Addressing an election rally in Vijayanagara district, Karnataka, Modi sought to play the Hindutva card as he spoke about the place’s link with Lord Hanuman. ‘‘I have come to the land of Lord Hanuman. I am fortunate that I got the opportunity to pay obeisance to his land. But see the misfortune that when I have come to pay my respect to his land, the Congress has decided to lock up Lord Hanuman,’’ he said, hinting at the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, Anjanadri Hills. ‘‘Initially, they locked up Shri Ram and now they want to lock up people who say ‘Jai Bajrang Bali’. It is a misfortune of this country that the Congress had the problem with Shri Ram and now with the people who say, ‘Jai Bajrang Bali’.’’
His attack on the Congress, his main rival in bourgeois electoral politics, came hours after the Congress released the Karnataka poll manifesto in which it mentioned cracking down on divisive forces such as the Bajrang Dal, an affiliate of arch Hindu communal RSS-BJP-Sangh Parivar, and the PFI, an Islamic fundamentalist organization. Reacting to the manifesto, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, another formidable affiliate of Sangh Parivar, claimed that ‘‘The Bajrang Dal is an organization dedicated selflessly towards the cause of national interest and social interest. … (Our) proud workers have been obstructing the expansion of Islamist extremism.’’ In February last, two Muslim men, Junaid and Nasir who were kidnapped allegedly by members of Bajrang Dal were found dead after their charred bodies were found in a burnt car. It has been alleged that Monu Manesar, Bajrang Dal leader and a man who lead a 50 member team of cow-vigilantes or gau-rakshaks is involved in this crime. In another ghastly incident, a worker who hailed from West Bengal, was attacked with an axe and later burnt alive by one Shabhu Lal of Raj Nagar, a Bajrang Dal activist, in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan on 07-12-17. He even engaged one person to shoot this savage act on camera and later circulated in the social media. A 26-year-old Hindu dentist was found dead in Jammu on the evening of last Holi day along with her wounded Muslim boyfriend who was admitted in hospital in a critical condition. Rakesh Bajrangi, J&K president of Bajrang Dal claimed on Friday that such ‘‘brutal killings’’ were part of ‘‘love jihad’’. There are plenty of such incidents orchestrated by the Bajrang Dal activists.
Now the PM openly bats for them as if they are accredited representative of Bajrangbali, a mythical character turned Hindu god. We are not aware of any story or fable that narrated Bajarangbali having been involved in such bestial killings out of communal hatred. The PM of late started dressing up as Bajrangbali (Hanuman) while addressing election meets and solely referring to the ‘greatness’ of Hindutva. He not even by mistake uttered a single word about the burning problems wreaking havoc in people’s life. Message is large and clear-Hindutva is only positive-all others are negative. People’s growing peril and predicament are of no concern-doing any damn thing including merciless killing to uphold ‘Hindu Pride’ is only what matters.
(Source: Economic Times 08-12-17, Sabrang 16-02-23, Times of India 11-03-23, 04-05-23, The Print 02-05-23)