Opinion: BJP has no problem with kids spitting hate, only kids mock PM

Hate speech is part of camps organized for children by the Sangh Parivar, but Tamil Nadu’s BJP raises outcry over a two-minute stretch in a skit satirizing PM Modi.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often said that he welcomes criticism and that criticism is the backbone of democracy. However, his BJP colleagues either seem not to understand his words or it is the party’s conclusion that Modi does not mean what he is saying. The latest to offend the BJP is a children’s comedy show on Zee Tamil. That’s right, the Tamil Nadu BJP – which has frequently provoked outrage against popular culture in a bid to become more popular – landed on a skit performed by children on Junior Superstars Season 4 get mad about this time.

In the sketch, two children (aged 11 and 6) are dressed as the king and his minister respectively, reminiscent of the Tamil satirical film Imsai Arasan 23h Pulikesi. It’s the King’s birthday, and the two engage in a conversation that takes obvious blows to the PM and the strategies of the BJP-led Union government. These range from Modi’s frequent foreign trips to demonetization, his limited appeal in the south, privatization and agricultural laws.

The two-minute part of the skit – nothing out of the ordinary for Tamil TV content – ​​may have been forgotten, but for BJP theatre. On January 17, two days after the episode aired, CTR Nirmal Kumar, State Chairman of the BJP’s IT and Social Media Cell in Tamil Nadu, wrote to Zee Enterprises Limited, demanding that the show be taken down. and an apology be issued. . According to Nirmal Kumar, the children did not understand what they were saying, and their guardians and the channel should be held “morally responsible” for the act. He also called for the ‘person responsible for content’ to be sacked, noting that ‘young children cannot be used to advance someone’s political agenda’ as it sets a ‘bad precedent for the future’. .

What kids do on reality TV shows and whether it’s good for them is a whole other debate, and Nirmal Kumar’s concern for young children and their involvement is touching…unless hypocritical. If only the organizations he’s affiliated with didn’t use children for content they have “no understanding” and have taken all “moral responsibility” for the hatred they vomit by using children!

The BJP is part of the Sangh Parivar, the umbrella term used to refer to organizations affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak (RSS), a right-wing Hindu nationalist organization that draws its inspiration of European fascism, and campaigned for a Hindu rashtra. The Sangh Parivar includes other organizations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Bajrang Dal and many others.

Only boys and men can join the RSS shakhas (branches) while women and girls can join the Rashtriya Sevika Samiti. (The reason given is that the timing of meetings in RSS shakhas as well as the physical activities they engage in are not “suitable” for girls and women.) Other Sangh Parivar organizations also run camps for boys and the girls. girls. While these camps organize games, train participants in yoga, first aid, voluntary work, etc., they also condition young people to champion the cause of Hindutva.

In the Durga Vahini camps run by the female wing of the VHP, for example, girls as young as 15 are taught chanting lines like “Hindustan is for Hindus” and even proclaiming their willingness to kill for their beliefs. They are also qualified in the handling of weapons. Filmmaker Nisha Pahuha, who directed The world in front of her, a documentary that follows two young women – one at a Durga Vahini camp and the other at the Miss India pageant – said in a interview that she was shocked by the “songs of brainwashing and blood freezing” that participants at the Durga Vahini camp uttered.

In December 2019, a school in Karnataka owned by RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, had children in grades 11 and 12 re-enacting the demolition of Babri Masjid and setting up a Ram temple in its place. Throughout the program, which was attended by several BJP leaders including DV Sadananda Gowda, Kiran Bedi and many Karnataka ministers, the children also shouted celebratory slogans in praise of Ram, Sita and Hanuman. The demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 was orchestrated by the RSS and more than 2,000 people are believed to have died in the riots that broke out across the country. While in April 2019 the Supreme Court awarded the disputed land to a trust for the construction of the Temple of Ram, it also ruled the demolition of Babri Masjid illegal. Despite this, however, no one from the school or those who attended the program apologized for what was depicted on stage.

A few weeks ago, a video from a school in Uttar Pradesh showed children taking an oath to “fight, die and if necessary kill” to achieve the Hindu Rashtra’s dream. There are many other such videos showing young children speaking at Hindutva events, spreading RSS and Sangh Parivar propaganda.

Unlike such speeches and events which are a mix of deliberate disinformation, revisionist history, hatred and calls for violence, the skit presented by the children in the TV show was only a summary of the criticisms often repeated against the Prime Minister, put together in an entertaining way. By continuing a two-minute part of a skit in a comedy show, the BJP only looks desperate and intolerant.

The Tamil Nadu party is constantly looking for ‘issues’ to grab headlines and improve its electoral base, and it’s clearly no easy feat. But even by BJP outrage standards, this is a new low. At best, it can achieve the goal of providing more material for Tamil cinema and comedy shows to poke fun at.

The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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