The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Campaign mud on Gandhi, Nehru & Atal

Uttarsanda (Nadiad), Dec. 10: While Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee is attacking the Congress for spoiling the image of Gujarat abroad, his own party is busy eroding his and India’s images in Gujarat.

The BJP is playing the tapes of a well known rabble-rouser of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Acharya Dharmendra, in its election meetings.

Dharmendra openly pokes fun at Vajpayee in these taped speeches and despite Vajpayee’s appeal to keep Godhra out of the campaign, he justifies the “reaction” after Godhra.

Dharmendra also claims that this election is between Sardar Patel and Mahmud Ghaznavi. It is quite disconcerting to see hundreds of people listening to the tape in rapt attention while they await the arrival of senior BJP leaders such as Narendra Modi at a public meeting.

Nobody seems to think that anything unnatural is being said. In a direct attack on Vajpayee, Dharmendra says, “The Prime Minister keeps feeling ashamed all the time. He claimed that he was ashamed after the demolition of Babri Masjid, he was ashamed after the events of Gujarat and he was ashamed when he spoke about it abroad.

“Why is he always ashamed' Why does he not feel invigorated (with these events) – kabhi josh kyon nahin aata'”

The speech is inflammatory even though Dharmendra is careful not to name the targets of his attack unless they happen to be dead — like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

While he describes Gandhi as “Musalmanon ka rahnuma (leader of the Muslims)”, Nehru is referred to as “Motilal ka namoona (the specimen produced by Motilal Nehru)”.

He refers to Muslims as “kachra (dirt)” and Gujarat Congress chief ShankerSinh Vaghela as “chamcha samraat” (king of sychophants).

About the Muslim community, he says: “If all of us (Hindus) were to urinate together, the kachra would flow down in to the Gulf of Cambay.”

In targeting Vaghela, Dharmendra reminds his audiences that today’s “chamcha samraat” had organised “shilapoojan” in 1992.

He questions why Vaghela chose to take the group of legislators loyal to him to Khajuraho and not a religious place such as Dwaraka, Ambaji or Mount Abu. “He went there to see the lascivious statues of Khajuraho,” Dharmendra claims.

The communal pogrom that swept Central and North Gujarat — in the wake of a coach of Sabarmati Express being set on fire at Godhra — to Dharmendra’s mind was but “natural”.

“If the smoke from the Mathura refinery can have an impact on the dead stones of the Taj Mahal 60 km away in Agra, then why do we expect that there would be no reaction among living human beings after Godhra'” Dharmendra asks.

He criticises the Indian leadership for condemning the hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, but not the Godhra incident.

Referring to the central leadership of the BJP as the “people in Delhi”, he accuses them of having forgotten Ayodhya, but says: “The people of Gujarat should be congratulated and rewarded for not forgetting Godhra.”

Instead of describing Gandhi’s death as a murder by a votary of Hindutva, Dharmendra claims the Mahatma “died for the Muslims”. But after his death “Jinnah said that the tallest leader of the Hindus had died. He did not say the leader of the Muslims is dead,” he claims.

Gandhi and “that specimen produced by Motilal” kept 3 crore Muslims in India in the name of communal harmony, he says. “But I ask you if the Arabs can have Arabistan (Saudi Arabia), the Afghans can have Afghanistan, the English can have Englishtan (Britain) and the Turks Turkistan (Turkey), why can’t Hindus have Hindustan' But Gandhi made India a kachre ki tokri (dustbin).”

And then using language unworthy of any civilised human being, he says how simple it would be to get the kachra to flow in to the Gulf of Cambay.

Dharmendra claims that no Muslim today puts up a picture of Gandhi at home. And then immediately he goes on to wonder: “If even after sacrificing his life for them, Gandhi could not evoke any love for himself in the hearts of Muslims, how can these chamchas (sychophants, meaning the Congress this time) do so'

“This election is between Sardar Patel and Mahmud Ghaznavi. This is a vote for Somnath.”

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