By Neel Anil Panicker

What’s different that the BJP is now doing that the Congress hadn’t been doing for ages, railed a BJP/Hindutva/RSS/Yogi/ Modi bhakt the other day.
An embarrassingmy long pregnant pause followed during which both of us stared into the other’s eyes, wondering who would blink first.
Much later, with the situation still in limbo, and long after I realised that the question wasn’t merely by way of a rhetoric, that I thought it best to come up with a rejoinder.
I said, “My dear friend, please don’t compare apples to oranges. What the Congress and other non-BJP governments did in the past were to rename all such cities that still carried remnants of colonialism and were reflective of British imperialism.
So, out went Cawnpore, Madras, Bombay, Calcutta at al and to be replaced with newly minted names that are a salute to the nation’s grassroots ethos and values.

“So, isn’t that what we, the BJP is also doing,” countered my dear friend.

I looked him in the eye and replied,” No, not at all. What you guys are doing is completely changing, altering, violating, and diluting the rich plural ethos of this country. By selectively identifying and renaming all Muslim name bearing cities and towns you are only furthering your agenda of dividing this great country. You, by this blatant, flagrant utterly despicable act of utter bigotry, parochalism, and religious exclusivisim is only revealing your true colours which is to whip up such religious frenzy that it polarises society to such an extent that it leads to massive electoral gains for your party.”
#essay #namecalling

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