There is a complete mismatch in what PM says and his party, the Bhartiya Janata Party, does. While his oratory is filled with messages of inclusiveness, unpalatable actions of the BJP and its associated wings cause unnecessary consternation amongst a section of the society thereby raising questions like, ‘Is there a hidden agenda?’. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are under their radar.

The dust in Aligarh, kicked up by the BJP insistence on celebrating the 128th birth anniversary of Jat King Raja Mahendra Singh on AMU campus, had barely settled down when the union minister from Fatehpur Niranjan Jyoti made an unwarranted statement during campaigning in Delhi. Her rural and poor background (as quoted by the prime minister while seeking pardon for her behaviour ) can hardly justify her use of abusive language in denouncing those who don’t believe in Lord Rama.

Behind both, the reasons are purely political. Ironically, in Aligarh the BJP saw the caste of the leader while coolly ignoring the fact that the Raja was also called Peter Peer Singh because he had imbibed three religions. The game plan was clear in Aligarh, to keep the Jat-Muslim wedge simmering till the 2017 Lok Sabha elections as the unity of the two dominant castes could prove politically dangerous for the saffron brigade.

But why defend the indefensible like union minister Niranjan Jyoti, whose popularity is waning in her own Lok Sabha constituency. But then how can the Prime Minister drop her when his party is out on its woo-OBC-Dalit mission. On this December 6, instead of observing Shaurya Diwas, the saffron brigade was celebrating Ambedkar Jayanti in Uttar Pradesh.

Now, we have this news about a conversion camp held in Agra.

On a day prime minister Narendra Modi won hearts at a rally in Kashmir by saying, ‘They want Android smart phones and not AK 47’, a group of Dharam Jagran and Bajrang Dal volunteers were converting 57 Muslim families to Hinduism describing it as the homecoming of those who had embraced Islam only 25 years back. Knowing the bullying character of these organisations, it is hard to know whether these Muslims were forcibly converted to Hinduism under their ‘Hindu Bachchao, Hindu Banao’ campaign.

While making it clear that these conversions camps will continue, the volunteers held hawan amidst Gayatri Mantra for the purification of those ‘coming home’ and handed over deity of Kali for worship.

The families were from Kolkata and claim to be happy with their new identities. The very next day, accusing Bajrang Dal of tricking them at a religious event denied conversion to Hinduism. But by then the rumour mill had started working across the country.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi”s Independence day speech has triggered a debate in the urban circles of the country on whether the country’s premier should speak on mundane issues like hygiene, toilets and mothers putting a check on their errant sons. The overwhelming majority has reacted with why not?
In fact, many feel that Narendra Modi should have shown the guts to even touch the most serious issue of country’s growing population which no political party has dared  to touch after the rejection of  Sanjay Gandhi forced sterilisation in the country.
And now when he is planning to address students on Teacher’s Day, the same critics are questioning his ‘inclusive’ step. Jawaharlal Nehru had many political enemies bu they found nothing unusual when he related with children so well. Take President APJ Abdul Kalam who has a huge fan following amongst students.
It’s not Narendra Modi’s fault that many of his predecessors did not interact with the students. And if he wants to address them, then why oppose it – only because he is from a rival political party. Some school principals are finding the four pm time as impractical and that’s understandable too. Perhaps the PMO should have thought of pre- lunch or the morning assembly timings that would have suited the schools better.
The fact is as long as the prime minister is pursuing inclusiveness, there is no reason to be critical of his each and every move. The students should not only know the name of the country’s prime ministers but should have heard them also. The students can play a crucial role in achieving hygiene while understanding their social responsibilities.
Perhaps not many know that by constructing toilets you not only save women from every day humiliation but also from sexual assaults and stave off diseases by maintaining hygiene levels.
To me it is immaterial whether we call September 5 as Teacher’s Day or Guru Utsav.
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I was simply shocked to hear the guests at a party becoming so contemptuous about the media. While some thought BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi was a media creation, others were blaming newspapers for doing selective reporting. It’s all paid, someone even whispered. I found it quite unfair to put the entire media in the dock. Read more

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