Theatre of Absurd: Sakshi Maharaj stretches the scene to another extent
New Delhi: The campaigning throughout the Uttar Pradesh Polls 2017 has been a story of tight loyalties and loose tongues. The theatre of absurd finds its perfect actor in Bharatiya Janata Party member of parliament, Sakshi Maharaj, who is known more for hate -speeches and controversial statements. This time, however, the rancour was too abysmal and the tone was unworthy of a responsible citizen, forget about being an MP.
In an abhorrent remark made on Tuesday , he asked the Muslim community to stop the practice of burying the dead as the country does not have enough land for the purpose. Talking to a news agency here he said, " there are about 20 crore Muslims in the country. If every one of them is buried uncultivatable and barren land used for burial will fall short of the requirement. The best thing in the circumstances is to switch over to the Hindu practice of burning the dead".
Sakshi Maharaj does not stop here as he goes on to substantiate his remark by saying ''there will be land shortage also because Sadhus, in addition to Muslims, require land for Samadhi.''
This statement made a few days before the sixth and seventh phases of UP assembly polls may have a political motive behind. It may be aimed at polarising the Hindu voters in favour of the party.
The eastern region where elections for these phases will be held had largely supported the party's rivals, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. The BJP had finished third in the region in the previous polls in terms of seats.
It has to turn the table if it has to upset their plans in the current elections. The region will elect 89 members and more than fifty per cent of these seats were won by the ruling Samajwadi Party in the previous polls.The BSP was poor second with 15 seats.
However, Sakshi Maharaj's statement runs counter to the statements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home Minister Rajnath Singh but the suggestion made by Unnao MP were far too gross.
Modi’s approach was balanced. He has spoken against discrimination at different election rallies. “If land is allotted for burial, it should be also allotted for creation in villages". It was directed against the state government's Muslim appeasement policy.
Singh, on the other hand, had expressed regret for not providing tickets to Muslims.
It is another matter that both state chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and his alliance partner, Rahul Gandhi, have described the PM's statement ”communal", Everything is fair in love and politics.