oppn parties Delhi Election Campaign: Extreme Polarization

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
oppn parties
Delhi Election Campaign: Extreme Polarization

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-02-05 18:23:57

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

It is clear from the way the BJP is conducting its campaign in the Delhi elections that it is using the CAA-NRC-NPR protests across the country and especially at Shaheen Bagh and Jamia in the capital to further polarize the votes. From the day Prime Minister Modi had said that it was clear who was protesting against the CAA from their clothes, all leaders in the BJP have sought to paint the protests as being a Muslim thing. It helps their cause immensely as these protests, all across India, have erupted in essentially Muslim-dominated areas.

Yet, the way the narrative is being hijacked to sound like a "we versus them" issue is fraught with danger. The hatred that is being spewed at protesters in Shaheen Bagh, as also elsewhere in India, does not bode well for the relationship between communities in India. It also finally debunks the "sabka saath, sabka vikas" model as a part of the Indian population is repeatedly being labeled as "gaddars" for having the 'temerity' to oppose a government policy.

There is a huge difference between real nationalism and nationalism as perceived by the BJP which it wants all Indians to follow. Nationalism is caring for the nation and not for the party in power. Opposing a government policy can never be equated with opposing the nation for governments come and go with time and policies keep changing but the nation is above all this. It is the lowest form of divisive tactic to make hatred against a particular community the main plank of a state election.

It is also doubtful whether the BJP will be able to reap the electoral dividend from this. As successive opinion polls show, AAP is likely to retain Delhi on the strength of the work it has done. That is as it should be. State elections should be fought on the basis of governance records. The BJP might find solace in the fact that these opinion polls also show that it has increased its vote share phenomenally (thus proving that there are takers for its line of thought) and that it would have won all 7 Lok Sabha seats in Delhi again if general elections were held now. But that should not embolden it to divide India like it is seeking to do.