Saffron ‘Suicide Squad’?

The leading saffron strate-  gists of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) seems to be talking, of late, in multiple voices. Despite Modi’s aggressive stance towards the Opposition, they are not so sure whether a single slogan or a number of slogans will make them laugh the last laugh in the coming parliamentary poll in 2019. Modi’s roar about making India ‘Congress Free’ from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, seems to be subsiding, he is facing road-block from none other than Mohan Bhagwat, the undisputable RSS chief. Bhagwat is showing a little bit of tolerance while making it clear in no uncertain terms that ‘they never use the language of excluding anyone’. He is very much in favour of, unlike Modi, taking the opposition along with them. As per Bhagwat’s evalution, ‘the essence of Hindutva was having faith in everyone—faith in oneself, one’s family and the country’. Maybe he is talking turkey because of electoral compulsion. Maybe not. This way or that Modi’s aggression is on the retreat.

With Modi’s development baloon bursting in every corner of the country, the saffronites, including the hardliners of Nagpur, are moving cautiously. Nobody thinks India will recover from the shock of demonetisation, GST, forced digitisation, bank frauds, investment slump, foreign policy failure, agrarian distress, staggering unemployment and yawning fiscal deficit, any time soon.

Maybe, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is sensing a reversal in their electoral fortunes because of too harsh anti-people measures Modi has taken during the last four years. Some of their stalwarts are exploring possibilities of going back to ‘Ram Temple’. In this connection what Vinay Katiyar, former Upper House MP and senior party leader, has said recently in Lucknow, is simply bone-chilling. Katiyar has gone on record that if the court decision regarding ‘Ram Temple’ at Ayodhya does not come in their favour then a ‘Balidani Dasta’ (Sacrifice Squad) will be formed.

Speaking to the media, Katiyar said, "If Ram Mandir is not constructed, then Balidani Dasta will do the needful and help in construction of the Temple. However, the Balidani Dasta will not come into play till the time Supreme Court gives its decision. The process, though, has been started".

Katiyar also added that Iqbal Ansari, a party in the Babri Masjid case, has little knowledge about the entire issue.

The former BJP state president was elected a Lok Sabha member from the Faizabad (Ayodhya) constituency in 1991, 1996 and 1999 and recently retired from the post of Rajya Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh.

He is the founder member and president of Bajrang Dal, an affiliate and youth wing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Katiyar is one of the top BJP leaders facing charges in the Supreme Court for criminal conspiracy in the Babri Masjid-Ayodhya Ram Temple issue.

In plain language, Katiyar is advocating ‘Suicide Squad’ to reach their goal in case the Supreme Court opines against them. It’s a direct threat to independence of judiciary. The very idea of raising ‘sacrifice squad’ or ‘suicide squad’ in the name of Ram for the Temple at Ayodhya will polarise voters on communal lines, paving the way for communal riots. With the defeat of IS in Iraq and Syria, the incidence of suicide bombing has become less frequent in the Middle East. Taliban is now carrying it selectively in some pockets of Afghanistan and Pakistan. But even in these countries the ‘suicide’ campaigners have lost their initial appeal and thrust. Then the question of Hindu Taliban cannot be taken lightly after Katiyar’s obnoxious proposal of raising ‘sacrifie squad’.

Vol. 50, No.45, May 13 - 19, 2018