By Arun Srivastava
Giving benefit of doubt to the BJP leaders for their act of conspiring the worst nature of dirty strategy against the Tamil Nadu and Bihar governments, alleging that workers from other States are being attacked in Tamil Nadu will be more than committing hara-kiri.
While the BJP’s Bihar unit chief Sanjay Jaiswal had claimed that Biharis were ‘killed’ in Tamil Nadu, his buddy in Tamil Nadu has also come out with similar allegation. What is most astonishing is both these nationalist leaders did not furnish concrete evidences and place them in public domain. If at all they really nursed genuine concern for the Bihari labourers, they should have come out in the public armed with full and concrete proof.
Their revelation is more of the nature of rumour mongering and straining the relation between the two governments run by two friendly opposition parties. The people, especially the urban middle class which has been blindly endorsing every action of Narendra Modi and his lieutenant Amit Shah must do some soul searching. It is no more a secret that RSS and BJP can stoop low to any extent for electoral gains, obviously in this backdrop their pitting Tamilians against Biharis has not come a surprise.
Since the state presidents of Tamil Nadu and Bihar have been found to be involved in the dirty game, it is obvious that they must not have done this at their free will. They must have been asked by their masters to resort to this nasty machination. In a series of tweets on Saturday, Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai had accused the DMK of making “shocking” comments against North Indians.
The BJP took the line of spreading hatred and lies simply to teach hard lessons to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin for their audacity to bring together all the opposition parties. BJP strongmen are conscious of the threat from the united opposition. They primary intention has been to ensure that opposition unity does not take place. All kind of intrigues must be undertaken to foil it. But their designs did not appear to be making much success.
The rumour of killings of labourers was perceived to be best mechanism to put Biharis against Tamilians. In such a situation Stalin or for that matter Nitish cannot dare to go against the wishes and sentiments of their people. Eventually the idea of having a unified opposition will meet with unnatural miscarriage. The most shocking aspect of this social crime is the ultra-nationalist have been carrying on the anti-national crusade without pondering what nature of damage it may cause to the Indian nation.
Yet another horrid aspect of their campaign has been they are not willing to pause, as any such attempt would alienate their middle class Modi bhakts. The party desperately needs to keep them united behind it. This is the reason even after caution remarks and warning from the state governments to prosecute them for spreading rumours, they have been continuing with their mission unabated.
On Saturday M K Stalin reassured his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar that all migrant workers are safe in the State and he asserted that swift action would be taken against rumour-mongers spreading panic. Stalin also assured; “all workers are our workers who help Tamil Nadu’s growth and nothing will happen to impact them, I have assured him.” Addressing Kumar as his ‘revered brother,’ Stalin said that workers from northern States need not have any kind of apprehensions over working in Tamil Nadu.
Stalin said: “Those spreading rumours that workers from other States are being attacked in Tamil Nadu are against the Indian nation, they infringe the national integrity. Some doing cheap politics over a non-issue is condemnable. Stern legal action would be taken against those spreading panic through rumours.” Meanwhile on Sunday, Chennai City Police’s Central Crime Branch (CCB) filed a case against him on the charge of resorting to “false propaganda” against the Tamil Nadu government. He was charged with trying to provoke riots between the people of Tamil Nadu and migrant workers in the State.
Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi who has been engaged in a running feud with Stalin also described the messages as fake and ill motivated. Ravi a BJP supporter, nursing antagonists relation with Stalin might have preferred to maintain silence on this issue. Instead, he rose upto the demand of the time and sought to assuage any apprehensions of migrant workers in Tamil Nadu in the wake of alleged rumours of some of them being attacked in the state, saying the TN people were nice and friendly.
The workers need not panic, the Raj Bhavan said in tweets posted in Tamil, English and Hindi.”Governor urged the North Indian labourers in Tamil Nadu not to panic and feel insecure, as the people of Tamil Nadu are very nice and friendly, and the state government is committed to provide them security,” Raj Bhavan said on its official Twitter handle. To enforce the sense of bonhomie the Tamil Nadu police put on job some Hindi knowing officers from Bihar and UP to allay any misgiving and misinformation that gripped the minds of the labourers.
The Tamil Nadu police and state officials as well as fact checkers have pointed out that these videos are either of incidents that did not take place in the state or are unrelated to the false claims being made. However, influenced by the videos, some migrant workers are returning home out of fear, affecting economic activities in parts of Tamil Nadu. The state police has also booked the editor of Hindi daily ‘Dainik Bhaskar” and two others for spreading false information about alleged attacks on migrants from northern India.
In Bihar, the BJP leaders and cadres have been trying to reach out to the people from the villages from where most of the labourers have migrated, to tell them about the plights of their kins. Notwithstanding tate government reaching out to the labourers, promising them safety and security, launching a crackdown against people allegedly spreading “fake news” regarding such attacks, the BJP kayakartas are busy polluting the situation. Meanwhile Bihar Association in Tamil Nadu held a meeting with migrant workers employed in Chennai and labourers expressed satisfaction. Said a labourer; “Videos circulating on social media are fake. My family back home has been concerned about my safety ever since the news started circulating but I have reassured them about my safety”. More than 1 million migrant labourers are estimated to work in Tamil Nadu in various sectors, including the garment industry.
With the 2024 Lok Sabha election knocking at the door, and the BJP expecting a a poor show in Tamil Nadu and Bihar—Modi and Shah have become desperate. Targeting Bihar is at the top of the strategy. If somehow Nitish is confined to the state, Modi and Shah can think of overcoming the opposition threat. In fact the Monday incident of CBI raiding the residence of former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi in connection with “further probe” in the land for jobs scam case is a part of this strategy. The CBI raided notwithstanding it had already filed its charge sheet in the case and the special court. In the charge sheet it has mentioned the names of Rabri, former Railways Minister Lalu Prasad and his family members and others.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra alleged that the opposition leaders who are not ready to bow before the BJP are being “harassed” through the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation. “Today Rabri Devi ji is being harassed. Lalu Prasad ji and his family have been harassed for years because they did not bow down”. (IPA Service)