The Hindustan Times
New Delhi, 10 February 1997
24. A good augury
Sir, - It is heartening to note that the Bharatiya Janata Party, of late, has realised its folly of isolating Muslims. In Kerala it is organising meetings in which intellectuals of both the communities exchange their views so as to remove the misunderstandings and misconceptions between them. In these conclaves, efforts are made to cultivate and establish healthy relationship between the two communities. It has also been reported in newspapers that in a number of districts in Kerala Muslims have not only joined the BJP but have been given berth in the party’s executive committees.
It is unfortunate that the party leaders speak in different ways on certain key issues. Whereas some have soft corner for Muslims, others ostracize them. For better mutual understanding it is necessary that both the communities first shed their prejudices. To be a good Hindu or a Muslim does not necessarily mean that their goodness is weighed in terms of degree of their religiosity. Perhaps, the time has come when moderates like Atal Behari Vajpayee* assert their influence in removing the mistrust between the two communities. - Yours etc.,
as well as ‘secularists’ of all hues have been hailing Vajpayee as ‘the
right man in the wrong party’. Vajpayee has always relished the compliment
without caring a fig for how the remark reflects on the party he heads.
Once again, it is the old story of Pandit Nehru being the only ‘progressive’
in a ‘reactionary’ Congress. Let there be no doubt that Vajpayee is another
Nehru in the offing so far as Hindutva is concerned.