‘Don’t be afraid of Taliban. They’re already here’

The clamour within the BJP for Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the party’s next prime ministerial candidate is growing with everybody from Arun Shourie to Arun Jaitely to Venkaiah Naidu lining up in support even as L.K. Advani watches aghast and the Supreme Court inserts a small spoke.

In the India Today group’s newspaper, Mail Today, Jyotirmaya Sharma, a professor in political studies at the University of Hyderabad author of “Terrifying Vision”: M.S. Golwalkar, the RSS and India, takes on the demand for the anointment head-on, saying it has two things in common with Modi.

“The first is a certain brand of vulgar impatience and haste, a hallmark of the mob as well as the tyrant, born out of a sense of self-proclaimed purity and righteousness. The other is a misplaced sense of aspiring for such indeterminate goals such as ‘ progress’ and ‘ development’, a chimera that leaves everyone out of the equation other than the sort of worthies who stood on a stage and argued for Modi’s elevation as prime minister.”

But Prof Sharma makes a larger point. Using Modi’s challenge to prime minister Manmohan Singh to hang Afzal Guru to prove his strength, his sexist stereotyping of the Congress as budiya and gudiya, and his statement that he is ready to be hanged in public if charges of his complicity in the post-Godhra “riots” are proved, he concludes that the Taliban is already amidst us in India in the form of Narendra Modi and his zealots.

“There is an uncanny resemblance in all the three to what we have known all along as the Taliban’s preferred way of meting out justice. We frown on these kinds of barbaric acts and the Sangh Parivar often implies that there is a relation between these forms of barbarism and the religious affiliation of those who indulge in these acts….

“The Taliban of today is only a mirror image of the irrational and mindless rage of Ashwatthama, the son of Drona in the epic Mahabharata.  Modi is the inheritor of Ashwatthama’s rage. In the epic, Ashwatthama had to ultimately pay for his deeds. But before that he wrecked destruction and brought sorrow to countless people. Is Modi’s future and fate the same as that of Drona’s misguided son?”

Read the full article: The Taliban is already amidst us