Has the BJP let loose its rank and file to run amok, taking law into their hands? Or is it that none of the leadership's lectures on democratic decorum applies to the party workers? Or has the sangh parivar taken upon itself to implement the tactical criminal politics of leadership saying one thing and the followers doing quite the opposite.
Going by the news of attacks from different parts of the country, one is prompted to raise such anxious questions. In the penumbra of power at the Centre, sangh parivar assumes charge of law and order and administrtion of justice and their rank and file rule the roost on the streets. And then it has become a routine that when protests and criticism against them become indefensibly vociferous, the top leaderhip including the prime minister come out with statements as if to put dust in people's eyes. Since Narendra Modi took office for a second term, the sangh parivar outfits have intensified mob lynching in the name of religion and caste.
News pouring in each day about mob attacks declare that it is becoming a routine to assault people of other castes whoever comes in sight, and kill them with racial hatred, pure and simple. Instead of reining in such culprits and taking stringent to stop such violence, the prime minister was winding up the matter by sharing his 'pain' in a statement and a tweet. Even then what dominated in his mind was not compunction or remorse for the heinous killing of 18 people over the last three years, but his rage against those who blamed the state of Jharkhand for that. It looks as though the followers are out in the open for a goon raj, comfortable with the assurance that for all their deeds, there is a party president or the prime minister to wash their hands off with a word of admonition.
The latest instance of this is the act of BJP legislator Vijayvargiya, in hitting a municipal official with a cricket bat in front of the public; the party got him released on bail with a celebration but not without a subsequent tall talk by the prime minister that action will be taken against the culprit, regardless of whose son he was. Dhirendra Bayas, a zonal officer of BJP-ruled Indore Municipal Corporation, who arrived at a building marked for demolition as unfit for human habitation, was thrashed with a cricket bat by Akash Vijayvargiya, MLA and son of BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya. If the MLA had an issue with the move for demolition, what he should have done is to get his own party that ruled the corporation to retrace the decision. But without taking the trouble for that, he who held a constitutional office, took law into his hands in public view and obstructed the functioning of democratic administration. This constituted nothing but a clear act of political goodnaism. And for his party, the national general secretary of BJP justified his son instead of condemning his arrogance.
In fact there is an incidental fact that the son was precisely following the tradition of his father. For the father Kailash is one who, stunned a senior police officer by smashing him with his chappals two and a half years ago in front of the Mayor Bhavan. What Kailash, Akash and those who hoist them to leadership, show us is where the decorum and value commitment about which the BJP leadership is big-mouthed, stand in practice. Although the MLA who was arrested on 27 June was remanded until 11 July by the magistrate court, he was released on bail within four days, to be greeted with a rousing reception by partymen. And the MLA also affirmed there that the he "took on that day was taken thoughtfully and with full responsibility". He did not "have any regrets about that".
Akash, who reiterated that he did what he thought was right, also spoke another truth; that the first lesson they learned from BJP was 'plea first, complain next and then attack'. If so, why should a young leader of the party have regret over implementing the party plan?! After the series of incidents from the MLA's violent pranks and arrest, upto his release on bail and reception by party workers, the prime minister finally entered the scene yesterday with an uncompromising stand of the party. When everything was over, he said at a party meeting that he did not care whose son was behind the incident and the action was totally unacceptable. Narendra Modi has also asked that those who received Akash on his release from jail should also be removed from the party. Most of the mainstream media reported Modi's words prominently. But then, although the sycophantic media would not tell for who these gunshots after the show were meant, the people will make it out. It all looks like following a pattern: stay quiet with folded hands when rank and file indulge in such criminal acts, give them all facilities available with government machinery, and after making sure everything is over, come to the scene with condemnation and admonition. The Akash incident lays bare the message given by BJP leadership to its followers through this deceptive policy, that has been in display ever since mob lynchings started. If the party and government leadership do not stop this game getting out of hand, the 'Viyayavargiya'-style onslaughts are bound to continue.