Federal fascism embedded in BJP's DNA: Congress

Condemning the vandalism at a Kolkata college and destruction of Bengali polymath Vidyasagar's bust during BJP President Amit Shah's roadshow on Tuesday, the Congress on Wednesday said "federal fascism" was embedded in the BJP's DNA.

Addressing the media here, the party's Rajya Sabha MP from West Bengal and spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: "Federal fascism is embedded in the BJP's DNA. The power hungry (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, (Amit) Shah are hell bent in bulldozing the cultural identity of Indian states.

"Congress strongly condemns the violent desecration of national icons like Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, the great educationist," he said adding that this was symptomatic of a bigger issue.

"Under Modi-Shah, mobocracy is being actively encouraged and abetted by the ruling party. And we have seen repeated examples of this in the last five years. We have seen irreversible damage to the cultural identities of the state it has been doing," he said.

Singhvi's remarks came a day after clashes broke out between members of the Trinamool Congress students' union and BJP supporters who participated in Shah's massive roadshow in north Kolkata on Tuesday evening, following which a group of saffron party activists allegedly resorted to vandalism inside the Vidyasagar College campus and destroyed a bust of Vidyasagar.

Slamming the ruling BJP at the Centre, Singhvi said that the government has been specializing in negative politics of destruction, demolition and desecration.

"These are all facets of federal system of decentralization and diversity. Each of them is under unprecedented attack by the ruling dispensation. The ruling party is specializing in the negative politics of destruction, demolition and desecration. These are three new Ds and thereby vitiating the political atmosphere of the country," the Congress leader said.

Singhvi said that the BJP was using this tactic to super impose its monolithic supremacy and bigoted agenda on each state and thereby weakening the federal polity.

He said that the Congress will continue its battle against this.

He said Congress President Rahul Gandhi has taken him (Modi) on to protect language and culture. "For him (Rahul Gandhi), insignia of diversity is everything. You might see Rahul Gandhi as fighting in two constituencies but he does not see it like that. He attempts to demonstrate inclusiveness all under an umbrella, north and south parts of a united India. It is much more symbolic than fighting in two constituencies.

"But we know how Modi and Shah view it," he said.

Taking a pot shot at the BJP, Singhvi said: "Disrespect for national icons and the hegemony of the BJP reflects its mindset.

"Who is H Raja? He is one of the senior most members of the BJP in Tamil Nadu. He pledged to destroy the statue of Periyar. And later, Ram Madhav justified such a statement and pulling down of statues. What action was taken -- a wink, a nod? Actually encouragement.

"A bust of national icon B.R. Ambedkar was found painted red in north Chennai. Regional parties have ruled Tamil Nadu for decades but this never happened," he said.

"In February this year, a right wing lunatic fringe group clearly associated with the Sangh Parivar re-enacted the scene of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination, with an air pistol and a small effigy of Mahatma Gandhi. And they did it after garlanding the picture of Nathuram Godse. Did we have this kind of terrible tragic incidents in last 70-75 years?" Singhvi questioned.