‘If the Rapists are From Brahmin Community, They Will Have Good Values...’ Wow, BJP!
Not many days have passed, when in the name of President Draupadi Murmu, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was neck-deep in tom-tomming its commitment to the cause of the most backward sections of our society. From the Prime Minister to the Home Minister, everyone was trying to describe themselves as messiahs of tribals or advivasis. Sitting on TV panels, BJP spokespersons probably may have used the word ‘adivasis’ more times than the total population of the community in the country.
Let's go back to August 15, this year, when the country was immersed in celebrating Independence Day and from the ramparts of Red Fort, the Prime Minister was talking big about women's safety and honour. In fact, he sounded so emotional that he came close to choking.
But for how long can such lies and histrionics last? It didn’t take long to bust this posturing by none other than a BJP MLA from Gujarat, who made public the real script behind the ‘posturing’.
Just look at the extent of crude and irresponsible remarks made by CK Raulji, the BJP legislator from Godhra, Gujarat, who said that some of the perpetrators who were convicted in the Bilqis Bano gang-rape case, hail from brahmin families and have “good sanskars” or values.
Before proceeding further, it is necessary to recall that even though BJP leaders make speeches, shout and applaud the cause of dalits and Muslims, but these are mainly with an eye on political and electoral gains.
On the other side, the way some BJP MLAs are lending their shoulders to these criminals, using the brahmin society as a shield, is not only an insult to brahmin community but also a conspiracy to dilute the extremely heinous act of Bilqis Bano’s gang-rape.
Going by the words of the BJP MLA from Godhra, gangster Vikas Dubey, who killed many policemen in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, should also be declared no less than a messiah, as, according to Raulji, even though Dubey was a criminal, but he had ‘good values’ as he was a brahmin?
Interestingly, when elections were held after the Vikas Dubey case, BJP leaders in UP were always reluctant to refer to him as a criminal lest the upper caste vote bank gets affected.
Recall another example when some protesting farmers were mowed down in Tikunia village in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri by a Thar SUV, allegedly by Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni. Later, Ashish Mishra was arrested but the minister was seen sharing the stage with the country's Home Minister Amit Shah.
Some BJP leaders and outfits close to it have been garlanding upper caste criminals to ensure that the party’s brahmin vote bank does not get dented. But, in reality, riding piggy-back on any community to extract political gains is an insult to that community.
This was only one part of the statement by BJP’s Raulji. Later, the Godhra MLA also supported those who welcomed these criminals by garlanding them and offering them sweets! This gives one a glimpse of the kind of MLAs that get space in BJP.
Raulji's remarks are particularly significant because according to reports, he was a member of the remission committee headed by Godhra Collector and District Magistrate, Sujal Mayatra, which unanimously recommended the release of the 11 convicts. Moreover, reports say that Suman Ben Chauhan, BJP MLA from Kalol in Gujarat, was also part of the same committee that recommended the release of the convicts.
By the way, garlanding criminals is nothing new in BJP. Recall when former Union Minister Chinmayanand was accused of raping an LLM student from Shahjahanpur. When he was released on bail from Allahabad High Court, he was welcomed as if he had returned after distributing awards in a ceremony to honour women.
Also recall that when Kuldeep Sengar, then MLA from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, had raped the woman, and there was outrage in the country, the then Union minister Santosh Gangwar had said that one or two rape incidents should not be ‘hyped’ up.
There is a long list of such examples, through which the BJP will not be able to come out of the dock. But by staying in power and taking undue advantage of it, their leaders have always got away.
Isn’t it ironical, that on the day when the country was celebrating the 75th year of Independence, 11 convicts of gang-rape of a pregnant woman were released on the same day? All these accused were in jail since 2004, and it was the special court of CBI that convicted them to life imprisonment in 2008.
It was during the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat after the Godhra incident, that there was an incident of gang-rape with Bilqis Bano in Limkheda tehsil. In the incident, seven members of her family were also killed, and her 3-year-ol daughter’s head was smashed. On the orders of the Supreme Court, the CBI investigated the case and in 2004, the 11 accused were arrested and taken to Mumbai. All were sentenced to life imprisonment by a CBI court.
The accused were first lodged in Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai and then in Nashik Jail. After about nine years, everyone was transferred to Godhra jail in Gujarat.
On February 27, 2002, the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express train was set on fire at Godhra station in Gujarat. As many as 59 people were killed in the fire. All these were kar sevaks, who were returning from Ayodhya. Violence broke out all over Gujarat after the Godhra incident and thousands of people were killed. At that time Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
After the release of the convicts, Opposition parties have been constantly raising questions. TMC MP Mahua Moitra even said that the country has to decide whether Bilqis Bano is a woman or a Muslim?
It is natural to raise such questions after the way bulldozer politics was played out Delhi's Jahangirpuri, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in the recent past, abusing the Muslim community on TV channels and razing their homes.
Apart from this, it is worth noting that the perpetrators of Bilqis Bano’s rape have been released at a time when the Gujarat elections are nearing. In that backdrop, such a statement by a BJP MLA could also be aimed at uniting upper castes not just in Gujarat but across the country. However, it is very important for BJP to understand that associating criminals with a community is an insult to that community, and does more damage to it.
(Translated from Hindi by Aditi Nigam)
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