Notes on 370

Sangh Parivar’s publications have taken Narendra Modi’s call for a debate on Article 370.

Published: December 12, 2013 3:35:34 am

Notes on 370

Both Sangh Parivar’s publications have taken Narendra Modi’s call for a debate on Article 370 further by carrying cover stories on the issue. “This temporary provision of the Constitution has become a shield for separatists and religious fundamentalists solely because it has been used to protect the vested interests of power and position at the expense of national interests,” says a Panchjanya editorial.

Several articles in both weeklies assert how Article 370 has created distance between the state and the nation,hampers development,and deprives women and other vulnerable sections of society of the benefits due to them. The Organiser claims that Article 370 is not good for “better-halves”. It also asserts how the Jammu and Ladakh regions are “victims of the biased system” and how “Kashmiri pandits [are still waiting for justice” in a system where “terrorists [are compensated but not the terror victims”. In this context,an editorial in the Organiser has sought to draw attention to the human rights violations of certain sections of people.

“[The human rights discourse is monopolised by the so-called Leftist/ and secularist brigade in India. They want to be humanists without being nationalists. In many cases,human rights in India are subject to the vote-bank dynamics or funding of the external rights agencies,” says an editorial in the Organiser. It also draws attention to alleged human rights violations of west Pakistani and Kashmiri Pandit refugees living in Jammu,minority Buddhists and Hindus living in different regions of J&K,the people in PoK,and Bangladeshi Hindus.

Appeasement as usual

Both Sangh Parivar weeklies have criticised the proposed Prevention of Communal Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill,2013,against which Narendra Modi has led the opposition.

An article in the Organiser describes the move to take the bill further as an attempt by the Congress “to vitiate the political environment”,in order to distract attention from other issues such as inflation,corruption,security,and overall policy paralysis. The article also asserts that the “timing,intent and content” of the bill was suspicious.

A report in Panchjanya underlines that while the BJP,TMC and AIADMK are opposed to the bill in public,the SP and BSP are also silently opposed to it. “… the bill is being pushed forward to appease Muslims. That’s why it contains several provisions which are insulting and damaging to Hindus,” the report claims.

Friends in strange places

The Organiser carried an article about Mahmood Madani,an influential cleric and member of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind,which represents the Deoband school of Islam,to highlight how he “blames the secular parties for seeking Muslim votes by creating a fear-psychosis amongst them about the BJP”.

“Maulana Madani,engaged at present in exposing the secular parties and unaware of the unrest amongst the so-called secular leaders,is busy forcefully advocating for the issues of the Muslim community. It is perceived that in case he succeeds in his efforts it would change the course of Indian politics in days to come,” says the article,which also highlights Madani’s criticism of the Congress-led Ashok Gehlot government’s attitude towards the Gopalgarh riots and Akhilesh Yadav’s handling of the Muzaffarnagar riots.

The article,which was written on the basis of an interview goes on to say: “He (Madani) agreed that the Congress is not like the BJP. But he is worried over their tactics to obtain Muslim votes by creating a bogey of BJP. In the last elections,the Congress made attractive promises to Muslims and obtained their votes. But did nothing for their welfare after returning to power. This is unjust and highly objectionable.”

“[The BJP does not seem to be making any special efforts to seek Muslim votes… If they were really interested towards Muslims they should have started a dialogue with Muslim leaders. They should seriously think over the issue and come out with a clear policy vis-a-vis Muslims,” the article quotes Madani.

Compiled by Ravish Tiwari

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