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Winning by polarising the Gangetic plains?

The shortest, if dirtiest, route to victory in the circumstances is to polarise politics along religious lines by engineering communal violence. This is exactly what happened in Muzaffarnagar-Shamli in Western UP. A minor incident—a youth allegedly made lewd remarks to a girl of another community—was converted by RSS-VHP-BJP rumour-mills into “love jihad” (seduction-abduction of Hindu women), triggering Jat-Muslim clashes, in which 40 people were killed and 50,000 displaced.

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Defending the idea of India

Mumbai’s industrialists have funded, protected and used the Sena for decades to attack trade union and Left-wing cadres, create terror in labour bustees to evict people and grab land, and settle financial disputes with one another. The captains of Indian industry have kept the Sena’s extortion machine well-oiled—for purely short-term gains.

This has meant strengthening a monstrous force that further vitiates society and politics, and undermining the idea of India as a plural, diverse, secular society, where all citizens have equal rights. This idea of India is not something optional, to be used instrumentally whenever expedient. It is essential to India’s survival as a minimally civilised society which aspires to cohesion and progress. The idea is as important for industry as it is for politics. But Indian businessmen have yet to show this recognition.

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