The Uttar Pradesh unit of the BJP may have dropped the reference to what is being dubbed as Love Jihad at its conclave in Mathura, but it cannot be construed as a signal that the party is giving up its apparent policy of polarisation to create a communal divide and garner the votes of the majority community. The BJP was a major beneficiary of the communal polarisation in western UP in the months leading up to the Parliamentary elections earlier this year, and having tasted blood, the Narendra Modi led party is hardly likely to give up its quest for votes in India’s most populous and politically crucial state. Of the 543 elected seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, the state accounts for 80 seats, nearly one sixth of the total.
The BJP’s intentions are clear from the political resolution adopted at the conclave which talks of the resolve to launch a mass movement against what the party calls religious appeasement, and what other parties call creating a more inclusive society. leaders of the BJP and its parent body, the RSS, have again been making noises of late about India being a Hindu nation. The attempt to portray the country as a Hindu nation is evidently against the spirit of the Indian Constitution, which clearly lays down that India is a secular state.
The ruling polity has been able to continue with its allegedly polarising tactics because of a weak and divided opposition. The Congress, after its worst ever debackle in the general elections, is still licking its wounds, and has been unable to put up a tough fight against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party in Parliament and outside. More importantly, it has failed to bring the ‘secular’ parties together to fight the Modi Government’s retrograde moves on matters such as steps which might erode the independence of the judiciary as well those harming the secular fabric of the nation.
But there are signs that elements in the opposition are now giving a serious thought to forging an alliance to fight the Modi led ruling polity. The combine formed in Bihar by the JDU, the RJD and the Congress is a pointer in this direction.