Monday, February 22, 2016

BJP making nationalism into "cuss word", just as Cong reduced secularism to sickularism: Top Modi supporter

By Our Representative
Has a section of India’s right wing begun losing confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the events that followed the arrest of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students’ union president Kanhiya Kumar on February 12? It would seem so, if one believes in what the top boss of a well-known right-wing e-magazine has to say.
R Jagannathan, editorial director of “Swarjya”, one of the country’s most well-known openly right-wing e-journals, and a top ideologue known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has said how excessive dose of nationalism is already harming him and the BJP.
Following the ideals of C Rajagoplachari (Rajaji), India’s last Governor-General, freedom fighter and statesman, “Swarajya” claims to champion “individual liberty, private enterprise, the minimal state and cultural rootedness.”
Jagannathan tweeted, “The BJP should avoid making nationalism a cuss word the way Congress reduced secularism to sickularism”, adding, however, this is what is happening right now following the events that have followed the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader.
"In a Hindu-majority country, the BJP is seen as a nationalist party by default. It should not blow it by thumping its chest too often and reducing nationalism to the proverbial stick to beat opponents with", Jagannathan warned in an article in his e-magazine.
He conceded, evidence has surfaced suggesting the video showing Kumar raising anti-national slogans, for which he was arrested, may be “doctored”, advising BJP to make a “quick retreat from its hyper-national positioning on this issue.”
Asking the Modi government to immediately “drop the sedition case against the jailed President of the JNU Students Union”, the top commentator noted, the BJP rulers have “already made him (Kumar) a hero, and there is no need for courting further ignominy in the matter.”
“The audio of that event was spliced into another video showing Kumar raising slogans against Brahminism, casteism, feudalism, capitalism and the RSS. This is the usual political nonsense peddled by JNU’s students and hardly seditious. You can find any number of Sanghis talking equal nonsense on the other side”, the right-wing ideologue said.
Jagannathan noted, “The BJP should know that nationalism is not a card to be played every other day. It needs to understand that wrapping itself in the flag is no different from Muslims rallying to every cry of Islam in danger. Crying wolf repeatedly means that when nationalism actually comes under attack, the people will not respond.” 
Especially criticizing Union human resource development minister Smriti Irani asking Central universities to hoist a national flag at heights of 207 feet, Jagannathan said, “The attempt to call too many people as anti-national is counter-productive.
The BJP should learn a lesson from the Congress, the Left and the regional parties, which have completely debased the idea of secularism.”
“In the Indian context, the word is used as a cover for ratcheting up minority communalism, even while lumping only Sangh activities in the communal category”, Jagannathan said.
He added, “If today secularism is the first resort of the political scoundrel keen on consolidating the minority vote bank by repeated scare-mongering, the BJP should be equally careful not to let nationalism sink in the same swamp of murky politics.”

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