BJP reads Congress the riot act
By Pratul Sharma
Published: 27th Oct 2013 07:57:28 AM
To neutralise the attack on Narendra Modi and the Gujarat riots, BJP think-tank PPRC prepares a comparative document that reveals a horrifying chronicle of communal violence under non-BJP governments.
Death and destruction are staple fodder for demagogues to ignite popular passions during elections. Riots are the stormy petrels of confrontationist politics and are used by mainstream parties, especially Congress, to capitalise on minority insecurity. In spite of Rahul Gandhi’s faux pas on Muzaffarnagar youth being contacted by ISI after last month’s riots, Congress pipers continue to play a single tune—‘Narendra Modi’s hands are stained with blood of 2002 Gujarat riot victims.’
With seven months to go for the 2014 general elections, strategists on both sides are at work to change the political discourse for political gains. To counter the Congress gameplan to target Modi on the Gujarat riots, the BJP’s newly minted think-tank, Public Policy Research Centre (PPRC), re-launched on October 21 and headed by director Vinay Sahasrabuddhe has drafted a nine-page document on the history of communal riots in India. The well researched document suggests that the communal record of Congress governments and that of other non-BJP parties is far worse than Modi’s one time taint and the Gujarat riots should not been seen in isolation.
The research paper entitled ‘A Factsheet on Communal Riots in India’ documents the history of sectarian violence in India, which it states has become a “permanent phenomenon after the 1960s” due to politics of “vote bank and appeasement.”
It goes on to record India’s long history of communal strife. As the purpose of the document is to counter the ‘secular ‘offensive on Narendra Modi, the think tank has presented a comparative study of causes and responsibilities regarding other major riots including the 1983 Nellie Massacre, the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the Ahmedabad riots of 1969. The comparative graph forms a virtual arsenal to attack the Congress’s failed record of maintaining communal stability in states it has ruled. In the 1983 Nellie Massacre (result of clash es between ethnic Assamese and Bangladeshi settlers) 1,819 Muslims were killed on Congress watch. During the 1984 Delhi riots that followed Indira Gandhi’s assassination, around 2,733 Sikhs were butchered. In the 1969 Ahmedabad riots in Congress-ruled Gujarat triggered by an attack on a temple, the toll was 512.
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