Booze, beef and gambling in Goa: BJP's Hindutva is diluted

Kamal Mitra Chenoy
Kamal Mitra ChenoyJan 07, 2016 | 10:45

Booze, beef and gambling in Goa: BJP's Hindutva is diluted

There is an idealised BJP model of governance, based largely on the puritanical principles of the RSS. Prohibition in Gujarat, for example. When the time is ripe this will be spread to other states.

No, absolutely no beef eating, as laid down in the Brahminical scriptures, as interpreted by Sant Mohan Bhagwat. Pre-Vedic history interpretations by noted historian Prof DN Jha showing that beef eating was not banned or considered irreligious, created such a furore that the learned professor, had to have security cover for the next two years. The BJP also does not encourage gambling in the form of public gambling, like casinos. Its governments may gamble on economy nationally, but no public-organised gambling.

But, in tourist destination Goa, there is a completely different model. There are off shore casinos on huge ships, land based casinos, offering Rs500 in free chips to gamble. But this sort of gambling is an anathema to the RSS, but since the BJP has been the governing party in Goa for years, with Union defence minister Manohar Parrikar the earlier chief minister, the Goan experiment clearly has the go ahead. But the story doesn't end here.

In Goa, liquor abounds. A number of liquor shops can be found in every locality. In the main department store liquor can be purchased during the day till 9pm at night. Roman god Bacchus is apparently a major deity.

But the main story is yet to come. In BJP's Goa there is beef, beef, beef everywhere. No bars. Carefully selected beef of the highest quality, sold at a maximum of Rs500 a steak. Not only foreign tourists, but also Indians pack restaurants all over in Goa every evening, with a queue waiting. The shacks also provide beef steaks of lesser quality, which is on almost every menu.

Beef, in the land of Lord Ram?! Yes, with the permission and control of the self-styled Ram bhakts. This is Goa, but in Dadri and Udhampur, Muslims were lynched on false charges of cow slaughter.

One rule in Goa, another in Gujarat (prohibition), another first in Goa: offshore gambling and onshore gambling not allowed at this level elsewhere.

So which is the real BJP model? Obviously, beef eating which also exists in the Northeast, is really not a holy cow, when it suits the local BJP dispensation. This also means that the anti-beef agitation and propaganda, citing the Brahminical Hindu scriptures, is just an unscrupulous political ploy. It has very little to do with pluralist Hinduism, and all to do with a sectarian and opportunist Hindutva.

This Goa BJP model has existed for years. Any number of media persons have been to Goa, many several times. There has been no discussion of the startling double standards of the BJP rule in the Centre, the BJP rule in Gujarat, and the BJP anti-cow slaughter campaign throughout India. These double standards are not just shocking but highlight the unprincipled and localised politics of the BJP.

Last updated: January 07, 2016 | 16:47
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