Karnataka is witnessing a new development — Hindutva activists and organisations posing an open challenge to the ruling BJP.
The trend which has gathered steam after the murders of Bajrang Dal activist Harsha in Shivamogga and BJP Yuva Morcha member Praveen Kumar Nettare in Dakshina Kannada.
The state’s ruling BJP is facing a campaign on social media after videos and screenshots surfaced of the accused in Harsha’s murder case found chatting with their family and friends from prison. The matter worsened with state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra allegedly turning a blind eye to Harsha’s sister, who had approached him with a complaint against luxury treatment being given to her brother’s killers.
Following the Tablighi Jamaat antics during Covid lockdown, calls to boycott Hindu shops from masjids and jamaats, hijab crisis manufactured by PFI and ensuing violence, it was all leading to the young generation being attracted to Hindutva ideology. But the BJP is now on a damage control mode after the young cadres started a movement to quit across the state.
Congress leaders like Amrith Shenoy from Udupi are taking vicarious pleasure in the increasing pressure on BJP from its own cadre. Shenoy tried to hide the role played by the previous Siddaramaiah government in empowering Islamists by claiming BJP ‘politicized’ murders by Muslims, and has done the same in the Harsha murder case.
“The BJP cadres and young party workers are thinking why Hindu leaders were being killed during the rule of the BJP? The violent mob had almost attacked BJP State President Nalin Kumar Kateel who had gone to Nettare’s funeral. Ministers V. Sunil Kumar and Araga Jnanendra had to take protection from people,” Shenoy told IANS.
“Karnataka, especially the coastal region, was a Congress bastion till 2000. In the beginning, Hindu leaders such as Praveen Togadia and Pramod Muthalik started organising Hindu samajotsava and invited everyone. They claimed that the programs were apolitical,” he stated.
But later they spoke against the Congress and about Hindus being threatened and projected the BJP as the champion of Hindus, Shenoy says. It is obvious that likes of Shenoy, whose very existence as a political force depends on Hindus remaining disorganized and confused, would rue such smart Hindu mobilization.
Pramod Muthalik, founder of the Sri Rama Sena, explained that his organisation won’t support the BJP in next year’s Assembly elections.
“We have asked the BJP to change. The dissatisfaction towards BJP is very much there. The party is not sensitive towards the needs of Hindu community. It has digressed from its objectives,” he said.
Dharmendra, state General Secretary of the Akhila Bharata Hindu Mahasabha, said that his organisation is much more powerful now than earlier. He maintained that Mahasabha will change the political scenario in the state following the 2023 polls and claimed that the “BJP’s prospects would be harmed to a great extent across Karnataka”.
Dharmendra further says that the people have seen how the ruling BJP leaders have ‘amassed wealth’ and also caused tremendous pain and suffering to Hindu activists.
BJP insiders explain that the party leaders are hoping to recover from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the coastal town of Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada district on September 2, where he will address a public rally.
(With IANS inputs)