The daily Siasat, in its editorial on November 17, writes: “Now that it’s election time in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh (which have taken place), the countdown to the general elections of 2019 will start soon after. The Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi issue has been brought up in an organised manner… Efforts at resolving the issue through a dialogue have neither been fruitful in the past nor is there any hope of their success in future. The issue is of such a grave and sensitive nature that only the Supreme Court can pass judgment on it and all stakeholders will have to accept such a decision. The activity generated by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is not an effort towards a solution. It is, in fact, an effort at providing electoral benefit to the BJP… Often, during election campaigns, the communal situation is heated up by the BJP and like-minded parties, as was done during the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.”
The organ of the All-India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslemen, Etamaad, in its editorial on the same day, writes: “The affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by the Shia Central Waqf Board supporting the Hindu religious groups seems to be a part of a deep conspiracy… The steps taken by the chairman of the Shia Board, Waseem Rizvi, are faced with severe opposition from the Shia biradari itself…The (Babri) mosque was never in the control of Shia Muslims.”
Hindustan Express, in a commentary on November 27, writes: “The statement of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, that whatever be the judgment of the court, the Ram Temple will be constructed at the site of Babri Masjit, is not only a challenge against the Supreme Court. It is an effort to mock the Constitution and democracy of India.
Freedom for Hadiya?
Commenting on the Supreme Court’s order in the case of the marriage of Hadiya, alias Akhila, after converting to Islam with a Muslim man, Rashtriya Sahara, in an editorial on November 29, writes: “The freedom granted to Hadiya by the SC has once again made it clear to those raising a storm in the name of ‘love jihad’ that they can play at polluting the minds of their countrymen but they will fail in their efforts to lower the dignity of law… After a prolonged legal battle the mischief-makers behind ‘love jihad’ had to face great humiliation. An agency like the NIA, which was comparing Hadiya’s case with 90 others and relating it to the Islamic State, too has got a shock. The courage that Hadiya showed during the two-and- half hour hearing in the Supreme Court is laudable… The prolonged hearing and the order of the SC have once raised the esteem of India’s Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb and secular values.”
Editor of Inquilab, Shakeel Shamsi, in his signed column on the same day, writes: “If the extremist gang really wants to prevent Hindu girls from marrying Muslim boys, instead of using bogus and concocted expressions like ‘love jihad’, it should create conditions for a better treatment to girls in their society.”
Rashtriya Sahara, in its editorial on November 25, writes: “The activity before the assembly polls in Gujarat have been taking the form of violence between different political groups. Incidents in the recent past — the attack on BJP’s office, the fights between members of the Congress, Patidar Samaj and BJP — and the following war of words indicate that, perhaps, the BJP will lose ground in Gujarat… In this election, it looks like the Congress is coming up rapidly in all of Gujarat. Along with senior leaders of Gujarat and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP president Amit Shah and central ministers have been brought into the campaign with full force… An important development is that the youth is taking part in rallies of Rahul Gandhi and, in fact, stands strongly in support of him.”
Hindustan Express, in its November 23 editorial, writes: “Hardik Patel’s support for the Congress, even if indirectly, is nothing short of a great political danger for the BJP. The irony is that some leaders of the BJP from Patidar biradari are unhappy with the present leadership. Thus, it seems less likely that the political opponents of Hardik Patel within the Patidar community would create an environment favourable to the BJP.”
Siasat, in its editorial on November 20, writes: “BJP is faced with strong anti-incumbency Gujarat. There seems to be an improvement in the prospects of the Congress. Campaigns and demonstrations against the state government have started in different sections of the society. The youth has particularly got activated against the government. Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mewani and Alpesh Thakore have considerable influence on young voters and these people are leading the agitation against the government… Sensing dangers, the BJP is trying to create an environment of fear and hate among the voters and exploit it.”