The full-fledged war between the BJP and the Congress over Rahul Gandhi allegedly stating the grand old party is a ‘Muslim Party’ has taken a completely new turn with the mass joining the debate. The escalation of the row over what all actions can be termed as ‘appeasement’ and what all as ‘inclusiveness’ led to #TalkToAMuslim campaign on social media, with Bollywood actor Swara Bhasker spearheading it. Though, not being initiated by her, I said she is spearheading the campaign, as being one of the most vocal figures in the film industry, she is retweeting the tweets by the netizens quite diligently. And, when a public figure pushes a campaign, it does become the talking point. In this case, it gets manifested in the #TalkToAMuslim hashtag -- which is the top trend in India at this point in time.
To answer the question, one must go back to the root cause of the row. It started after Urdu daily ‘Inquilab’ reported that Congress President Rahul Gandhi while meeting and interacting with Muslim intellectuals allegedly said that ‘Congress is a Muslim party’. Later, Mumtaz Rizvi, editor of the Urdu daily 'Inquilab' maintaining “Rahul Gandhi did say it” and the Gandhi scion denying it, provided a huge amount of wind to the already raging fire.
Now, this morning Rahul Gandhi tweeted and said, “I love all living beings. I am the Congress”. For the uninitiated, here’s his tweet:
The tweet received a blistering reaction from the BJP with its national spokesperson Dr Sambit Patra saying, "Rahul ji you don't have love for living things, you have love only for the non-living chair", and said that his tweet, by steering clear of addressing the specific controversy, was signalling that the quote was indeed true.”
So, what is the deal? - The BJP’s point is that the Congress President by issuing the statement was trying to play appeasement card ahead of the 2019 general elections. Also, they are dubbing his actions as ‘hypocritical’ owing to his ‘temple run’ during the recently held state elections.
So, now when the matter has fomented to a huge extent, one needs to understand that the BJP might not have meant by its statements that one should steer clear of one particular religion. Not saying this as a mean of support for the party, but because of the knowledge that no party in their correct frame of mind, especially the party holding the reign of power, would take a step, having the potential of ruining their political ambitions and chances, right ahead of Lok Sabha elections.
So, targeting the BJP, alleging it’s indulging in divisive politics, which itself, in turn, has been alleging that the Congress is dividing the countrymen playing appeasement politics, doesn’t make much sense.
No, absolutely not. She is standing for something she believes in. While the logic of a section, claiming her posts are a reflection of Congress’ hand on her head is completely unfounded. Also, saying that one shouldn’t avoid a person simply because of their religion, can’t and doesn’t make anyone anti-India or Pakistani.
Swara Bhasker like Sambit Patra, Rahul Gandhi or a common Indian citizen, has full right to voice her opinion. However, being a public figure, that right comes with a lot of responsibility. When she tweets, while a lot of people differ in her opinion, a lot actual conform with her. When she supports one party and targets the other, people do listen to her. So, should she stop?
Of course not. Because even if she likes one party and doesn’t like the other, I say it again, it is her right to do so.
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