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BJP wants to emerge in Tamil Nadu politics through Hard-line Hindutva.

BJP gets on its Hindutva hobby horse in Tamil Nadu.

From enactment of a strong anti-conversion law to removing State control of temples, the party’s focus was on the hardcore Hindu urban voter. Ranging also, cow protection, goshalas in temples and prasadams made only from ghee of the cows from the goshalas. 

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari releasing the BJP's manifesto for Tamil Nadu last week. Pic Bijoy Ghosh.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari releasing the BJP’s manifesto for Tamil Nadu last week. Pic. Bijoy Ghosh.

Sruthisagar Yamunan | The Hindu | Chennai | April 25, 2016:: After failing to form an alliance of any significance, the BJP in Tamil Nadu has harked back to its old formula of Hindutva politics.

The saffron tint in the manifesto it released last week was obvious. Apart from its long-time pet projects such as protection of cows, the party this time went more adventurous.

From enactment of a strong anti-conversion law to removing State control of temples, the party’s focus was on the hardcore Hindu urban voter.

There were also assurances to specific caste groups the party has been targeting over the past two years.

Read also:: Highlights of BJP manifesto for Tamil Nadu.

In fact, the section titled “Independent functioning of Hindu temples” was the biggest after the one for education, occupying almost two pages. The party wants to give the administration of temples, now under the control of the State Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department, to a committee consisting of religious elders, scholars and former judges. Places of worship of other religions would not be allowed within a radius of 1 km of temples.

At the event to release the manifesto, BJP national secretary H. Raja, the brain behind the document, accused the DMK of minority appeasement for stating in its manifesto that sale of temple lands would be considered under certain circumstances whereas the Wakf Board lands under encroachment would be retrieved.

Read also:: Tamil Nadu elections: BJP promises return of Jallikattu, ban on alcohol.

The manifesto also promised implementation of a 1958 GO that barred leasing of temple lands to non-Hindus. Perhaps, the most bizarre assurance was an immediate halt to community feats arranged in temples on birth anniversaries of atheists. Though he was not named, community feasts do take place on the birthday of rationalist and former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai.

Also, goshalas would be established in temples and prasadams would be made only from ghee of the cows from the goshalas.

Income-based quota

There were other controversial elements, too. The party promised reservation on the basis of income. The Congress reacted immediately, calling the promise a challenge to the Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes. It said when converts being brought under reserved categories affected the Hindus already in the group.

Courtesy: The Hindu.

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