Gagan Narang was prepared for the winds. What a partnership this has been 1440 hrs IST: HUNDRED FOR CHETESHWAR PUJARA! So if history refuses to go awaywhy should the invocation of Jinnah incense the BJP so much The BJP has been no stranger to history A lot about what the BJP was about and why it grew when it didin the late Eighties and Ninetieshad to do with its idea of medieval India and a sense of injury and hate it cashed in on Babri Masjid a 15th century symbol was pickedmyth and history mixed and usefully turned into a concoction that resulted in a large political movement mass mobilisationriotshate and political mileage If the NDA years meant a Mandir slowdowna more assimilative phase and the era post-Vajpayee seemed bereft of a central theme binding the party The idea of contesting the election as a presidential one may have been a bad copy of the US election campaignbut it was also a good one to try and circumvent the entire problem of stating clearly what the BJP stood foras its planks of internal security and pride in India seemed to have been effectively hijacked by the ruling party In an era when the Congress seems to have monopolised the middle-class votethe emerging India pride plankit was perhaps inevitable that to be a struggle within the party for the ideas the BJP promotes And Historynot of the kind the BJP would want to pickhas come to haunt it The BJP (a young partyonly twenty nine years old) did not have a foothold in the national movement But to make it a national forceSardar Patelthe Congress first home minister was appropriated by the party and flattering references were made about him on a regular basis LK Advani incidentally enjoyed the same portfolios as Patel (I&B in the Janata Party regimehome minister and deputy PM in NDA he even unveiled a bust of Patel in London in 2003) Narendra Modi tooalso mindful of the state he was inand the need to keep the caste in good humour kicked off his re-election campaign with huge cut-outs of Patel next to his pictures in 2002 IronicallyJaswant Singhs book too (if you ignore the clubbing of Patel with Nehru for half a second) does its bit to help the BJP view of history along its central theme is that the Congress (read Nehru) were also to blame for the Partition (which has been the subtext all alongNehru and his view of the world is attacked by the Sangh and associated wingsespecially as Nehrus direct descendants continue to be in politics and the BJPs principal opposition) But maybe the business of blame for Partition is exactly why the BJP gets so uneasy about Jinnah Clearlyit can be no ones case that a person or even a group of persons were responsible for Partition It was a series of events and processeschannelled cleverly by a colonial power eager to take the power away from a national movement which was ensuring that the sun set on the Empire And in that list of terrible eventsif Muslim separatism finally pushed the tragic course of eventstheir Hindu counterparts too provided fuel that resulted in the loss of ten million lives in 1947 Vinayak Savarkar in a meeting in 1937when he took charge of the Hindu Mahasabhaactively spoke of being in agreement with Jinnahs view of Hindus and Muslims being two nations BS Moonjeanother leading light of the Hindu militant school founded the Bhonsla Military School in Nashik in 1935 which pushed for aggressive/militant action to guard Hindus In essenceMuslim and Hindu extremism thrived on each other and still do a sense of siegehurt and aggression keeps both aggressive points of view active and going The Britishwhen they decided on the Partition of Bengal in 1906 along communal lines and separate electoratesleading to the Swadeshi movement started writing the script of the nightmare of 1947 Having practiced partition to a fine art just before departing back for homein AfricaCyprus and in Palestine it was a near-convention to break-up former colonies and India too could not prevent the grand design from being played out here Eventspopular opinionresentments and no doubtegos and impatience of leaders shaped events And thatfundamentally is the problem with Jinnah springing out of the bottlehe is an important part of history but not the kind the RSS/BJP wish to necessarily discuss just yet Discussing Jinnah raises uncomfortable questions about the RSS role then (they were banned after the assassination of Gandhiironicallyby the then Home Minister Sardar Patelwho in correspondence with RSS leaders like Golwalkar clearly enunciates why they have been banned The ban being lifted in 1949only on assurances that the RSS will remain confined to culture, as levels of PM 2. reported People magazine.Sethi said in a statement: “It has old values but new sound

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