Modi cannot foment communalism for checks: Kuldip Nayar

Modi cannot foment communalism for checks: Kuldip Nayar

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Veteran Indian journalist Kuldip Nayar says he believes Narendra Modi will not be the next Prime Minister of India and that he has reasons to believe that.
Speaking at a roundtable in Dhaka on Saturday he said even if Modi comes to power, “there are constitution, courts, media and liberal voices in the country which will fight against communalism”.
The senior journalist was allaying Bangladesh’s concerns over Modi’s “controversial statements” on Bangladesh’s “illegal migrants” in India.Modi in elections campaign recently said ‘illegal Bangladeshi migrants in India should pack and leave’ on May 16 when the elections result would come out.
The BJP leader is widely believed to be the next Prime Minister particularly after media surveys predict victory for his party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), though analysts say those opinion polls do not always stand correct.
Nayar said Modi made those statements “only to communalise the elections”.
He, however, said his speeches have already been “mellowed-down”.
“He says ‘I have to carry everyone to govern the country’”, the veteran journalist pointed out. “It’s a vast country, it’s very difficult to govern,” Nayar said.
Modi, however, already clarified his position about Bangladesh in North India late on Friday.
“I will make every effort to have the best possible relations with Bangladesh in areas of trade, culture and much else. Our relations will surely improve,” Modi told journalists while shuttling between several North Indian locations.
Institute of Conflict, Law and Development Studies (ICLDS) organised the roundtable on post-elections India-Bangladesh relations that analysts said would not change much since India’s foreign policy “dominated by its bureaucrats” does not change much with the change of regime.
Out of the 543 seats, a party must get 272 seats to form a government.
The senior journalist, whose column is also popular in Dhaka, said it was being predicted that Modi would bag 200 seats that mean he must manage 72 more seats.
He said those who would come to form alliance would “come on conditions”.
He said Modi had to fulfill one condition already and that was not to build temple at the site where Babri mosque stands.
“So already they (BJP) had conceded,” he said.
He said India has roughly 180 million Muslims, that he said “not a small minority, it is almost the total population of Pakistan”.
Indians do not want a government which would not take equality at all into its consideration, he said.
He, however, cautioned people against the rise of fundamentalism in both India and Bangladesh, the two countries he said was born based on the ethos of secularism and pluralism.
“Liberal voices in the region are decreasing and being muted and they are not really coming to power,” he said.
He said everybody was playing religious card in the region.
“We don’t want any part of that,” he said.
He said Modi’s complicity in 2002 Gujrat violence has not been cleared yet in the higher court.
He said he came to Dhaka to reiterate his solidarity with the people who were trying for “good relations” between India and Bangladesh.
He said the challenge before both countries was to maintain the ethos of secularism and pluralism.
“We set ourselves to be pluralistic, democratic and egalitarian,” he said, adding that but in the elections “we are being challenged by forces which are going to and threatening to undo our ethos of independence and secularism”.
He said in democratic India “constitution is the supreme. Everybody will be equal before the law irrespective of whether he is a minority or a majority”.
He also lamented that he found “shadows of fundamentalism” in Bangladesh, though he believed Bangladesh is “still liberal”.
He said Bangladesh’s founder “Bangabandhu wanted that it should not be communal at all”.
He asked all Bangladeshis to search their heart “do I believe in society which is secular, do I believe in pluralism?”
“There are some voices here trying to undo that ethos, but they will be defeated,” he said.
Pointing at the unresolved issues between India and Bangladesh, he said, Teesta water sharing issue has been “politicised”, though it was needed for the people.
He also bemoaned that the people-to-people contact between India and Bangladesh was “very minimal” and a “foolish believe” of infiltrations from Bangladesh had made the visa regime much difficult.
Nayar who was also a member of the Indian Upper House said he dreamt the whole region would be a common market for the sake of its people.-bdnews24.com

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