Parties such as Congress, BSP, SP and TMC have accused the ruling BJP-led NDA of communalising the elections to seek votes. They have also accused the BJP of sidelining key issues like unemployment and farm distress in the name on nationalism.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Monday took dig at Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Digvijaya Singh saying fear of backlash has prompted “majority bashers” to proclaim themselves as “proud” Hindus. “Elections, after all, are a convenient season for all the neo-converts,” the senior BJP leader said stressing that aspirational middle-class, which is religiously inclined without being communal, will not accept “majority bashing” as the definition of secularism.
During elections, even atheist are wearing their religion and caste on their sleeves, he said. Without getting into the larger issue of whether a person can inherit his grandmother’s caste, the Congress has suddenly decided to proclaim its President Rahul Gandhi as “Janeu-dhari Brahmin”, Jaitley said. “He has now been declared as ‘Shiv Bhakt’. He does not miss an opportunity to visit temples and makes an event out of each such programmes. His religious orientation was not visible in either 2004, 2009 or 2014,” he said as the general elections entered the crucial phase.
Parties such as Congress, BSP, SP and TMC have accused the ruling BJP-led NDA of communalising the elections to seek votes. They have also accused the BJP of sidelining key issues like unemployment and farm distress in the name on nationalism. In a blog post titled “A Convenient Season for Being a ‘Proud Hindu'”, he further said Digvijaya Singh, the Congress candidate from Bhopal, is a well-known majority basher.
Singh, Jaitley said, had claimed that the Batla House encounter during the UPA government was a fake one and carried on a campaign in support of the terrorists and against the security forces. “He even visited Azamgarh to meet the relatives of the deceased or arrested terrorists. He holds the patent for manufacturing the theory of ‘Hindu Terror’.
“He took it to illogical conclusion till the whole theory was busted. Today, realising the wrath of the electorate, he has become ‘proud’ of his Hindu credentials,” said Jaitley. He noted that the socio-economic profile of India changed in slowly consolidating and enlarging India’s middle-class. The middle-class is aspirational. It has strong concern on national security. It is religiously inclined but not communal.
“At the same time, it will not accept majority bashing as the definition of secularism. The attitude of this class towards national security-related issues such as terrorism and a special status of Jammu & Kashmir, is extremely strong,” he said. Also, reaction of the middle-class on both Ayodhya and Sabarimala is self-evident, he said.
“This has created fear of the backlash in the minds of those who conventionally indulged in majority bashing and were compromising on issues of national security,” Jaitley added. He also took on the Aam Aadmi Party saying the “hypocrisy” of the AAP climaxed when, in the last few days, its only lady candidate Atishi Marlena from Delhi, shed her family legacy of ultra-Left leaning parents, who were important interlocutors seeking a pardon for Afzal Guru, and started wearing not only her religion but her caste, her father’s caste and her husband’s caste on her sleeve.
“I was wondering as to why those brought up in atheist environment, for political convenience, start displaying their religion and caste publicly,” he said. He further said India is a land of patriotic people and the contrarians are merely a fringe.
The fringe can be a disgruntled lot getting a disproportionate voice on electronic and social media, one cannot belong to the fringe can win elections, he added. “This is the power of democracy. Religiosity is suddenly being discovered. Majority bashing has been replaced by a self-proclaimed title of a ‘proud Hindu’ or even a ‘Punjabi Hindu Kshatriya’.
“Today, even atheist will wear their religion and caste on their sleeves. Elections, after all, are a convenient season for all the neo-converts,” Jaitley said. The seven phase elections will be completed on May 19. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.