While canvassing by political parties for the Karnataka assembly election is at its peak, the editorial in Organiser claims that harping on the divisive agenda of North versus South is a new ploy of the Congress and state Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. Organiser says that Siddaramaiah began with the hyper-regionalism, celebrated Tipu Jayanti and tried to divide the Hindu community on majority-minority lines. He is now resorting to the North versus South debate, it claims. “No wonder, other regional satraps from South have also joined the bandwagon of this artificial division. Why is Siddaramaiah playing this dangerous game? How far does this division hold ground? And how can we strengthen integration, rather than divisions?”, questions the editorial. It adds that it is obvious that corruption, infrastructure, agrarian crisis, water scarcity, growing radicalism, crumbling law and order, regional imbalance are the “real” issues in Karnataka. “Being the chief minister and regional leader for a long time, Siddaramaiah knows them very well. To divert the attention, he craftily brought the divisive and identity issues to the fore. Harping on North-South divide is his latest ploy,” the editorial contends.
It adds that during colonial rule, the British invented and imposed many theories and divisions in Bharat on European parameters. The Aryan invasion theory was one of them. “Unfortunately, after Independence we carried the narrative forward and taught the same in our school textbooks. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar scientifically debunked this theory in his book, Who Were [The] Shudras?’ Again, invoking the same rhetoric, the Congress party is insulting the Constitution and the Constitution makers,” the editorial contends. It also claims that some regional parties used such an agenda for their political existence and the Congress party, which had a historic responsibility to build the narrative for unification, indirectly supported them. “While doing so, the dynastic party also ensured the ‘Delhi Centricism’ to the national narrative. This resultantly further strengthened some sort of alienation, not only among the States in the Southern part of Bharat but also in the North-eastern region.
Some of the issues that emerged out of this alienation process may be genuine but instead of taking responsibility for this perversion, Congress is now directly allowing its regional leader to blatantly play this divisive agenda,” the editorial notes.
It asserts that when it comes to the issue of resource allocation, there are issues between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu or Andhra and Telangana or Tamil Nadu and Kerala as well. “Then, how far is it logical to consider the entire South as a single block and pitch it against the North,” Organiser asks. It adds that the game of numbers is unavoidable in democracy but the dangerous ploy of playing up divisions to win elections is not only detrimental to the nation as a whole but also vitiates the atmosphere at the state level. Instead of talking about politics of performance, relying solely on identity politics is a legacy of the Congress, which we should get rid of, the editorial asserts.
The editorial in Panchjanya focuses on the Karnataka election as well and compares the working of the BJP and Congress in preparing for the polls. The editorial says that the Congress president Rahul Gandhi wants to revive hope within the party without making any special effort. It claims that the Congress chief and the party are distant from the ground reality. The editorial says that the hard work of the BJP on the ground and the immaturity of Rahul Gandhi were matters of discussion among the masses in Karnataka.
The editorial claims that BJP chief Amit Shah — which is ruling in the Centre and 20 states — left the corridors of power in Delhi and braved the hot sun and dust to meet the booths in-charge of the party. Such kind of effort increases the confidence of the party. “But Rahul Gandhi suddenly reached Karnataka and started the campaign by targeting ‘Modi’ and stirred his party, which was in panic. Now, whatever be the result, Rahul will be accountable,” reads the editorial. It says that parallel to the grand success of the BJP in the Northeast, an embarrassing “Rahul Gandhi model” is staring at the Congress. Panchjanya contends that the Congress has accumulated a mountain of defeats but the party repeatedly claims that the turnaround is just a matter of “one result”.
The editorial asserts that such claims by the Congress are only a product of the party’s imagination because the BJP’s opponents always forget the lessons of adverse results. “The question is that what else BJP’s opponents have done in the past few years, other than highlighting their odd success in few by-polls and ignoring the rising stature of BJP?”, says the editorial.