This is how a political analyst has described the precarious position Karnataka BJP is in the next year’s Assembly elections. Karnataka is the first southern state conquered by the BJP. It was a difficult task given the good inter-community relations and the broadmindedness of the people of five South Indian States. BJP is fiercely working on its divide and rule strategy to extend its foothold in the South. In Karnataka it first tried its luck with a coalition with H. D. Kumaraswamy, son of Deve Gowda. It strengthened its hold and now it is ruling over the state on its own.

As usual the party is at its old game of polarisation through communalism. One by one it used its time-tested strategies in Karnataka. It banned beef and slaughter of cows. Then it passed a stringent law against religious conversion from Hinduism. It did it in spite of the basic teachings of the Constitution of India which recognises freedom of faith and religion as a cherished principle. It stipulates that every Indian citizen is free to “profess, practise and preach” any religion of his choice. It also guarantees leaving a religion of birth and converting to any other religion. The tragedy is that all anti-conversion laws are being promulgated in the name of the freedom of religion.

Recently this party made a big issue of Hijab and banned it at least in the Higher Secondary schools in the name of uniformity and homogeneity. It is very unfortunate that the honourable judges of Karnataka High Court could not understand the ethos of Islamic teachings and made an erroneous judgement by wrongly interpreting the Islamic teaching regarding Hijab. It is strange that one learned Muslim woman judge who was on the bench also could not represent the position of Hijab on Islam. Now the case is under consideration in the Apex Court. Let us hope that we will get justice.

The Hindus in Karnataka are about 84% but they are not monolithic. They include Scheduled Castes (19.5%), Hetrodox Lingayats (14%), Vokkaligas (11%) and Kurubas (7%). The Hetrodox Lingayats consider themselves different from mainstream Hindus. They are closer to the unity of God. Therefore, the latest move by CM Bommai to introduce teachings of the Gita may not be welcomed by a considerable segment of Hindus. Many sections are not ready to take Krishna as the only Avatar. Shaivism and worship of goddesses is more popular there in comparison to Ram and Krishna. Therefore BJP’s love for the Gita may not translate into solid votes.

BJP must understand that for political gains it is communalising the atmosphere, polarising the people and sowing poisonous seeds of hate, parochialism and distrust. These policies are a political danger for the future of this plural country and the future will prove that BJP was the greatest divider and destructor of this country which is basically the best example of unity in diversity. Let every well meaning citizen counter the dangerous policy to protect and strengthen the diversity, unity and integrity of our dear Hindustan.

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