Firoze Varun Gandhi has said nothing new. He has just repeated what most BJP leaders have been publicly stating. Among others he is being pilloried and denounced by the likes of Shahnawaz Husain and other bigwigs within the BJP simply because he is a young man having family connection with Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi and with little political standing of his own. Thus he can be got rid of much easily and in the process the party will improve its image too.
The truth is something else and the young generation of the country just needs to be shown and reminded about the films and tape recorded speeches of Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Vinay Katiyar, Sadhvi Rithambara, Uma Bharati and many others made during the hey days of the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid movement years. Who is not aware of the provocative utterance Ek Dhaka Aur Do (Give one more push) made by these guys to incite the rampaging mob indulging in the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. The BJP stalwarts during the Ramshila Puja months and the infamous march from Somnath to Ayodhya used to hurl choicest abuses on the Babur Ki Aulad – the expression used for Muslims – even on the eve of elections. Since those were not the days of the Election Commission activism, no one dared to book them.
Today dissociating itself from Varun, the same party says that his speech does not reflect the party’s idea. Now its secular partner, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, obviously to seek the goodwill of some Muslims, sheepishly demands action under the law of land against Varun.
The speeches and slogans uttered in 1992 may be ignored as they were made before the Election Commission was empowered with so much power and it became a three- member Commission and there was not so much electronic media to keep a tab on all those blasphemous words and phrases. But what about Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi publicly calling names of the then Chief Election Commissioner James Michael Lyngdoh and Sonia Gandhi. If Varun equated the Indian Muslim with Osama Bin Laden what about ‘Mian Musharraf’ speech of Modi. The Vajpayee-led BJP was in power at the Centre and nobody – not even the powerful Election Commission – dared to take any action against him. The Mukhtar Abbas Naqvis and Shahnawaz Husains of the Sangh Parivar turned deaf ears.
Not to speak of Modi, what action could be taken against Pravin Togadia, Ashok Singhal etc. Today the poor chap Varun showed his political immaturity by making statement of breaking the hands of those who harm the Hindus yet he found very little support from within the party. Bal Thackeray did jump to his favour, but he is of a slightly different breed. Now the BJP and its allies are reminded of the Muslim votes. Where were they when some of their leaders would publicly call for throwing the Muslims out of India? The Muslims in the BJP fear that Varun’s speech may harm their poll prospect but did they ever bother for Muslim sentiment? Then they should not be in the party of Babri Masjid demolishers?
What Varun failed to understand is that he was not brought in the BJP by late Pramod Mahajan as a rabble-rouser – there are already many in the rank and file – but as the one who will continue to pinch and embarrass Sonia Gandhi and her two children. He was expected to hurl expletives on the cousins and auntie and to disclose hitherto some undisclosed family secrets, which mother Maneka Gandhi could not do. His duty was to aggravate the family feud within the Gandhis. Instead he ended up working for a different family – Sangh Parivar.