The tragedy took place in Madhav College which was holding its students' union elections. Professor Harbhajan Singh, few months short of retirement, was supervising the proceedings. Apparently, there were irregularities and the elections were cancelled. This agitated a group of students belonging to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) - the student wing of BJP - who mobbed the professor and started abusing and threatening him. The verbal assaults later transformed into physical blows. The professor, who had recently undergone a bypass surgery, collapsed and died.
On hearing the news of Professor's death, the principal of the college suffered a cardiac arrest. He is recovering in an Ujjain hospital.
BJP - A Party with Indian Values?
BJP is a political party that claims to be the spokesperson for Indian values and traditions. While it would be extremely difficult to define what exactly constitute Indian culture, there could be no argument that every culture in the world expects a healthy respect for teachers and instructors. In India it is said that a teacher is bigger than even God since it is the former who explains the students about the greatness of the latter.
Ujjain is in Madhya Pradesh, a province ruled by BJP. So far there has only been one arrest following the murder of the college professor.
Nobody must be surprised.
Till the time of writing this post, there has been no word from the culturally-sensitive BJP leadership. BJP President Rajnath Singh who was so quick in asking Muslims to leave if they could not sing Vande Mataram is mum and quiet.
It's top leaders like LK Advani were busy giving wedding blessings to Rahul Mahajan - the Rahul Gandhi of the saffron party - who, perhaps in the best traditions of Indian culture, was caught drinking champagne the night before immersing his father's ashes in Brahamaputra.
These events render it sensible to wonder at the moral hollowness of this party.
Is It Unfair to Only Target the Saffron Party?
If it were the Congress activists who had killed a college professor; if it was a Congress scion caught snorting, it wouldn't have been news.
Do not mistake. Congress, too, is a political party with numerous grey areas. It exploits Muslims. It is corrupt to the core. It insults democracy itself by being slave to the Nehru-Gandhis. But other than banning dance bars here and Salman Rushdie novels there, it never pretends to be morally indignant as to dictate Indians about what exactly constitute their culture. At least, not in the extremist style of the BJP.
It is the BJP which advocates itself as the propagator of cultural nationalism and so it becomes perfectly valid to particularly point it out in the blame games.
The so-called Bhartiya Parampara and the Private Lives of the BJP Wallas
It is wrong to conjecture about the personal lives of the politicians but BJP leaders could not be granted this amnesty. Since they are always so eager to define Bhartiyata and feels so responsible and self-important in ordering Indians as to what they should think, which films they ought to watch, what dresses they ought to wear, what morals they need to follow, what history to read, it is encumbering for them to stick to the most clichéd, sometimes most regressive aspects of what is generally assumed to be the great Indian culture.
But they do not.
So, there is Maneka Gandhi who had publicly fought and humiliated her mother-in-law. So, there is Sadhvi Uma Bharati (a former BJP leader who recently launched a new party claiming it represents the true values of BJP) who lives, as she herself once put it, under the same roof as Govindacharya. So, there is the bachelor AB Vajpayee whose adopted daughter, with a startling resemblance to him, once insisted Mahesh Bhatt to make a film on her and her father. So, there is the RSS leader Sanjay Joshi who was literally caught with his pajamas down in a secretly-recorded DVD (of course, he was later, very conveniently, given a clean chit by the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh government). So, it had its close ally Bal Thackeray once showing off his immortal toilet bowl in his Matoshree residence where popstar Michael Jackson had gracefully consented to pee. Then there were the colorful tales of the late Pramod Mahajan who was killed by his own brother. The list is endless. But this post has already grown tasteless so this blogger will stop here.
But remember, the BJP is the biggest hypocrite today.