The fact that the remarks of BJP president Amit Shah after inaugurating the new district office of the party in Kannur has shocked the entire nation, is natural.
The speech of the national chief of a party which leads the central government was one that threatened the Supreme Court which passed a verdict allowing entry of women of all ages to the Sabarimala shrine and the state government which had taken steps to implement the top court’s order. He commented that courts should not pronounce verdicts that cannot be enforced and issue orders that shatter the faith of the people. The state government was warned that it would be pulled down if the government continued to implement the court order and suppress the devotees. Amit Shah’s browbeating the democratic system of the country cannot be seen as a contextual emotional outburst of a political leader. The statements by the national leaders of the party and the Sangh Parivar accompanying Shah’s remarks on an issue eagerly watched by the entire nation, prove that it was part of certain decisions taken by his party.
The somersault by Sangh Parivar in the Sabarimala issue is right before everyone’s eyes. The RSS and the Sangh Parivar were of the open view that everyone should be allowed entry to Lord Ayyappa temple irrespective of age and gender. When the court gave the permission in Shani Shingnapur, the BJP government in Maharashtra took all the measures to implement the order. In this backdrop, when the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the entry of women to Sabarimala, it was deemed that the Sangh Parivar would adopt a stance in line with it. However, when the state government came forward to implement the court verdict, a cunningness dawned on Sangh Parivar to settle scores in political animosity and to transform the Sabarimala issue into a tool to try a hand at communal polarization to gain a foothold somehow in Kerala.
The all India leadership of Amit Shah was directly taking over the protest realizing it as a golden opportunity to fan communal sentiments. Shah arrived in Kerala to add more spice to it. His threat to pull down the state government came in the name of attempting to track down the culprits who led to the clashes by obstructing the journey of the devotees. Shah’s remark that the state government would be brought down if it continues to arrest the workers, has however, proved one thing. The national president has himself let out the truth that it is the Sangh Parivar that resorts to clashes in the name of devotees at Sabarimala and other places and even use the destination of the devotees for the protest.
The speech of the BJP president at Kannur triggers apprehensions among peace-seeking Keralites. His was a provocative speech of a religious and communal leader. Saffron-robed saints in the Sangh Parivar had been following a norm of challenging and scorning the Constitution and Constitutional institutions. They had until now been enforcing the wishes of Hindutva communalists in every issue, and overpowering those who pose hurdles in that path. This was what was seen in incidents including the demolition of Babri Masjid. BJP’s tradition so far has been to give a silent nod and backing from behind the curtain for all those moves which renders the Constitutional institutions irrelevant through violence. In the Modi era when any garb of saint will fit any seat of power, the party leadership has taken over the activities which sabotage the administrative systems. Amit Shah’s arrival in Kannur took place even before the country has been recovering from the shock of a midnight purge in the CBI.
The party did not relish the Supreme Court's interention in CBI's reshuffle. The admonition by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was to the effect that the Supreme Court should exercise caution before it interferes with the decisions of an elected government. But when the issue was toppling of an elected government of Kerala, his party chief did not have any such caution. That the Supreme Court's functioning was suffering from extraneous political interference, was earlier brought to light by judges themselves through a news conference. Amit Shah being one of those in the shadow of the judges' implied allegation, his fulmination against the court has to be viewed with concern.
The observation by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan that Amit Shah's blabbering was that of a small mind is right. What the Modi-Amit Shah duo is displaying are the acts that small minds will indulge in when they win money and power. The daily pronouncements by leaders in high echelons only prove that the Sangh Parivar – loaded with contempt for democracy, secularism, co-existence and peaceful atmosphere – is showing its fangs of power from time to time. To rein that in, tit for tat responses alone may not suffice. In order to defeat the fissiparous forces with the strength of democracy, all patriots and lovers of humanity need to come together with united might.