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Nitish and Lalu together represent “jungle raj”: Modi

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Gaya: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday attacked Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his RJD ally Lalu Prasad, saying they together represented “jungle raj” and “poison” – and urged people to vote the BJP to power in the upcoming assembly elections.

Nitish Kumar led alliance to hold joint rallies
Nitish Kumar led alliance to hold joint ralli

Only a fortnight after he sparked a row with his “DNA” comment on Nitish Kumar, Modi launched another broadside against the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief at a rally here that drew thousands of supporters.

Both Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad hit back promptly.

Nitish Kumar said Modi “has a habit of telling lies time and again”. And Lalu Prasad retaliated by saying that the prime minister was staring at defeat in Bihar because he (Lalu) had joined hands with Nitish Kumar.

In his speech, Modi warned people that “jungle raj” would return to Bihar if Lalu Prasad returned to power in the company of Nitish Kumar.

“I do not know who is Bhujang Prasad and who is Chandan Kumar. I do not know who is having poison and who is serving it,” Modi said, in reference to Lalu Prasad’s pledge to drink poison to derail the BJP in Bihar.

Modi also said the RJD-JD(U) alliance won’t last long.

“You have suffered their arrogance, deceit and exploitation for the last 25 years. Do you want such a rule to continue for another five years? I am here to appeal to you to vote for us to develop Bihar.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) veteran said “jungle raj-II” will return to Bihar if his party was not voted to power.

Modi linked the murder of a BJP worker in Patna a few days ago as a sign of the likely return of “jungle raj.” He used the term “jungle raj” over a dozen times in his speech.

He blamed the 15 years of rule by Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi for Bihar’s backwardness. “When they ruled the state, hardly any development took place.”

Modi recalled describing the RJD as a “Rozana jungle raj ka darr” party. On Sunday, he said the JD(U) stood for “Janata ka daman aur utpidan”.

He promised that if the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance took power, Bihar will be out of the BIMARU tag.

“We will take Bihar out of BIMARU tag in the next five years by economic development like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.”

Modi also promised to develop Bodh Gaya, the birthplace of Buddhism, as a top tourist destination.

It was Modi’s second public rally after the one at Muzaffarpur last month where he started the BJP campaign.

Speaking in Patna, Nitish Kumar accused Modi of insulting Bihar and its people by calling it a ‘BIMARU’ or sick state.

“After insulting Biharis by questioning my DNA last month, Modi has again insulted Bihar and Biharis by terming it a BIMARU state,” he told the media.

Nitish Kumar insisted that Bihar was no more a BIMARU state. “It is an open secret.”

Experts once used to collectively describe undivided Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh as “BIMARU” states to denote their backwardness. That terminology is presently not widely accepted.

Nitish Kumar said Modi had in a way threatened people by asking them to vote for the BJP if they desired help from the central government. “What kind of cooperative federalism is this?”

Describing the BJP as “Badka Jhootha Party”, he challenged Modi to prove his allegation that the JD(U) had spent Rs.300 crore on the election campaign.

“He should prove it as he has a habit of telling lies time and again.”

(IANS)

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What Would Be The Outcome Of The Judgement On Homosexuality With BJP At The Centre?

If parties like the BJP and "cultural" organisations like the RSS realise the value and motivation of such mindsets, they will desist from their present attempts to impose a straitjacket of their pseudo-religious identity on the nation.

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Flag Of BJP, homosexuality
Ruling on gays: Is the BJP out of sync with modern realities? Flickr

More than the social impact of the Supreme Court’s judgment on homosexuality, what will be of concern to the ruling party at the Centre is its political fallout. Hence, the eloquent silence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the subject.

For the BJP and its ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), any expansion of the concept of civil liberties is fraught with danger to their restrictive worldviews since a widening of human rights carries the prospect of greater individualism.

If the rights of the homosexuals to live without legal constraints are conceded, it can only encourage the people to free themselves of other restrictions as well such as on choosing live-in partners (of whatever sex) and eating, dressing and speaking as they please.

Homosexuality, India
SC decriminalises homosexuality, victory for gay rights. Pixabay

It is noteworthy that the verdict on gays has come close on the heels of the judgment which described the right to dissent as a “safety valve” which the government can only shut off at its peril lest there is an explosion.

Moreover, the court had also upheld not long ago the right to privacy which the government described as an “elitist” concept.

For the Hindu Right, as also for other religious fundamentalists, this dalliance with civil rights — the freedom to criticise the government, the exaltation of privacy and now the decriminalisation of homosexuality — entails a push towards liberalism and modernism which are anathema to any group which wants the society to be bound by shackles of orthodoxy and obscurantism.

It is ironic that although the Hindutva brotherhood speaks of decolonising the Indian mind, the two colonial laws which have long been its favourites are the section on homosexuality in the Indian Penal Code and on sedition.

Now that one of them is gone, there is little doubt that these closet followers of Britain’s 19th century politician Lord Macaulay — even as they decry the secular groups as “Macaulay’s children” — will hold on resolutely to the law on sedition as their only safeguard against the “anti-nationals” who, they believe, stalk the land.

Homosexuality
It is ironic that although the Hindutva brotherhood speaks of decolonising the Indian mind, the two colonial laws which have long been its favourites are the section on homosexuality in the Indian Penal Code and on sedition.
Wikimedia Commons

It is also possible that the saffronites will keep a hawk’s eye on any social problems that may arise because of the assertion of gay rights. As the BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has said, with eager anticipation, if a five-judge bench can overturn an earlier judgment in favour of criminalising homosexuality, a larger bench can undo the present verdict if gay bars begin to flourish and there is a rise in the cases of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infections.

Interestingly, what these judgments underline is how the judiciary is more attuned to the changing world than the elected representatives of the hoi polloi who often argue in favour of giving greater primacy to the legislature than the judiciary since they claim to represent the people while the judges are unelected denizens of an ivory tower.

However, one possible reason why MPs and MLAs, especially of the BJP, seem to be out of sync with the present-day world is the presence in their midst of a large number of criminal elements who can hardly be regarded as the most progressive sections of society.

For instance, of the 543 elected members of the Lok Sabha, of whom 186 have a criminal record, 63 belong to the BJP, followed by eight of the Shiv Sena, four of the Trinamool Congress and three each of the Congress and the AIADMK.

Homosexuality
Gay Pride Procession. Pixabay

What the Supreme Court judgment appears to have done is to persuade parties like the Congress, which usually hedges its bets lest it should fall on the wrong side of public opinion, to come out in the verdict’s favour, presumably because it senses that this judgment, more than any other, has become a touchstone in the matter of breaking out from the stranglehold of the past.

To distance a party from it, as the BJP is doing, will amount to virtually alienating the entire youth community. Even if a majority among them do not have homosexual instincts — according to official figures, there are 2.5 million gay people in India, but this may be an underestimate since, till now, it was unsafe for them to reveal their sexual orientation — the youths nevertheless see the ruling as an assertion of living life on one’s own terms and not be held hostage by the dictates of a society steeped in conservatism and of political parties which believe that their agenda can only advanced if the country is made forcibly to conform to khap panchayat-style social and cultural norms.

Also Read: Why JDU & BJP Coalition Will Remain Instant

To these youths, being or not being aware of homosexuality is of little consequence. What matters to them is to be able to make up their own minds and not be told by elders to abide by certain rules which are regarded as outdated by the younger generation.

If parties like the BJP and “cultural” organisations like the RSS realise the value and motivation of such mindsets, they will desist from their present attempts to impose a straitjacket of their pseudo-religious identity on the nation. (IANS)