‘Amarnath is about communalism not nationalism’

Pratap Bhanu Mehta in The Indian Express:

“Let us cut through the cant of our political class. Amarnath has become a serious communal issue. In an interview given to a Hindi daily, Narendra Modi had, in a chillingly prophetic way, described Amarnath as a second “Shah Bano”.

“Whether we like it or not, Amarnath has deepened the Hindu-Muslim divide in many respects.

“It has exposed the fact that possibilities for intercommunity reconciliation are thinning daily and revealed how every political party has huge investments in a politics of divisiveness that none is likely to divest. It has given the BJP a peg on which to hang its faltering politics. It has given Muslim fundamentalists a pretext to wage war on the infidel. It has exposed the limited capacity of the Indian state to quell violence.

“It has brought out the ways in which the Congress’s myopia and lack of initiative set the stage for a communal politics. And it has revealed the dirty secret of all us constitutional secularists: we are more interested in having somebody to beat upon than in creating the conditions for peace. As with Ayodhya, the inability to find small compromises, articulate meaningful gestures of reconciliation, might haunt us for ever.”

Read the full article: A country in 40 acres

Also read: CHURUMURI POLL: Land for the Amarnath shrine

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Link via Chengappa R.