Indian State as the official scaremonger & media the panic-fueller

P Chidambaram’s “India story” is a far cry from the Indian reality


Ajay Singh | September 30, 2010

Delhi just fell short of the arrangements in Ayodhya (shown in picture)
Delhi just fell short of the arrangements in Ayodhya (shown in picture)

Much before the clock struck 3.30 pm, offices in Delhi and NCR region wore a deserted look. Crowded markets and busy streets appeared deserted. Such is the terror of scaremongering by the state on the Ayodhya verdict. This is the real story of India where the omnipresent, omnipotent state can push people indoors when it is not required.

But Union home minister P Chidambaram has been telling a different story all along. He has been advising people to exercise restraint and calm and not reverse the “story of India” which has hogged the pride of place in the 21st century.  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi have also issues appeals on similar lines.

If one looks at these statements from a different perspective, it appears that ordinary people are bent upon fighting each other while politicians such as Chidambaram and Mayawati are eager to play guardian angels to preach peace. In fact, behind the absurdity of these formulation lies a carefully crafted strategy. And this strategy is simply to scare the people and push them indoors.  In this objective, there is a unique congruence of objective between the state and the electronic media. Both stand to gain if the people remain indoors. One gets higher ratings while the other projects itself as a genuine saviour.

This bizarre game is being played out even when all parties concerned in the dispute have openly declared that they would welcome the Allahabad high court’s verdict. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board , Sunni Waqf Board, the VHP-RSS-BJP combine are unanimous that the verdict must be accepted with equanimity.

Then there is the harsh reality that Ayodhya has ceased to be the epicentre of political trouble that once it was. And RSS-VHP combine is hardly a force to reckon with in the temple town of Ayodhya, much less in UP. Going by the economic profile of the region adjoining Ayodhya, it is one of the most backward regions untouched by India’s growth story. Chidambaram is certainly oblivious to this region’s story haunted by epidemics and privation. Mayawati is equally indifferent to the region so long as dalit assertion remains an emotive issue. In this region, the RSS-VHP combine has miserably failed to mobilise people for constructing an opulent temple.

That the ordinary people of Ayodhya are not guided by religious appeals became evident when a CPI candidate got elected to the Lok Sabha from Faizabad in the post-demolition phase. Obviously the history of Ayodhya is replete with instances of deceit by politicians who exploited people’s credulity to serve their ends. In fact, the real setback to the story of India has always come from petty politics which is being reiterated in the scaremongering on the Ayodhya issue at present.



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