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‘BJP’s Rule Poses Grave Threat to Our Institutions’: Pratap Bhanu Mehta (Video)

“They won't unleash a big riot. Instead one or two people will be lynched here and there.”

Public intellectual and vice-chancellor of Ashoka University Pratap Bhanu Mehta has provided a clearer perspective on the nationalism touted by the Modi-led BJP government.

In a short video titled ‘The Danger of Hindu Nationalism’ released by Karwan-e-Mohabbat as part of the video series Tathya, Mehta speaks on the threat to the autonomy of India’s independent institutions, pernicious communalism and the importance of a mahagathbandhan.

Mehta said, “There is no doubt that BJP’s rule poses a grave threat to our institutions. However the process through which they have accomplished this feat is very subtle. It is a gradual process…”

He added, “When they (BJP) intervene in the working of one institution, some other institution is compelled to give an adverse decision. We are satisfied and forget the first intervention. We say that see at least the Supreme Court gave this verdict or the Election Commission said that.”

Speaking on the insidious way the new-age saffron wave works, he said, “They won’t unleash a big riot. Instead one or two people will be lynched here and there.”

On the new fad of nationalism propagated by BJP Mehta said, “The danger with BJP’s interpretation of nationalism is that they conflate being anti-establishment with being anti-national. For BJP, nationalism is akin to false militarism.”

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He posed doubts on the effectiveness or worth of such nationalism, “We don’t know what they’ll achieve with this approach. We don’t know if Pakistan will be fixed by this or not. We do know that the condition in Kashmir has worsened in the last 5 years.”

He added, “What is Amit Shah’s argument? He says that Muslims were given a veto on India policy matters and now we will make them irrelevant. This is the language he speaks, isn’t it? They are talking about nationalism, but just look at the consequences of their nationalism. Is it strengthening the nation?”

Mehta also pointed out the importance of an opposition alliance. He said that all the other parties’ willingness to work together, despite their differences, is a testament to the dire conditions the nation is living through.

He said, “An alliance does not just signify adding up votes. Its real significance is to reassure people that in present circumstances, it is more important to rise above traditional rivalries and political interests for the sake of the nation.”

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