Dangerous Provocation by Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam (March 17, 2015)
Subramanian Swamy takes the prize for being the most irresponsible political leader hands down. However, his latest provocation is a little too brazen and malignant even from his own standards.
This unsavroury character attacked Muslims in Guwahati late last week by declaring, “a mosque is not a religious place but is merely a building that can be demolished any time”. God lives in a temple, not in a mosque, he explained.
Assamese Muslims and Muslims all over India worry that it could be a prelude to future Mosque demolition programme of the Sangh on the model of Babri Masjid demolition. Others feel this provocation could be an attempt to polarise Assam on religious lines in preparation for state elections in the not so distant future.
Swami claimed that he got the information from “people of Saudi Arabia” and he was prepared for a debate if anyone disagreed with him. His communal posturing led to a rash of protests all over the state and demands of a ban on his entry into Assam.
Police registered an FIR against him under IPC sections 120 (B) [criminal conspiracy] and 153 (A) [promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion] on a complaint by Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS).
The intensity of widespread protests was unusual. Annoyed by Swamy’s mischief Chief Minister Tarun Gagoi said, “BJP will have to pay a heavy price for hurting Assamese sentiments”.
Startled by strong condemnation from different quarters, Assam BJP tried to distance itself from Swamy. The state president of the party, Siddhartha Bhattacharya said it was Swamy’s personal opinion and did not reflect the party’s position.
Experts at speaking with a forked tongue, BJP leaders did not think twice before inviting Swamy to the important Central Executive Committee meeting early next month. Swamy is not a member of the Executive Committee. He is an invitee, which shows how serious is the party about distancing itself from this man.
In a nutshell, we have not seen the last of Sangh provocation and should be prepared for more in days ahead.