Shadow Boxing by Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam (JUNE 14, 2013)


Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam on the double-facedness of BJP leadership.

An editorial in The Times of India of June 13 carried a beautiful illustration. The face was shaven and bald on one side of the nose, on the other side it was bearded and with a receding hair line. Clearly, it was a composite of LK Advani and Narendra Modi’s faces.

The Greek god Janus was doublefaced. Otherwise, in English language doublefacedness is the vile character of a treacherous, unreliable person. In today’s context, the doublefaced act symbolises not only the Advani-Modi duo, but the entire Sangh.

To prove that point, Mr Advani has promptly withdrawn his resignation and urged Nitish Kumar of Bihar not to separate from NDA in a hurry. If somebody gets an award for Janus-facedness it should be Mr Advani who deserves it more than anyone else.

This man, who defamed the secular Constitution and secular values by abusing it as “pseudo-secularism”, went to Pakistan to declare Mr Jinnah secular. How can a man so anti-secular in his views and his training feel confident enough to issue certificate of secularism to someone in another country without feeling embarrassed about his own record at home?

As of now, Mr Advani is comfortably ensconced in the same BJP which is fielding Mr Modi as prime ministerial candidate in next year’s election, an idea which Mr Advani had been opposing till a day earlier. Tomorrow he might take out a yatra to canvass support for Mr Modi. One never knows.

As far as Muslims are concerned, they have no choice between Mr Advani and Mr Modi. Modi only copied what Advani had done earlier. The present equation is like that in 1990s. Then Atal Behari Vajpayee was the soft face of Hindutva and the mosque-breaking, riot-causing Mr Advani was the aggressive face. The two joined to garner votes for BJP.

Today’s tactic would be that Mr Advani corners the liberal vote as Mr Modi gets the Hindu hard line vote, both to deposit it in the BJP kitty.

Only a couple of days ago, Mr Advani was acting as if he was on way to taking political sanyas (for which his age, in the eighties, is right). However, it turned out to be a repeat play of Mr Vajpayee’s threat of taking to “sanyas” after the demolition of Babri Masjid. The threat never materialised in Mr Vajpayee’s case, too.

By now the Sangh has become an expert at speaking with a forked tongue, in many voices, none of them credible.

We have to be careful. BJP is trying to catch both the secular vote and the Hindu hard line vote to rule after combining the two. That will be a sad day when BJP succeeds in its double-dealing and rides to power in Delhi.

Whether it succeeds in its bid or not, BJP will certainly try this too clever by half strategy at the polls in 2014. If it needs to organise riots like in 1992 and 2002, it will happily do so.


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