The Congress has a long history of dividing people along religious and caste lines. They believe in the British policy of divide and rule. A big country like India has been divided into three parts because of this policy. Just like the British Raj came to an end, demise of Congress is also imminent. Nowadays to win the election, Congress is playing with fire. The Patel agitation was their card to win the Gujarat elections but the move backfired. Now, they had attempted to divide the Hindus by granting minority and separate religion status to Lingayat community. The Lingayats are traditionally supporters of the BJP, its chief ministerial face B S Yeddyurappa belongs to the Lingayats community and therefore Siddaramaiah’s move had seemed like a masterstroke. But the BJP projected it, and rightly so, as an attempt to divide the Hindus. Only because of such ‘masterstrokes’ the Congress has been now reduced to 44 seats in the Parliament. “There is a conspiracy to divide Lingayats in the name of separate religious status to them. Where was Siddaramiah sleeping for the last four years? This is to stop BS Yeddyurappa from becoming the chief minister” said Rajnath Singh during the meeting at Sedam assembly constituency of Kalaburgi district.
It appears that this move seems to have backfired as well. Political suicide of Congress has begun in Karnataka. Most of the Lingayats understand that this is a gimmick by Congress before the polls. In 2013, the same Congress government rejected the demand to give separate religion status to Lingayats.
Political Suicide of Congress in Karnataka has begun.
Common, Congress, the game is on.
— Avinash B Avarebeel (@AvinashCKM) March 19, 2018
I am lingayat too..I don't want a separate religion. I am a proud Hindu and over and above all these I am a proud Indian. Try dividing an Indian onve again will teach you a lesson of lifetime.
— Rahul (@jh_rahul) March 19, 2018
The seers of the community have rejected this move, and are campaigning against the Congress in the villages, asking their followers to not to vote for the Congress. Veerashaivas are extremely angry with the Congress and likely to vote against it, en-masse. The ruling party leaders and MLAs are very worried about this backlash. The party leaders have told Economic Times that the party is in serious trouble after this move. “Our party and CM Siddaramaiah have not given any kind of counter-narrative to help us convince the voters that this move is for their own good. And Lingayat leaders and pontiffs who came to us with their demand are not doing much to counter the BJP” a Congress office-bearer who is working in the Lingayat-dominant areas in North Karnataka told ET. “If something is not done quickly, we will have serious problems in at least 50 seats” he further added. Many ruling party leaders have also written a letter to Rahul Gandhi, asking him to intervene and run a campaign about how the minority status will benefit the Lingayat community. Rahul Gandhi who declared himself Shiv-bhakt during the Gujarat elections is silently watching the division of a community which is known for its Shiv-Bhakti. Just like Shashi Tharoor, Rahul Gandhi should also write a book titled,”Why I Suddenly became Hindu.”
Many Lingayat voters in the villages of north and central Karnataka have expressed anger over this divisive move of Congress. “Siddaramaiah is anti-Lingayat, he is trying to divide society through all his efforts. Our children don’t get benefits in fees, scholarships, but every other child gets these. This latest move is another such (sic)” said villager Shankaramma in Banjagondanahalli in Holalkere assembly segment, a reserved constituency. “Giving minority religion status to Lingayats but not to Veerashaivas, who were considered the same community till now, was nothing short of poison spread by Siddaramaiah.” said two villagers of Gojanur.
The Congress workers have maintained stoic silence in these villages as they don’t know how to counter these allegations. Clearly, this has backfired for the Congress. It’s a positive sign that a move to divide people is backfiring thus. This is the New India where you can no more fool people by dividing them on religious and caste lines.