Vishwa Hindu Parishad convenor Ashok Singhal’s statement that Bharatiya Janata Party’s victory in Lok Sabha polls 2014 was a “setback to Muslim politics” has created a furore.
The Congress has not only condemned Singhal’s statement but also hit out at the BJP.
Manish Tewari, the Congress leader, said the statement given by Singhal is “condemnable”.
“The true colors of the BJP and the extended Sangh family ‘pariwar’ are finally coming out in their true essence. The test of a democracy is not how you treat your majority; the test of a democracy is how you treat your minority. So, under those circumstances, to make a statement that is tantamount to saying that the minorities in India are second class citizens, and therefore, they should respect the majority, it is not only a complete anti-thesis of democracy, but is laying the foundations of making India into a Fascist state,” said Tewari.
Another Congressman Rajiv Shukla said that Muslims and Hindus live together in India.
“People like Ashok Singhal have been doing this politics for very long. This is the basis of their politics. To us, India is one, and every citizen of India has got the equal right to vote and elect the government. I don’t think even Modi would agree with his statement,” said Shukla.
“Muslims and Hindus live in this country together, and they will keep on living together, they are like brothers, and nothing can happen. Both communities are contributing immensely towards building this nation,” Shukla added.
When asked to share his views over Singhal’s interview, senior Shiv Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut said that India belonged to everyone and “everyone is equal”. “This time Muslim vote bank politics did not work,” Raut, however, added.
In an interview to a daily, the right-wing Hindu leader cited Narendra Modi’s major win in the Lok Sabha polls for claiming that “tables had turned”. He added that the results had proven that a poll could be won “without Muslim support”. It was time the minority community learn to respect Hindu sentiments, said the senior RSS leader.
The 88-year-old went on to add: “Muslims will be treated as common citizens — nothing more, nothing less. And, they must learn to respect Hindu sentiments. If they keep opposing Hindus, how long can they survive?”
He also said that Muslims should withdraw claims over Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura and also accept a uniform civil code.
“We’ll then give them love, and not claim any other mosque sites even though there are thousands built on the ruins of temples. But if they don’t accept it, they should be prepared for further Hindu consolidation. It has happened at the Centre, it will happen in other states,” the daily further quoted Singhal as saying.