No Fear Among People? BJP Chief Living In La-La Land

Published: July 26, 2017 16:26 IST
In parliament, I spoke on how this government is unleashing different sorts of attacks on innocent people across the country. In some cases, it perpetuates the attacks; in others, it is permissive of them. Both have consequences this government cannot wish away. Here's a 7-point guide to what people are being subjected to:

1. Marginalised being traumatized

Moti Samadhiyala is the name of a village in the Gir-Somnath district. Exactly one year ago, to the day, I visited this hamlet 10 km from Una. This is where seven Dalit boys were lynched.

The then Chief Minister of Gujarat had announced that there would be a fast-track court to reach the truth. Nothing has happened. No fast-track court has been set up. There are scores of examples like this across the country where the marginalised have been lynched and killed.

2. Hollow words. No action

On June 29, 2017, the Prime Minister said, "Killing people in the name of 'gau bhakti' is not acceptable". We all know what happened a few hours later in Jharkhand; another man was beaten to death in Ramgarh. Empty words and generic sermons won't do. Please name the groups, name the individuals and name the organisations. Then we will take the PM seriously.

On July 2, the president of the BJP said, "There is no apprehension anywhere in the country." Which country was he referring to? Vanuatu? La La Land?

3. Not Cow-Raksha but Cow-Aatank

I have a problem with the term 'cow vigilantism'. It's too pretty a phrase. 'Vigilantism' implies that the victims of the lynchings were criminal, while in most cases, there was no such proof. This is far from Gau-raksha. This is Gau-aatank, cow terrorism.

4. Children not spared

The "terrorism" doesn't end with minorities and Dalits. Children are also not spared. As on November, 2016, 70% of children below 5 years do not have Aadhaar cards. Because of this, they are being denied mid-day meals. Aadhaar cards have also been linked with delivery of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS).

This is the pain the marginalised are suffering. What is even more disturbing is even those who are not so marginalised are being targeted.

5. Digital terrorism

A BJP minister spoke in Parliament and accused the opposition of running a jhoot ka bazaar. Irony just died. BJP have turned Facebook into Fakebook and made #FakeNews into an art form. They put up pictures of communal disharmony in Bangladesh or even Gujarat and pass them off as Bengal. No limits to their creativity - a BJP leader used a picture from a Bhojpuri film and claimed it was from Basirhat in Bengal. We all know that the social media is a free place, an expressive place, but why use it like this?

6. Political terrorism

Commonly known as political vendetta, "political terrorism" has been flourishing in the last couple of years. It is the blatant targeting of your opponents simply because they do not agree with you. Trinamool Congress, Congress, RJD, AAP, to start with. Then increase the list depending on the Subservient Quotient. Send the CBI after them. Unleash the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on them. I sometimes empathize with the professional officers working in these organisations. Their actions are dictated by their political masters.

7. Financial terrorism

After demonetization, when the opposition predicted GDP growth would be down by 2 percentage points, BJP spin doctors pooh-poohed it away. But look at the numbers. The Q4 GDP figure this fiscal has come down to 6.1%. The corresponding GDP figure in the previous fiscal was 7.9%. Many economists I have spoken to feel this government is Manipulating Denominators to make the figures look better than what they are. The WPI and CPI denominators! But that is a story for another column.

Derek O'Brien is leader, parliamentary party Trinamool Congress (RS), National Secretary and Chief National spokesperson of the party.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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