Sabrimala: where do political parties stand? Previous item 26/11 Unforgiven- My new book Next item Should temples in Kerala...

Sabrimala: where do political parties stand?

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As expected, as the govt tried to implement the Supreme Court verdict, protests in Sabrimala have broken out. It’s pertinent to note that majority of protesters are women. There have been reports of violence as well. Govt of Kerala is being cautious in its dealings with protesters, so far. Various political parties too have jumped into the fray. This was something which was unavoidable. An issue as important as this which is directly related to the faith and belief of the people ought to be dealt with politically too.
To point out, Left front govt in Kerala welcomed the verdict of the Supreme Court when it was pronounced and are now eager to implement it. Congress, which too had welcomed the verdict, is now having second thoughts. The large scale protests have forced them to reconsider their position. BJP which was cautious in its stand earlier has now come out strongly in favor of protesters. Except for the Congress, the other two have played their cards in accordance to their political beliefs. The Left is an atheist ideology. Ideally, it would not like to endorse any faith. Since that’s a difficult thing to do in a country like ours, it does the next best thing which is to work in favor of dilution of faiths as far as possible. The BJP, being right of center, is rooted in conservative belief, thinks exactly the opposite. They believe that the faith, rooted in cultural history of the country, should not be interfered with.
The Congress, being left of center, would ideally like to go with the left. But it requires a strong leader to do that. Nehru did that when he brought about the Hindu Code Bill for Hindus (and Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains) which banned age old practices like polygamy, denial of succession rights to daughters etc. But there’s no Nehru in Congress today. And since the national narrative has turned towards the right, they’re not sure how to react. That’s the reason why we do not see them commenting upon this issue except for blaming BJP for the protests. But in all probability, they’ll come around to endorsing the BJP’s view. With the self proclaimed JANEUDHARI HINDU as its national president, who has been hopping from one temple to another lately, Congress has no option but to be seen on the side of the protesters. Also, let’s not forget, this is an election year. They can’t afford to go against the popular belief.
Be that as it may, some reports suggest that things may soon take a turn for the worse. Left backed naxalites, who have been at the receiving end of sustained operations launched against them lately, may have decided to exploit the situation. They may do this by mixing with the protesters and inciting them to violence which will then give the police an opportunity to open fire at them. This incident would then be used to blame BJP for creating unrest and being responsible for loss of lives, if any.
It remains to be seen whether this is true or not.

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26/11 UNFORGIVEN, launch at Nagpur

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As I said in my talk, wars need to be ended and not just stopped. There’s a huge difference between the two things. Had UN been around during the second world war it’d have stopped it in the middle and allowed Hitler to continue to rule Germany. God only knows how many more Jews he’d have gone on to kill. In Kashmir, we didn’t allow the war to be completed in 1947, 65, 71 as well as in 1999. And we continue to pay for that blunder. We have lost more than a hundred thousand lives since 1947 because of our problems with Pakistan. Had we allowed the war to be completed, I’m sure this issue would not have cost us this much. Stopping a war before it completes its course prolongs the pain as the issue which caused the war doesn’t go away. It lingers on and on, till it brims over once again leading to another war. This is exactly what has happened with us. Even in 1971, we completed the war on our eastern border for benefit of Bangladeshis but didn’t do it on the western borders for our own benefit.