Time is fast running out for the BJP. The JD(U) has sought an explanation from the BJP about the probable role of Narendra Modi in the next Lok Sabha election. The leading partner of the NDA has been mainly banking on the Gujarat Chief Minister to reap electoral benefits in the mega polls of 2014 but in that case, 'secular' parties like JD(U) and BJD will think twice whether to ally with it in the next polls. The Congress's latest call to hunt for allies at its Chintan Shivir in Jaipur has also raised the worry for the BJP. Will the UPA gain at the cost of the NDA?
At the moment, BJP is trying to keep Modi at a lower profile by making him the head of the campaign committee for the next polls and could think of elevating him if the party found an opportunity to form the government at the Centre after the elections.
The JD(U) is demanding that the NDA's prime ministerial candidate should be chosen through talks between all the allies and there would be no compromise with the secular image of the potential candidate. This debate has been going on for some time and every quarter is aware about the frozen relation between Nitish Kumar and Narendra Modi.
It is unfortunate that in today's India, the key question of alliance-making is still being determined on the question of secular versus communal. The world has changed, so should the priorities. But instead of focussing on key issues like economic reforms or free trade in South Asia or improving internal security against terrorist threats, India's political parties are calculating who is more anti-minority and who is less and then jump into the camp that looks more suitable to serve their respective interests.
Who is secular? None of them are
I do not understand which party is actually secular in India. There are only parties that follow hard communalism while there are others that follow soft communalism in the guise of secularism. The blurred concept of Indian secularism has actually made all parties except the BJP to play the communal card in a convenient fashion and yet proclaim themselves to be secular. They have made the BJP a common target and constructed the 2002 riots in Gujarat as the benchmark for their own political profit.
We say the Congress is secular. Is it really a secular party? If we judge the Congress as a secular outfit just because Jawaharlal Nehru was a liberal secularist, it will be erroneous on our part. We accuse Pakistan of preaching hatred and claim ourselves to be a liberal democracy, but how many of us know that the biggest communal slaughter in independent India took place during the reign of Nehru himself when between 50,000-2,00,000 Muslims' death occurred in Hyderabad. The Sunderlal Report on the massacre had been shelved in the nation's interest. The anti-Sikh riots of 1984 are known to all. We have also seen the Congress forging alliance with outfits like MIM, whose leader Akbaruddin Owaisi was recently found making venomous statements a few days ago.
The JD(U) is desperate to keep its Muslim votes intact and hence project itself as a secular outfit by looking down upon the BJP. If Kumar is indeed so secular, then why did he not quit from the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government after the Gujarat riots in 2002? Or was the railway ministry too enticing for him to leave if he had to back his ambition to become the CM of Gujarat one day? The same man had quit the post after a horrendous railway accident in 1999. Then what held him back in 2002?
Kumar also shared the dais with Modi during the Lok Sabha polls in 2009. The JD(U), like many other parties, are secular to the extent that they only care for minority votes. Is this covert communalism called secularism? I doubt.
We have come a long way from the days of ideology. Not many of India's political leaders are ready to shed their mantle of opportunism and think about real progress of the nation as a whole. The sad part is that the leader, who most of these hypocrite parties is targetting, himself has come a long way from 2002 and is working on a more significant path, i.e, of development. But instead of backing him to carry on with his good work across the nation, most of the elements are demonising him.
I am sorry. We are duping ourselves.