As an offspring of the Sangh Parivar, the Bhartiya Janta Party started gaining popularity in independent India through the Ram Janambhoomi movement in the 1980s.
The thrust of the BJP’s political existence were essentially two ideas: One, as Ashok Singhal stated, was the ideals of “Gai-Ganga-Ayodhya” and their attainment.
Two, a vendetta against the Congress’s “minority appeasement”.
What initially looked like the voice of the Hindus in the political circuit of India, slowly and gradually, exposed itself as a party which used Hindu culture, religion and sentiments for their political gains, when given a chance.
The BJP was given a chance to prove their loyalty towards Hindus from 1998-2004 (as they led the NDA) and most importantly, in 2014. It was not just the RSS, which backed Modi as the protector of Hindus, but the-then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, himself, along with his aide Amit Shah, that asserted their roles as protectors of Hinduism. Modi is in fact called the “Hindu Hridya Samrat”.
The Hindus thus believed in the BJP for being their shield and proponents of “Hindustan” — but what has changed since?
After failing terribly on the economic and social fronts, the Modi-led BJP government failed to bring "Achhe Din" for Hindus as well.
Raising and razing the Babri issue: The emotions of Hindus were used as a political tool every time. (Photo: India Today)
Ram Mandir issue
As I write this piece, a verdict around the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid case is being pronounced by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court.
The reason for the BJP’s existence and the Sangh Parivar’s dominance can solely be credited to the politicisation of the Ram Mandir–Ayodhya issue.
The emotions of Hindus were used as a political tool every time the BJP wanted to seek power. The general election of 2014 was no different, but this time, their appeal seemed stronger.
The entire Sangh Parivar not only promised the Hindus but assured them that the Ram Mandir will finally be built.
But, as Pravin Togadia himself puts it, “The BJP betrayed Hindus by dumping the Ram Mandir issue after coming to power”.
The intentions of Modi seemed crystal clear when he chose not to visit Ayodhya in the last four years.
Interestingly, as opposed to the BJP, it was the Congress — under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi — which was committed to the cause of the Ram Mandir.
The saga of betrayals by the BJP did not just stop at the Ram Mandir issue. It has stepped over every single aspiration of the Hindus and their faith.
Gau raksha issue
The hypocrisy of the BJP is such that when the alleged protectors of “Gau mata” swore its protection and called for a ban on beef exports, they not only failed in protecting our holy cow, but also selectively showed their flexibility over the beef ban.
Today, India is among the top three beef-exporters and BJP-ruled states like Goa, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, etc., openly consume beef, which was in sharp contrast with Modi’s claims of an alleged “Pink Revolution”, which was being carried essentially by the Congress.
Whither, gau rakshaks? The government failed at protecting our 'holy cow' and showed double standards over beef ban. (Photo: Reuters)
Gau raksha — which is the utmost dharma of every Hindu — was not only put on stake thus, but has, in turn, become a mockery of the feelings of the Hindu community.
The ordeal did not stop here. The Modi government went ahead and apparently persuaded their own Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy to withdraw the Cow Slaughter Ban Bill in the Upper House of Parliament. This became a moment of attestation of the intentions of how devoted and inclined the BJP was for Hindus.
Cleaning of Ganga
The list of promises made around Hindu beliefs is unending.
One such promise was Namami Gange, the Clean Ganga Mission, which again became the BJP’s “cast-off” after they came to power.
In order to appease the Hindus, the BJP made a ministry for Ganga Rejuvenation — but it could hardly do a thing beyond budget allocation.
No. Ma Ganga still needs cleaning. What exactly did the Ministry set up for Ganga rejuvenation really do? (Photo: Reuters)
So, how far did the BJP, the party with an absolute majority in power, really go for providing justice to the Hindus? For whom they have “allegedly” fought ever since forming a government?
Uniform Civil Code
The biggest reflection of their failing is the silence of the party on the Uniform Civil Code.
One of the many promises the BJP made was that there cannot be gender equality till India adopts a Uniform Civil Code, which protects the rights of all women, and the BJP did reiterate its stand to draft a Uniform Civil Code, drawing on the best traditions and harmonising them with modern times.
The twist to this story came when the BJP chose not to reply to a law commission questionnaire on the Uniform Civil Code. While all the opposition parties responded, the BJP still has not.
The BJP may have brought a law to address the issue of Triple Talaq, but for Indian society to become equal, there is no alternative to a Uniform Civil Code.
There is no alternative to a Uniform Civil Code. But the BJP has evaded the issue. (Photo: India Today)
Issue of Kashmir
Indeed, a very well-crafted pre-election strategy of the BJP covered all Hindu sentiments under the banner of Hindutva in 2014. What seemed interesting this time round was the apparent zeal in Modi and his party for the rights of the Kashmiri Pandits.
The BJP strongly emphasisedthe return of Kashmiri Pandits to the land of their ancestors with full dignity, security and assured livelihoods.
After being in power for more than four years now, the BJP has failed to rehabilitate even one single Kashmiri Pandit back to their land. The sad part is that when the BJP claimed to change the “undermined role” of Hindus in India, nobody imagined that the party could dare cheat so many Hindus on their sentiments at the same time.
An otherwise “pre-election committed” BJP also failed in realising another promise that made it to their manifesto — the abrogation of Article 370 after discussions are held with stakeholders.
What is amusing here is that well beyond consultations with stakeholders and an effort to repeal Article 370, the BJP even failed to keep up with the PDP, its own partner in its own former state coalition government.
In a recent address, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said, “Since everyone says all religions are the same, what is the need for conversion?”
The first thought to this is the fact that owing to extreme economic, social and political pressure, when the Hindus can’t help but feel left out, what has the Sangh and BJP done to protect the integrity of the Hindu community?
If there were some efforts taken towards the protection of the Hindus, this situation would not have got worse under the rule of a political party which is Hindu in nature.
The least the BJP could do to safeguard its own people was to unanimously pass an Anti–Conversion Law — which, of course, did not find a voice in the party.
Hindu temples under government control
The extent of dissimulation under the BJP government is that the Hindu temples are under government control. How does a party which rides on the ship of Hindu beliefs and ideology afford to stay silent on a matter of integrity and utmost disrespect?
The fact is, Hindus are subjected to accountability for their place of worship, while all others are appeased under the banner of 'minority'. Where does this stop?
The period from 2014 to 2018 alone has been a testimony of how appallingly the BJP has driven a nail into its own coffin.
Its failure lies in the fact that its parent organisation, the RSS, is disappointed with the inaction of Modi and his government on matters of Hindu privilege and values.
The situation is such that the Hindus who were disillusioned with the Congress are now disillusioned with the BJP as well. This includes the Sadhu Samaj and other religious outfits. Everybody believed Modi and Shah would deliver in full swing for the Hindu community. But little did they know that the thrust was for power, not trust.
The way Modi has treated Hindus and Hinduism is a classic example of “kaamdaar and naamdaar”.
Despite political pressure, the Congress, under Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and now, Rahul Gandhi, made sure that they stick to their religion as “kaamdaars”.
The proof of them being “kaamdaar” is that when Indira Gandhi was in power, she was accused by "Sikh militancy" of being a Hindu leader. Rajiv Gandhi was the one who dared to open the locks of the Ayodhya site — and now, Rahul Gandhi fearlessly preaches his religion and spirituality.
On the other hand, the “Naamdaar” Modi and his government did nothing for Hindu issues, despite their brute majority in the Lok Sabha.
This is the time when the Congress can regain and win back Hindu hearts — and also, this is the time when we, the Hindus, realise that we have only been conned by the BJP.