Years ago, a tall inspiring young preacher with deep knowledge of scriptures took Punjab by shock. With his great oratory skills, he swayed thousands of people. Advocating the cause of Sikhs, he created a divide between the Hindus and Sikhs who had been living together since ages and had suffered the horrors of partition together. He drew his ranks mostly from disgruntled and unemployed Sikhs who couldn’t benefit from Green Revolution. He promoted his own brand of Sikhism which he considered to be purer. He soon attended a Cult status in the countryside and hinterlands of Punjab.
The discontentment existed because of failure to implement Anandpur Sahib Resolution and various other reasons and this guy successfully built a movement based on that. The name of that young man was Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Bhindranwale and his movement was a ‘concept’ scripted by Congress government led by Indira Gandhi solely to counter the Akalis who had recently trounced the Congress in Punjab elections. In order to counter Akalis who enjoyed immense support of the Sikh community and regain power, Congress pushed the prosperous state in to an era of mindless violence, the aftershocks of which would keep jolting the state for decades to come.
Coming to modern-day politics, BJP has a comfortable majority and congress is sinking with every passing election. And hence Congress has adopted their tried and tested policy of Divide and rule. Gujarat – the home state of PM Narendra Modi was chosen to be the laboratory for testing the first version of their new concept. And it didn’t disappoint.
Gujarat recently saw the rise of three young mass leaders Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani. Jignesh Mevani is the most nefarious of the triumvirate. Jignesh Mevani is suave, sophisticated and is blessed with good oratorical skills. He enjoys support from left-intellectuals, Congress and even from Jihadi Terror Outfits(PFI).
Jignesh Mevani stormed to limelight during the Una protests, his rise very similar to that of Bhindranwale. While Indira Gandhi created Bhindranwale to divide Akalis, Mevani was designated the task of alienating Dalits who had sided with BJP in the Uttar Pradesh Elections. Congress and Left are hell-bent on creating a divide between Dalits and Upper-caste and incidents like Una and Rohit Vermula’s suicide have provided them adequate fodder to them.
Sikhism is a religion that focuses on all-round development of an individual. Tolerance forms the core of the tenets of Sikhism and all Sikh Gurus have been watchful protectors of Hindus. But Bhindranwale pitted Sikhs against Hindus by branding the latter as the enemy. A self-confessed Left-Liberal Ambedkarite, Jignesh Mevani has continuously pushed the Dalit identity rhetoric and has been pitting Dalit Hindus against rest of the Hindus by terming the latter, oppressors of the community. Jignesh has managed to bring Ambedkar and Marx which is ironical considering how the Marxists hounded Ambedkar and never allowed him to win electorally.
Congress didn’t put any candidate against Jignesh, ensuring his comfortable victory. Jignesh has made use of many congress members in his door to door campaigning and outreach programs. Although Jignesh is an independent candidate, he has shared stage with Rahul Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi even accepted that he put 95% of Jignesh’s demands in Congress Manifesto.
Another marked similarity between Jignesh Mevani and Bhindrawale is the support of Naxal forces. The Khalistan movement got support from Naxals, Mevani showed his strength in the Koregaon-Bhima event where known Naxal Supporters shared the stage with him.
This vicious circle of violence like the Khalistan movement will result in further alienation of Dalits who happen to be an inseparable part of Hinduism. An internal disturbance by some vested interest groups will result only in pulling the economic development on backfoot and hamper the Political stability of the country. This matter needs to be addressed shrewdly by solving the caste tensions peacefully.
“History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes.”