Monday, November 23, 2009
BABRI IS BACK, BUT WHO GAINS?
It has taken the Ghost of Babri to get the fractious BJP to band together. A newspaper report claims that the (till now carefully mothballed) Liberhan Commission report has indicted the BJP top brass including, rather surprisingly, the party's moderate 'mukhota' (mask) Atal Behari Vajpayee for the demolition of the Masjid. Incensed and dismayed by the inclusion of Vajpayee the BJP has suddenly found a cause to rally around. A cause handed on a platter to it by the Cong-led UPA. So complete was the closing of the ranks in the BJP that even L K Advani and Rajanth Singh spoke from the same pulpit, like the good old days, to defend the sullied honour of their patriarch. If the Congress was testing political waters by orchestrating 'the motivated and selective leak' as some claim then it now knows what to expect. But that is not likely to deter the party. Congress strategists calculate that the electoral benefit of polarising the polity; winning back the minorities and finishing off the BJP in the cow belt far outweigh the political cost of uniting the saffron outfit. For the BJP the report presents an opportunity to resurrect its own saffron agenda and breathe life back into its deflated rank and file. But tactics apart isn't it just so tragic that once again our political representatives are picking at one of the country's deepest communal fault lines to profit at the hustings. In a sense it is 1992 once again.