Video of Varun Gandhi’s speech, what was he addressing in Uttar Pradesh?
Posted by jagoindia on March 19, 2009
Video of speech link
source Varun Gandhi: “What people should realize is that I was speaking at a village where four girls had been raped. When I spoke, I wanted to instil confidence among victims, I wanted to offer hope to the hopeless. I don’t care about a warrant (for arrest) but what bothers me is that I should not be hurting anyone and, believe me, my intent was not to hurt anybody,” Varun said.
“You must appreciate the fact that in my area, there has been persecution of Hindus in a particular belt. There have been 11 cases of rape in the last one year. People have been thrashed and threatened. There has been communal tension in this belt for one year. While I don’t want to cement it (tension), I cannot wish it away either.”
“My mother (Menaka Gandhi) has been elected to Lok Sabha from Pilibhit in seven consecutive elections, but the constituency has never witnessed a communal riot, not even in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement phase. But during the last one year, things have been different. Many of our people, including former minister Ram Saran Verma, have been arrested under the National Security Act,” he said.
Priyadarsi Dutta, Wednesday, March 18, 2009, The Pioneer
Mr Varun Gandhi’s twin speeches in Pilibhit that riled the Election Commission and the Congress were surely no fine pieces of oration. They were meant for the consumption of the rustic Hindus of the outlying scenic district on the India-Nepal frontier. It might have outraged fine sensibilities but was lauded by the crowd. Was Mr Gandhi addressing the invisible malaise that is affecting the Hindus of Uttar Pradesh?
Recently a procession on the occasion of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, or the Prophet’s birthday, turned violent resulting in clashes with Hindus in Bareilly. The police were helpless to stop the followers of the ‘religion of peace’ who had set fire to houses of Hindus by choosing a wrong route. Pilibhit, like Bareilly, is located in the region called Rohilkhand. Rohilkhand is named after the Rohilla Pathans whom Aurangzeb had imported from Afghanistan to check the Hindu intransigency in the area. Pathan warlords had committed violent atrocities on Hindus in the region during 1857, the so-called First War of Independence. Pilibhit also witnessed communal clashes in 1871, 1897, 1926, 1931, 1942, 1946, 1950, 1962, 1980, 1986 and 1992.
Today, Hindus across Uttar Pradesh are a bewildered lot. The growing number and political clout of local Muslims have left them befuddled. Even in the Congress era, until the fragmentation of the electorate on casteist lines in the 1980s and 90s, Hindus were a consolidated community. Its disintegration lulled Hindus but did not neutralise the assertiveness of Muslims. All political parties, despite having a Hindu at the helm of affairs, are perceived to be kowtowing to Muslim sentiments only. The BJP was quick to dissociate itself from the ‘toxic’ CD before the 2007 election in Uttar Pradesh, caring little that it had grains of truth about Islamists propagating jihad and cow slaughter, and carrying out counterfeit currency circulation.
Hindus have, thus, been left rudderless without a leader. Their plight is worse in western Uttar Pradesh. It is a volatile region where the community fears a bleak future for its coming generations.
Seen in this context Mr Varun Gandhi’s rough speech comes as an abrupt Hindu reaction. He might have got emotionally charged by inputs from Hindus in western Uttar Pradesh. Nonetheless, even though he has his detractors within the BJP — not to mention the Congress — he just might find supporters as well. But whether he owns up to his speech or dumps it as a faux pas is another thing.