tweeted his feelings in his own inimitable style.was the news report sparking a big brouhaha. Leading the pack of scornful voices was , Sambit Patra a BJP Spokesperson. He
is what Shashi Tharoor meant in the first place.
“I have said this before and I will say it again. Pakistan was created as a state with a dominant religion, that discriminates against its minorities and denies them equal rights. India never accepted the logic that had partitioned the country. But the BJP/RSS idea of a Hindu Rashtra is the mirror image of Pakistan — a state with a dominant majority religion that seeks to put its minorities in a subordinate place. That would be a Hindu Pakistan, and it is not what our freedom movement fought for, nor the idea of India enshrined in our Constitution.
Many proud Hindus like myself cherish the inclusive nature of our faith and have no desire to live, as our Pakistani neighbours are forced to, in an intolerant theocratic state. We want to preserve India and not turn our beloved country into a Hindu version of Pakistan.”
What do I think?
Well, he is not wrong, is he?
The BJP (& the Sangh Parivar) and its followers would be happier if India was and behaved like a Hindu nation where minorities knew their place (secondary, of course) and kept to it. Somewhat like the Southern American States feelings about uppity black slaves, 200 odd years ago.
Remember the BJP choosing APJ Abdul Kalam as the President in 2002? Well he was exactly the type of Muslim that the BJP loves. Vegetarian, non-controversial and knowledgeable about Sanskrit, Hindu mythology and religion. What’s not to like from their point of view? Eh? But the others? Especially the ones who sport red beards, eat meat including beef, offer namaz five times a day? They need to be kept in check, of course.
But is the BJP rattled with what Shashi Tharoor has been reported to have said?
Hardly. They have much thicker skin than one would imagine.
They may make some noise about it because they HATE their creation being referred to as ‘Pakistan’. If he had said ‘Hindu Saudi Arabia’ they would have not minded much and a ‘Hindu Israel’ would have sent them into raptures. Remember that hatred of Pakistan & Muslims is in the DNA of the Sangh Parivar. It is the first demand, love for India comes later in the list. That hatred is the language their core constituency speaks and understands. Referring to their intended creation with the tag ‘Pakistan’ thus would be anathema. Imagine Thakur Baldev Singh being called ‘Gabbar Thakur’. How would that go with Sholay fans?
Also the fact that they can make some noise about this remark diverts attention from the more urgent issues of lack of jobs, lynchings (and felicitation of lynchers), spiralling prices, agrarian crises and impotence on the world stage.
Win-win really. Not just news, even outrage can be faked.
Let us not worry about the BJP’s outrage. We need to be more worried about living in a country where diversity is not prized and minorities are second-class citizens.
PS: This is what the man himself wrote the next day.