. This is not a sign of tolerance, which requires acting contrary to conviction. Unless, the BJP actually believes, that Khan does not have the right to represent an official ad campaign because he, like the others have been “anti-national” for expressing views contrary to the BJP’s.