While watching the news, there are a number of things which we come across. Some might amuse us and some might offend us. Well, this one was a mix of both for me. The news which caught the “Headlines” panel on the television was that of Varun Gandhi. Varun Gandhi, the son of a well known animal rights activist and a politician, Maneka Gandhi; the grandson of one of India’s best and greatest leaders, Indira Gandhi; and the great grandson of India’s well known saviour and freedom fighter Shri Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru; made rude remarks while contesting and campaigning for his first ever election seat from Pilibhit.
One could never expect Varun Gandhi to make communal remarks, firing direct outrage at Muslims of India. “All the Hindus stay on this side and send the others to Pakistan,” says Varun Gandhi, Leader, BJP. He added, “Go into your villages and towns and spread this message.”
This hate speech by Varun Gandhi has invited sharp reactions from both Hindus and Muslims all over India. Although there are a few BJP leaders who have opposed Varun Gandhi’s comments on the minorities, the BJP, as a party is keeping silent. The Congress, rightly took the opportunity to mark a contrast between Varun and his brother Rahul. Congress also said that the hate speech by Varun was a result of the party environment.
Well, I would like to point out a few things here. The Indian educated class is least interested in such communal comments, and probably think of India and Indians as a single entity. The Indian Muslims are no less than any other community, and have been enjoying the same rights. The point here is that India has faced a lot. Be it in the form of communal riots, or terrorism or cheap politics. We don’t really care what a politician says, probably because in our hearts we all know that we are one.
Back in 2008, Mumbai faced havoc because of speeches by Raj Thackerey. The speech by the son of Sanjay Gandhi has come as a jolt, but the question is that, till when will we entertain such political remarks which have the potential to fire up violence? Although the Election Commission has issued a notice to Varun, the halt should be at the time a person enters politics.
If young leaders like Varun give such defamatory remarks, what can we expect from the others? The fact that India is a country with communal diversity makes it mandatory for each and every citizen to have a feeling of brotherhood.
If politicians conduct campaigns in which they simply give speeches which evoke harmful emotions of the mob, or persuade the less knowledgeable semi-aware population, they are doing nothing less than what an anti-national element would so.
Now it is on us to decide, whether to listen or not. So, what’s your decision?
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