Rahul Gandhi was in the heat of the moment when he was slamming BJP in his Madhya Pradesh rally. He charged the opposition party of being communal and starting fire across the country.
Of late he had been relying on the emotional stories of his family to bring the public to tears hoping them to convert into votes. But Thursday was different. In Indore, he raised the issue of education, hunger and women safety.
Although he did not delve deeper in the issues and neither did he provide some solid solution, but his effort was nonetheless laudable.
But the desperation which wanted to draw the people closer to him for votes, once again, made him issue nonsensical statements.
He was accusing the ruling BJP in the state of engineering riots in Muzaffarnagar of Uttar Pradesh. Delivering the same lines which he said earlier in his Churu and Alwar rallies, he claimed that the BJP was the most communal party which will start fire across the nation if it comes to power.
In that heat of the moment he claimed that Pakistani intelligence agencies have approached young Muslim men who lost members of their families in Muzaffarnagar riots.
“There are 10 to 15 such Mussalman boys whose brothers and sisters were killed in the riots and who were approached by Pakistani agencies,” he said. “The victims wish to go to Pakistan now,” he further added.
The ease with which he said these two sentences hurt the Muslims in the country. It was not only an irresponsible statement, it also showed his low political acumen. Moreover, the dangerous consequences of these statement may include fires across the country which he was accusing BJP of engineering earlier in his speech.
However, it became crystal clear that he was using Muslims of Muzaffarnagar as his vote plank.
Also, if he was aware of such a situation in place, what was he doing in order to stop this? The fact that his government is at center makes him more responsible.
Meanwhile, he drew the obvious ire of Muslim community. Muslim clerics termed his statements “most unfortunate”. Maulana Saif Abbas Naqvi, a prominent Shia cleric, said such statements not only painted the Muslim community in bad light but also strengthened the communal forces.
He said these were a “grave insinuation” on millions of peace loving and patriotic Muslims in the country. He also alleged that instead of understanding the plight and pain of the riot victims, the Gandhi scion was playing politics with the communal riots and the victims.
Rahul also mentioned an alleged WikiLeaks revelation about a US diplomat who had claimed that a senior BJP leader had told him that “Hindu nationalism” was an opportunistic slogan raised during elections, only to forgotten later. Though, did not mention any names.
Last time we checked, Rahul Gandhi himself was a part of those WikiLeaks wires where he had indulged himself in a casual conversation at a luncheon hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He had said, “Although there was evidence of some support for Laskar-e-Taiba among certain elements in India’s indigenous Muslim community, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community.”
Since it has become a trademark of his now to speak about personal matters, he also mentioned his relation with his father. “He was my hero,” Rahul said of his father Rajiv Gandhi, describing how he watched him get up early and fight his battles daily. “He became PM at 40… he was my hero, like everyone else’s.”
But it is worth mentioning that it was his father who had supported the communal clashes between Sikhs and Hindus after Indira Gandhi’s assassination while in PM office saying that “trees will fall if Earth shakes”.
Rather than accusing BJP or any other part of being communal, it will be better if Rahul checks his own party’s standards and stances. Going by the recent developments in his party and government, the fingers point more towards them when it comes to being communal than towards BJP.
Whether it be visiting the same Muzaffarnagar he used as poll plank, prime minister’s quite biased NIC speech, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s special orders to chief ministers, or his mother Sonia Gandhi’s project Communal Violence and Targeted Violence Bill drafted by NAC, it all indicates that his party is opportunistically communal.
Since the Indian public is not so dumb as he thinks (or he is), we wish to tell Rahul, let’s cut the nonsense. We do not want to hear it anymore. Next you come to speak, please come with real issues.