In the state of Jharkhand, where BJP lost to Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in the 2019 assembly election two years ago, is now making vehement protests against the appeasement politics of the ruling coalition. A few days ago, Hemant Soren led the Jharkhand government allocated a special room to offer Namaz prayers.
BJP leaders are protesting against the move in a colourful manner with music and drums. As evident from the video circulating on facebook, the party has gone full-on saffron mode, for which it was known in the 1990s. The party asked the ruling coalition to allocate a separate room to recite Hanuman Chalisa. During the protest, the party leaders were reciting Hanuman Chalisa and chanted – “Jai Shri Ram” and “Har har Mahadev”.
The assembly building, which was completed in 2019 and inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi, costs around 460 crore rupees. The foundation for the building was laid by former BJP CM Raghubar Das in 2015. The JMM government, which could have built an assembly building despite coming to power repeatedly, is now giving a separate room to Muslims for offering Namaz prayers.
Irked by this, BJP leaders asked for a separate room to recite Hanuman Chalisa. “If Muslims can offer Namaz in a separate room, why can’t Hindus be allowed to recite Hanuman Chalisa (in a separate room). I urge the Secretary of Jharkhand Legislative Assembly that five rooms or a hall be allotted to Hindus to recite Hanuman Chalisa,” the media portal quoted a BJP leader as saying.
In the 1990s, BJP was known for unadulterated Hindutva, and at least in Jharkhand, the party has adopted the same strategy. In the last one and a half years, JMM has taken many decisions intentionally to irk the Hindus, and this forced BJP to adopt the 1990s strategy.
The Hemant Soren-led JMM government is crossing all the limits of minority appeasement to get votes from the Muslim community which constitutes around 15 per cent of the population of the state. To repudiate Hindi and Sanskrit, a few weeks ago, Jharkhand Staff Selection Commission (JSSC) notified new rules for the examination of grade III and grade IV employees and dropped Hindi and Sanskrit from the list of main language papers.
As per the new rules, the candidate must pass a language paper and s/he has the option to choose from 12 languages that include tribal languages besides Bengali, Odiya, and Urdu.
Earlier Hindi and Sanskrit were in the optional list of languages for the candidates to choose from for the language paper, but the Soren government dropped both of these languages and retained Urdu. So, the fact is that the people who know only Hindi are not eligible for the grade 3 and grade 4 jobs.
Under the leadership of Hemant Soren, the Jharkhand government is intentionally making policies that would hurt the prospects of the Hindi-speaking people and non-tribal Hindus.
Moreover, his ministers are making discriminatory statements against the Hindi-speaking people. A few months ago, Jharkhand Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon made a controversial remark as he lamented how Biharis and Marwaris have filled the state at the expense of the tribals.
Addressing the Mahua Conference held at the Press Club where he was the Chief Guest, Oraon claimed that Ranchi’s land has gone into the hands of others in an apparent reference to the Biharis and Marwaris. Oraon then proceeded to whine about how Ranchi is filled with people from Bihar, with Marwaris setting up a livelihood in the state capital.
The ruling alliance relies heavily on tribal and Muslim votes, therefore, to appease the community, the Jharkhand government is taking such decisions and its ministers are making such statements. However, BJP’s strategy to adopt unadulterated Hindutva will surely force the ruling coalition to the backfoot.