(PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)
(PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore)

While Narendra Modi-led government is eyeing for second term, the saffron party has fielded new-age Hindutva warriors like Sadhvi Pragya Thakur to win back Hindu votes. In a recent interview, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, said that he felt a “sense of responsibility”. But by fielding “Sadhvi” Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case who is out on bail, the Modi-Amit Shah duo has shown the world that the Bharatiya Janata Party has made the elections about Hindutva and not development.

While the polling for the Lok Sabha elections has concluded, all focus is now on the results which are scheduled for May 23. While people are eagerly waiting for who will form the next government, the ruling BJP party has lined up saffron-clad leaders to win the Lok Sabha elections. After making Yogi Adityanath as its poster boy for Uttar Pradesh and now Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, BJP is aiming to tap every Hindu voter.

The mascots of Hindutva?

A five-term Lok Sabha member of Parliament (MP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yogi Adityanath is a fiery Hindutva mascot who has developed a reputation of being controversy’s favourite child over a period of time. Clad in his trademark saffron robe, Yogi Aditayanth, has been seeking greater power and is expected to give a push to BJP’s Hindutva-wrapped agenda of development with the emergence of a separate power base for the party in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Playing the religious card during the pre-poll campaign, the firebrand leader had said controversial issues like ‘love jihad’ and ‘Kairana Hindu’ exodus have always been on his party’s agenda. He had also said that the hurdles on the path of construction of a grand Ram temple will be gradually removed and its construction will soon start in Ayodhya.

Indians had almost forgotten about Hinduism or Hindutva agenda. The issue came up in public debate again after the BJP nominated Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in Malegaon blasts case, as a candidate in Bhopal. Amid the raging controversy over BJP leader Pragya Singh Thakur’s remarks glorifying Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse, party president Amit Shah defended fielding her as the BJP’s candidate from Bhopal in the ongoing national election and said her candidature is a “satyagraha” against a fake “saffron terror” case.

“Pragya Thakur’s candidature is a satyagraha against a fake case of fake bhagwa (saffron) terror. I want to ask Congress, some people were earlier arrested in ‘Samjhauta Express’ who were related to LeT (Lashkar-e-Toiba). A fake case of “bhagwa terror” was made in which accused have been acquitted,” Shah said during a press conference that was also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

BJP high command promotes Hindutva too?

The BJP’s high command, which only includes Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, has been, at many occasions, seen talking about Hindutva. In an attack against Mamata Banerjee, Shah said, “Lord Ram is a part of the culture of India… Can anybody stop people from taking his name? I want to ask Mamata didi if Shri Ram’s name is not taken in India, will it be chanted in Pakistan.” He also dared the West Bengal CM to arrest him for chanting the slogan.

Attacking Rahul Gandhi over the term “Hindu terror“, Shah accused the Congress chief of “defaming” Hindus by calling them “terrorists.”Saare log nirdosh chuth gaye. Puri duniya mein Hindu samuday ko badnam karne ka kaam kiya Rahul Babu and Company ne. Hindu terror, Hindu atankvaad… Hindu kabhi terrorist ho sakta hai kya? Jo chinti humme kaat ti hai, who chinti ko bhi atta khilane ka kaam yeh Hindu karta hai. Hindu kisiko marta nahin hai. Apni vote bank ki raksha ke liye, Hindu terror ki gaali Hindu samuday par lagayi hai. (All the accused have been acquitted, Rahul Gandhi and his party defamed Hindus across the world in the name of Hindu terror. Can Hindus be terrorist? A Hindu feeds flour even to an ant that stings him. To protect their vote bank, they abused Hindus with the tag of terrorist),” Shah told a crowd.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday attacked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for allegedly confronting a group of purported BJP supporters for chanting “Jai Shri Ram” and claimed that she was putting innocent people in jail for hailing Lord Ram.

“I want to say to the people of entire West Bengal, ‘Jai Shri Ram’. I want to say it, especially to Mamata didi. Didi has started to put people in jail for chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’. So I thought that I should also say ‘Jai Shri Ram’ to her directly. May be she would put me in jail as well,” Modi said at an election rally in Jhargram district, evoking loud cheer from the crowd.

“If she puts me in jail, I will at least be able to serve the innocent people whom she has imprisoned. Is it a crime to hail Lord Ram in West Bengal? In front of Ram, the pride of many people have been shattered. How long will you (Banerjee) hold on to you pride,” he asked.

The conclusion

Narendra Modi government already has Hindutva mascots like Yogi Adityanath, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Sakshi Maharaj, Swami Sumedhanand Saraswati representing them in State Assembly and Lok Sabha. So while the Modi-led government has failed to deliver on almost all of its major election promises of 2014, now the only option it has for attracting votes is to use Hindutva as a political tool. So the big question now is, is our Parliament slowly going into hands of a section of politicians in BJP who don saffron to prove their authority over religion and politics?