The boss has cracked the whip, at last! Reportedly a rap from Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent the RSS scurrying to rein in its affiliate Dharma Jagran Manch, which was all set to organise a 'ghar wapsi' drive in Uttar Pradesh and several other states.
The BJP found itself in the eye of a storm when the Dharma Jagran Manch organised an event where hundreds of Muslims were allegedly converted to Hinduism. They later, however, claimed to have been duped and pledged their allegiance to Islam. The organisation further promised to organise several more camps, including one in Aligarh.
However, it is now being reported that Prime Minister Modi chastised all BJP MPs and reminded them that the government should concentrate on the development agenda and not stray off message through issues like this. Following the Prime Minister's diktat, the Manch cancelled the conversion programme that was scheduled to take place in Aligarh on 25 December. However, the Manch decided to place the blame on the local administration saying that their workers had been threatened over the programme. "The district administration was threatening our office bearers, through media and telephonic conversations, with arrest. We will meet and apprise them with our decision," The Indian Express quoted Rajeshwar Singh, Western UP in-charge of the Manch.
According to a report in The Hindustan Times, Singh admitted that the RSS had directed them to stop the event. "Yes we have decided to postpone the ‘ghar-wapsi’ programme slated for this month. I was told by competent authorities in the RSS that the programme should be put on hold for now," Singh told HT.
It is clear that PM Modi decided to put the brakes on the Manch and its enthusiastic religious agenda after the communal biases of several of the party's MPs reared their head in the parliament. First Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti made a remark that called on voters to choose between being Ramzaada and haramazada. Then the reports of forced conversions gave the Opposition enough fodder to paralyse the Parliament. To make matters worse BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj said that Mahatma Gandhi's killer Nathuram Godse was a 'patriot'. After a few important bills like the insurance bill couldn't be taken up in the parliament because of the Opposition's protests, Modi seems to have decided to cut the enthusiastic Hindutva workers to size.
Indian Express reports: "The Manch’s decision came within hours of Prime Minister Narendra issuing a stern warning to BJP leaders, including central ministers and MPs, asking them not to cross the ‘Laxman Rekha’ with controversial remarks on issues such as conversion."
"Our party agenda is development and good governance and we should not dither in it. Nor will we allow anyone to dilute or deviate us from our commitment," IE reports Modi as saying in the BJP's Parliamentary Committee meet on Tuesday.
In the same meet, the Prime Minister made it absolutely clear that no BJP leader has the right to represent him or worse still misrepresent his vision for the party and the government. The Times of India quotes Modi as saying, "Please stop being my spokespersons because I don't need one. I am just a worker and speak for myself. Else, there is process which is laid down for the purpose and which everybody ought to follow."
Though the Prime Minister's warning to his brood to fall in line is loud and clear, some people have not been adequately discouraged. One of them is serial rabble rouser Yogi Adityanath, who has a history of shooting off the lip and getting his party into trouble. He said that the ghar wapsi programme shouldn't be cancelled and demanded strict anti-conversion laws in UP. "This (‘ghar-wapsi’ programme) has been happening for ages. It is an on-going process and it will continue to happen," he said. It looks like he missed his Prime Minister's memo.
Updated Date: Dec 17, 2014 20:50:21 IST