PM Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day address, made a passionate appeal to people to shun casteism, communalism and regionalism. But what he said should be instructive to a senior BJP Lok Sabha member, Adityanath, who represents the Gorakhpur constituency. Only two days ago, the MP made a highly divisive speech in the House during a discussion on the communal situation.
First, what Modi said: “Brothers and sisters, for one reason or the other, we have had communal tensions for ages. This led to division of the country. Even after Independence, we have had to face the poison of casteism and communalism… We have had enough of fights, many have been killed.”
“Friends, look behind and you will find that nobody has benefited from it…,” he said. “Let’s resolve for once in our hearts, let’s put a moratorium on all such activities for 10 years, we shall march ahead to a society which will be free from all such tensions…. Shun all the sins committed so far, give up that way, follow the way of goodwill and brotherhood, and let’s resolve to take the country forward.”
Now, contrast this with what Adityanath said in the House on August 13: “The issue for the discussion should be who is communal… Communal is the one who says my God, my Prophet is the most superior. Only those who believe in him have the right to live… The Hindu philosophy of life does not permit this… Our philosophy believes in live and let live.”
“However, if there begins a conspiracy against the same Hindu philosophy… then it (Hindu society) has to unite,” Adityanath said. “Hindu is not a symbol of communalism, Hindu is a symbol of nationalism… These people will have to pay the price for this if they try to defame this symbol of nationalism, Hindutva.”
Modi’s words are fine. But the moot question is, does Adityanath represent the BJP view? So far, the party has not distanced itself from what he has said.