Haj subsidy ends: Win-win situation for BJP as it suits Hindutva agenda, Muslims not displeased either
Shams Ur Rehman Alavi
DELHI: The BJP government has finally decided to abolish the Haj subsidy and no one is complaining.
For the party it was a stick to beat the 'seculars' by accusing them of appeasement of Muslims.
Now the Narendra Modi government has abolished the Haj subsidy. Even though this was expected due to Air India privatisation plans, the timing was too perfect.
The decision was taken when VHP leader Pravin Togadia, with tears in his eyes, was on TV channels. He was giving the impression that the party was not doing enough for Hindutva.
But within hours, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi announced that the Haj subsidy was over. Clearly, BJP's core Hindutva supporter can't complain. Muslims are no longer being appeased as the subsidy has gone.
Togadia's tears won't have much affect. It is only Narendra Modi who brings about the change--first the law against Triple Talaq and now a complete reversal of 'appeasement policy'. For BJP's core constituency, Modi remains the man who can take tough decisions. Clearly, BJP has played its cards well.
Muslims aren't upset at all. They always felt that the 'Haj subsidy' was a sham, a sort of PR exercise. In fact, by forcing Indian Muslims to only go by Indian Airlines, which charged excessive fare, rather than competitive prices (with other private airlines), they not only got cheated but also faced the charge that they were appeased.
When Muslims themselves hail the decision, Congress, a party that didn't appease Muslims but never fought the perception and enjoyed the tag without doing much for the minorities, has nothing much to speak.