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BJP's new war is against minority appeasement
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
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December 23, 2006 17:13 IST

Virtually declaring a war against what Bharatiya Janata Party traditionally perceives as 'minority appeasement', party chief Rajnath Singh on Saturday said, "We will bring this appeasement to an end in the next ten years."

Making his presidential address immediately after formal ratification of his re-election to the office by the party's national council, Singh said, "The policy of minority appeasement was initiated by the Congress in 1916; and we will bring it to an end by 2016."

Evidently, the issue of 'appeasement' was going to be heavy on the party's agenda for the national meet. Widely seen as 'old wine in new bottle', the appeasement bogey was likely to replace the Ayodhya temple issue that has visibly lost its emotive appeal over the years.

"Minority appeasement is not a new problem confronting Indian politics. But the new dimensions lent to it by the United Progressive Alliance government is taking a dangerous shape," Singh sought to point out.

"The appeasement policies of the Congress touched the nadir when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] told the National Development Council meeting that the minority communities, particularly the Muslims, had the first right over the nation's resources. I would like to ask them how a union government working within the purview of the Constitution can talk about providing the first right over the country's resources to one community, that too on communal basis, when the Constitution itself has given equal right to all communities over the country's resources," he asked.

Referring to the Sachar Commitee report on the current status of Muslims in the country, he said, "The government must ponder as to why the other minority communities in the country do not have the kind of grievances faced by the Muslims as per the Sachar Committee report."

He went on to add, "If the Muslims are in this situation even after 59 years of independence, then aren't those people who governed this country for 53 out of 59 years responsible for it?"

He was of the view  - "The Congress government has got so deeply involved in the politics of appeasement that it has become disinclined towards all social, political and constitutional responsibilities. It appears that in the eyes of the UPA government, the rights of the non-Muslims on the country's resources are secondary and the majority community stood relegated to second-class citizens."

The BJP chief went on to add, "We have no problems if the poor among the Muslims are provided facilities. Such sections within the Muslim community are already getting these facilities in the most backward category. Therefore, to talk of providing facilities, reservation or the first right on communal basis is not only unethical but also unconstitutional."

Singh criticised the UPA government for 'sitting pretty' on the Afzal case. He was of the view that any attempt to save a terrorist from the gallows by taking advantage of the constitutional provision for Presidential clemency deserved  condemnation in the severest of words - "Demands for saving Mohd Afzal, whose role has been established in the Parliament attack case, from the gallows were shameful."

Singh''s speech was laced with emotive issues clearly intended to arouse religious passion.

He said, "It was ironical that Vande Mataram, the clarion call during the freedom struggle has today come to be identified as communal. The Congress party itself decides to commemorate the centenary of Vande Mataram, yet both its prime minister and party president do not muster enough courage to attend the Vande Mataram function due to their greed for the votebank."

He lamented, "The strident voice of nationalism is being sacrificed at the altar of votebank politics by the Congress and the Communists."

Singh was also vehemently critical of the UPA government's handling of terror.

"Today, the situation has come to such a pass that the terrorists are safe but the common man in sitting on a landmine," he alleged. "While Jehadi terrorism has firmed its grip, the growing naxalite terrorism has spread also its tentacles and the central government is still looking for appeasement of those whose role in the attack on the Indian parliament was proved beyond doubt."

The BJP president charged the UPA government of resorting to minority appeasement  just for the sake of sticking on to power.

"The Left allies of the Congress and the Samajwadi Party, too, do not appear to be far behind in this regard. The role of a legislator supporting the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh [Images] appears suspicious in the Mau riots. A minister in the SP government even issues a fatwa for death to a foreign cartoonist. But neither the so-called secular parties nor secularist intellectuals find any fault in it," he sought to point out.

"On the contrary ,a West Bengal minister, Subhas Chakravarty had to apologise because he publicly offered prayers to Goddess Kali at the Tarakeshwari Peeth temple in Kolkata," he pointed out.

Alleging that  UPA government's policies were posing a threat to the nation's security, sovereignty, unity and integrity, he warned, "If the UPA Government continues to move forward in this direction, it would become very difficult to save the nation from yet another partition."

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