Sharad Pawar the senior-most secular politician in our country, continues his flip-flops and political tight rope walk. As news channels started airing news of Modi planning to reach Ayodhya on 5th August, Pawar lost his cool. He attacked PM Modi for planning to perform Bhumi Pujan amidst coronavirus pandemic.
According to Pawar, Modi thinks, Chinese coronavirus can be eliminated by building Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. Further, he said that after the lockdown, the government should focus on reviving the economy instead of Ram Mandir. Interestingly, he wholeheartedly supported PM Modi on Galwan valley issue only a fortnight ago. Ten days later, he accused Modi of ‘Shudra Level’ of Politics. Yesterday he attacked Modi again.
Such masterful U-turns! Even Kejriwal would be proud! That’s politics in typical Sharad Pawar style for you.
Now the question is why does Sharad Pawar, who otherwise projects an image of a responsible opposition leader, get derailed when it comes to Hindu’s religious sentiments? The reason is the Muslim vote bank!
NCP is locked in an ongoing battle with Congress. A proof of which came out within a few hours of Pawar issuing this statement. Congress MP Husain Dalwai pointed out that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had not attended the Bhoomi puja of the Somnath temple as he was the leader of a secular nation.
So, the competition between NCP and Congress for ‘Most Secular’ tag is very much on. And they are also playing from the same playbook. Which reads, ‘Attack Hindu Symbols’! And if any political leader is seen to be protecting those attack that leader too. Hence attack PM Modi!
NCP, which also fights with Congress for Maratha votes in Maharashtra, seems to have won that duel. Sharad Pawar over the years has established himself as the tallest Maratha leader. Marathas, along with another sub-caste, Kunbi (कुणबी) constitute the largest single caste block in the country. Together they are 31% of the population in Maharashtra. There is another factor. Marathas is the most prominent farming community. Naturally the Maratha community is the holder of the largest agricultural and commercial land banks. This largely helps NCP to control their lives and hence votes of poor in rural and semi-rural parts of Maharashtra. But when it comes to Muslim vote Congress is well ahead. As per a survey (CSDS-Lokniti), 38% of Muslims prefer Congress over any other party.
So if Pawar wants to be projected as ‘National Leader’, without Muslim votes and approval it’s not going to happen. And to be sure enough he has left no stone unturned. He has been attacking Hindus as venomously as Congress. For example, during his interview with Shekhar Gupta, he openly admitted that he invented ‘12th bomb blast’ in 1993 to save Muslims. Whereas fact remains that all 11 blasts that took place were by Islamic terrorists. In the same interview, he admits again that in 2006, bombs were planted in those trains, which are used by Hindus to travel.
Then again just after forming the unholy post-election alliance with Shiv Sena, in Jan 2020 he came out on the importance of Muslim vote. At a minorities cell meeting, he declared, minorities decide whom to defeat in elections. He further added the Muslims ditched BJP in assembly elections. As if to suggest, that though BJP-Sena had won a comfortable majority, this was the reason he and Uddhav Thackeray decided to have a truck.
Sharad Pawar’s real skill lie in the fact, that without being blamed as anti-Hindu (like Congress) he has quietly reinforced NCP’s image amongst Muslims. Here is another example of it. In this video, his daughter, Supriya Sule (heir apparent to his political legacy) is seen eulogising Burqa and Triple Talaq. And she doesn’t stop at that. She also advocates the conversion of Hindus to Islam. She tells the crowd that, she met a lady named Kiran Kulkarni wearing Burqa, who was also a PhD. Even her two daughters are doctors and were wearing Burqa. Now, most of you must be aware that Kulkarni is a Brahmin surname in Maharastra. Now if this is not proselytization, nothing can be. And if this is not systematic targetting of Brahmins what can be?
Another detail which should be brought to the fore is, that Uddhav Thackeray has approved of PM Modi ‘s visit and is planning to visit Ayodhya himself. To reiterate, at the conclusion, Sharad Pawar’s game plan is clear: Use Thackery brothers to chisel away at BJP’s Hindu vote while he works on Congress party’s Muslim vote and BJP’s Nationalist vote. He is preparing for 2024.