I was planning to write a follow-up to my previous blog about the BJP bringing in paradigm shifts in Indian politics. However, the Nupur Sharma controversy forced me to change my blog's direction as well. Let's peel the layers of this controversy slowly.
To begin with, what exactly did Nupur Sharma say? I am not going to repeat that because I am genuinely afraid to get arrested for repeating something that's factually correct and cited numerous times in Islamic literature. In this age of social media, the first casualty is freedom of speech. And in India where minority appeasement and mob mentality still infect government machinery, saying the truth will land you in trouble. But should Nupur Sharma have said what she said? Maybe. Maybe not. She was baited into it for sure. When the Gyanvyapi mosque case started getting traction, the collective mafia of Islamists and secularists in India went into overdrive to trivialize the faith of billions of Hindus. They made fun of Bhagwan Mahdev to such a low level that it's a testament to Hindus in this country that such rampant baiting did not lead to riots. But sometimes it's better not to speak the truth or state the facts. Especially when the party you represent is at the Center and at the helm of the state government. That's not how being responsible works. Sometimes it's better to let progress be made through peace. Sometimes it’s better if people wake up slowly to the reality of Gyanvyapi instead of saying something that can be used to rile up the masses. That's where Nupur Sharma was wrong. Again, what she said wasn't incorrect or worthy of libel, or derogatory. But did she need to say that?
What should the BJP do here? This is a difficult task. There is no doubt that the way controversy unfolded would raise eyebrows. However, the BJP was compelled to punish Nupur Sharma. She was not supposed to bite the bait as a representative of the ruling party. She shouldn't get carried away. Furthermore, the BJP is a political party. They will always act in their short-term interest. At this point, they do not want to get involved in another Muslim controversy. It overshadows all the good work they are doing or attempting to do. It plays directly into the opposition's strategy to corner the party on the issue of secularism. The secularism mafia gets a bigger forum to spread lies, rumors, and agenda-driven narratives. And all this for a matter that's sub-judice? Only a few years ago, it would have been unthinkable for this case to get heard and this matter becoming public. It's a small victory to start with. But now a whole lot of work got wasted with this stray comment. A bit of a necessary digression here - one should not speak on behalf of the BJP or assume BJP would support them in case of a controversial statement. The statement may be true, and the facts may be right in the front but if the topic is not helping the electoral or political motive, BJP WILL NOT COME TO RESCUE! And as is the situation in MH, for example, opposition-ruled state police will hunt you down, arrest you, beat you and even kill you if necessary and BJP won't don't anything. There are political compulsions obviously but moreover, BJP is the ruling party in over half of India. It cannot act reactionary like Mamta in WB or Afzal Sena in MH. BJP is a national party with an ambition to implement its agenda over the next several decades. If one wants to speak, do that with full knowledge that consequences are only for her/him to bore.
The international controversy, if we can even call it that, was hilarious. I don't think anyone except for the so-called liberal and woke media took that 'discourse' seriously. Three nations with a stunningly awful record on human rights (Iran leads the world in executing people by hanging!) lecturing India about minority rights? This whole thing feels very well-orchestrated charade. This is now less about what Nupur Sharma said and more about settling scores and generating controversy to achieve nefarious objectives. Is the US playing the role of 'god' through Qatar, 'punishing' in Indian govt. for not siding with them against Russia? Is the Islamist lobby in India flexing muscles, threatening the govt. that any change in the status quo of Gyanvyapi will lead to violence? Has the 'woke' 'liberal', and 'secularists' in India finally found the elusive controversy to latch onto the next election? So many legitimate questions.
Whether controversy was unnecessary or not, whether what Nupur Sharma said was legitimate or not, whether international geo-politics attempted to take advantage of this situation or not, the reality is, people did die in this episode. Should they be out pelting stones, burning properties, and attacking the police for such a flimsy reason? Definitely not but innocent people (being stupid does not mean one is not innocent!) suffered. Unfortunately, this can be avoided by the People alone. Don't fall for someone else's politics, don't sell yourself short for a Biryani, and don't get caught in someone else's fight. Relax, think and vote intelligently. It is as simple as that!