By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-01-14 12:47:32
When intolerance is all-pervasive in some quarters, with the generals being in the forefront, the lieutenants will always cross the line to get into the good books of the power that be by showing how committed they are to the cause. Dilip Ghosh, the president of the West Bengal unit of the BJP is one such lieutenant. By calling those who were protesting against the NRC and the CAA "shaitans", or devils, who were "shot like dogs" in the BJP ruled states of Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, Ghosh has not only showed how insensitive he is but he has taken intolerance to a level beyond the comprehension of an ordinary educated person.
Is Ghosh aware that those who he is calling "shaitans" are mostly the future generation of this country? When Ghosh is done with his politics and will be no longer in a position to dictate terms, it is this younger generation, the ones who are now out on the streets protesting against what they think is a devious Act, that will be running the country. To them, it is Ghosh and his ilk that are the "shaitans" as they are changing the fundamental character of the Indian society and pitching people against each other.
Perhaps, for people like Ghosh, shooting those who hold a view not in agreement with their own view is par for the course. But a majority of Indians do not believe in this. India has always been home to diverse ideas and beliefs. It is because of this that under the umbrella of the Hindu religion, hundreds of off-shoots have developed. It is because of this that completely divergent views find a place in all walks of life. Till now, even if people did not agree with proponents of a particular idea or belief, they listened to them and allowed them the space they deserved. But that is no longer happening. The ruling dispensation now wants all Indians to turn into robots and be programmed with what they think is right for the country. That, one is certain, will also not happen.
The government must realize that as it is empowered to enact laws like the CAA, so are the people of India empowered to protest against it. The Constitution of India grants them the right to express their opinion and even start a movement to get it accepted. Whether the CAA is against the constitution is something for the Supreme Court to decide but the fact is that a vast majority of Indians, with the youth leading them, have already rejected it. The government has the right to go ahead with the legislation as it was passed by Parliament. But any government that is not sensitive to the wishes of the people is bound to suffer in the long run. Regardless of what the government does, the party must rein in motor mouths like Dilip Ghosh. His utterances will wash away whatever little goodwill there is still left for the party in West Bengal, and even elsewhere in India.