The use of hateful and divisive language by high-ranking politicians has increased in the past five years. Be it in the language of bigotry or calling for violence. The rise in use of social media by politicians has only amplified this disturbing trend. BJP assuming power for the second time in a way gave an open license to all to indulge in open hate speech against the religious minorities. The current agenda behind the hate speech is to consolidate the communal polarization of the society along lines of religion. Hindutva hatemongers seems to have a free run by raising ugly heads as they sought for more curbs on India's Muslims, but our beloved Prime Minister as usual choose to maintain deafening silence. The atrocious statement of Sunita Singh Gaur, Leader of Mahila Morcha of the Uttar Pradesh unit of BJP is totally shocking, despicable and utterly shameful. While the right wing party is infamous for its communal and misogynistic statements, this is an extemely callous statement considering that Gaur belongs to the women’s wing and has grossly misused her position to not only pass anti-Muslim statements but has also put women’s security on stake. Even then, it likely would have been dismissed as an aberration, if it were not remarkably consistent with the actions of some of the most notorious members of her party and the Hindutva ideology upon which it was founded. Yet, while the expulsion was necessary action, other recent statements – and actions – by higher-profile leaders suggest that Gaur’s dismissal merely means that the party is washing its hands off a low-ranking member who became a liability. Yogi Adityanath’s idea of how to “protect Hindu culture” closely resembles Sunita Singh Gaur’s idea of how to “protect India.” Yogi Adityanath remains one of the most prominent and egregious examples of the BJP not only turning a blind eye to poisonous rhetoric but actually promoting those who employ it. Few are more notorious – or prolific – when it comes to producing hate speech.
In the past, the Unnao BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj again did what he does best: putting his foot in his mouth. By blaming the Muslims for sharp rise in population in the country by adopting the concept of four wives to produce 40 children, he made the mockery out of the Supreme Court's verdict that seeking votes in the name of religion during polls would amount to corrupt practice and illegal. Also, these off the cuff wake up calls came straight from Pravin Togadia that If Muslims give birth to more than two children, it should be made a punishable criminal offence and ration, jobs and educational facilities should be then stopped for them. West Bengal BJP leader Shyamal Goswami went even a step further by saying that Hindus should produce five offsprings. Sadhvi Prachi gave a call that the Muslim film actors, Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan should be boycotted. Yogi Adityanath’s derogatory comment that in ‘love jihad’ if one Hindu girl is converted then 100 Muslim girls should be converted to Hinduism. Joining the bandwagon, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Giriaj Singh made insulting and humiliating remarks about non Hindus and the color of skin of UPA chief Sonia Gandhi. Subramaniam Swamy, the trump card of the present incumbent of BJP, preached God lives in temples alone, not in mosques and Churches. The hidden implication of this statement is fraught with danger. Its impact in increasing the sense of fear amongst religious minorities is more than obvious.
Apart from this there are many more indulging in the divisive speech and worsening the communal situation. They have started feeling emboldened as they know it is ‘their’ government and they can get away with it. Day in and day out they are becoming more aggressive and vicious in their language. In most other cases, generally those spreading hate get away without any action against them. The belief of inclusive politics has been splintered and challenged by the party coteries through their statements and various actions. Some express their opinion in muted tone while some in more assertive manner. Members of the ruling party are tacitly supporting these groups and have used religiously-divisive language to further inflame tensions. The repeated and unchecked anti-minority statements from what used to be described as the fringe elements but now happen to be not so fringe after all. And surely after the Modi Sarkar coming to power second time, their vitriol has become more intense. Sunita Singh Gaur’s despicable comments are inexcusable, yet she may certainly be excused for mistakenly believing that she could get away with expressing such views as a BJP leader. One thing is certain. Expelling Gaur is not a panacea for the hatred which the BJP has not only tolerated but given safe haven, fostered, and purveyed throughout the country. Considering the influence that the BJP has on the masses, reflected through the 2019 election results as well, such statements can be highly provocative and instigating for the followers. In a nation where rape of a new born to an aged has unfortunately become rampant, such statements will just take the already precarious situation from bad to worse. The ruling dispensation thus needs to do much more than merely expelling a person from his/her position.