The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is compelled to draw the attention of the people to the sinister designs of the BJP in the wake of the Bharat Uday Yatra, to be undertaken by L K Advani from March 10. The facts that are now unfolding by themselves confirm our apprehension that the ‘Yatra’ signals an attempt to bring to the fore the communal agenda.
The ‘Yatra’ is clearly a response to a growing realisation of the BJP that notwithstanding hundreds of crores spent on the ‘shining India’ campaign, the ‘feel good’ sentiment is nowhere in sight. The grass root experience of the masses, both in rural and urban areas is actually back firing and Advani himself having admitted this in a Haryana meeting.
Therefore, the ‘Yatra’ as Advani has explained announcing the programme---“As I see it, there is an intrinsic link between this Yatra and the previous two”. He had left it to nobody’s imagination to understand the motivation and had further added that there was a – “conceptual and emotional thread of resurgent nationalism that ran through all of them” meaning the Yatra. This is classic BJP double speak. When ‘feel good’ constituency is evidently failing to evoke the desired electoral returns, the persistent campaign of the secular forces exposing the hollowness of these claims, their attempts to avoid the division of anti-NDA votes bearing fruits in a number of states, the Yatra becomes inevitable.
The choice of the name – ‘Bharat Uday’ itself echoes the beaten RSS theme. To them ‘Bharat's Uday’ is not achieved through the sacrifice and martyrdom of our great freedom fighters, ‘Bharat’s Uday’ not from the yoke of British colonialism to become a free nation. And then, the antipathy of the RSS to the freedom struggle is well documented. Therefore, ‘Bharat Uday’ has to take place under the stewardship of the Vajpayees and Advanis, where some select brand of corporates and entities in the share market ‘shine’. And the Yatra will address the task of intermarrying the ‘feel good’ and the ‘Hindutva’ constituencies. The much publicised bonhomie with select ‘Muslim leaders and their opportunistic ‘trust’ on Vajpayee is failing to wash the Gujarat stain with new revelations pouring out through judicial intervention exposing the Gujarat government’s continued attempts at denial of justice. Therefore, the ‘Yatra’ has to be organised to spread the message of ‘resurgent nationalism’ and the emphasis on ‘conceptual and emotional thread’ of continuity with earlier versions have to be established!
The RSS and VHP has been active over the last few days, making the right noises to facilitate the BJP to include all the four controversial issues of Ayodhya, Article 370, common civil code and ban on cow slaughter in its ‘Vision Document’ (an euphemism for manifesto to keep the otherwise servile allies of the NDA in good humour). And more importantly, to ensure that Advani can take up these issues in course of his ‘Yatra’. Meanwhile to supplement this effort, the VHP is mobilising five lakh activists for its 12-day Ram Mahayagya in Ayodhya from March 21 to April 1.
We release, herewith, the routes of the 1990 and 2004 Yatras. The effects of the 1990 Yatra are historically recorded. But the route slated for 2004 is no less interesting as it moves along some of the most densely minority-populated areas. The controversial issues – core to Advani’s ‘Hindutva’, and their vociferous articulation by him is aimed at instilling a sense of fear among the minorities and whip up a passion where ‘feel good’ has failed to evoke a response. Though, generally, atmosphere of improved Indo-Pak relationship has been welcomed, the equating of ‘Hindu Muslim’ question with this India-Pakistan relationship, subtly questioning the territorial loyalty of the Indian Muslims is aimed at reinforcing communally inspired stereotypes.