Today, the paradox is that the party that claims to inherit the legacy of Dr. Mukherjee, a fearless speaker, is not willing to utter a single word on the abolition of Article 370, for which Dr. Mukherjee fought so vigorously, and consequently had to sacrifice himself too.

June 23 marked the death anniversary of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, the founder of Jansangh, a predecessor to BJP, the current ruling dispensation in the Country. On 23rd of June 1951, this exceptionally bright academician, barrister and a former minister in Nehru’s cabinet crossed the great divide and went to glory. He was an erudite scholar, a captivating orator, a great patriot and above all a fearless politician. The former President of India, Dr. Sarvepalli Radha Krishnan had an amicable relation with Dr. Mukherjee.

Immediately after Mukherjee’s mysterious custodial death, Krishnan had put his heart on the paper in his intense emotional pain about the mettlesome character of this brave son of Mother India. He had said, “Mukherjee never feared to express his conscience throughout his public career because only the blatant lies are uttered in silence. If a big injustice takes place somewhere then to be reticent on it with the expectation that someone shall speak the truth someday is a great sin committed on the part of a human being. Each one of us must put out the truth fearlessly in a democratic society.”

Today, the paradox is that the party that claims to inherit the legacy of Dr. Mukherjee, a fearless speaker, is not willing to utter a single word on the abolition of Article 370, for which Dr. Mukherjee fought so vigorously, and consequently had to sacrifice himself too. The abrogation of Article 370 has always been one of its core poll-promises ever and in a sense an ideological foundation also. This has been a cornerstone of the BJP’s political principles. The BJP has been running a full majority government at the centre for last four years, and it had been running a coalition government in J&K till a few days back. But, did you ever listen to anyone from this Party talking about the abrogation of the said Article? Leave apart the issue of repealing it in reality; nobody from the BJP top functionaries has even courage to discuss it in present time.

The last public statement from any BJP top leader about the abrogation of Article 370 that I remember came from doctor-turned politician Union Minister Jitendra Singh in May 2015, who had to extend an apology for his statement within a matter of few hours. From then onwards, nobody in the BJP has dared to talk about its abrogation from the Indian Constitution. So much so, that in a sharp contradiction, the BJP Government, in one of its responses in the Parliament in March 2018 has said that, ‘Currently, there is no proposal to scrap Article 370’.

Dr. Subramanian Swamy is the only one in the BJP who has a consistent stand on the issue, but he has a reputation of being an independent voice despite being in the BJP. Otherwise, there is an utter and intriguing silence on this issue in the entire BJP. This may be an area of in-depth academic research for the students of Political Science about this level of character-fall in BJP.

Had the BJP’s hypocrisy be limited to its ideological degradation on one issue, it could have been snubbed for some time. But, that is not the case. Its hypocrisies are dancing unclothed everywhere. The construction of Ram Mandir and the resettlement of Kashmiri Pundits are other core-issues of the BJP upon which you can hardly hear any murmuring from the party leaders.

Recently, the BJP President Amit Shah was so passionately talking about the ‘Balidan Diwas’ of Dr. S.P. Mukherjee, but who is going to ask him that why his Party has not been able to constitute even an inquiry committee into the mysterious custodial death of Dr. Mukherjee? That also, even after four years of its majority rule in the center and running the coalition government at the state?  Doesn’t it beckon that the BJP has nothing to do with the ideological position of Dr. Mukherjee but has only to play politics over his martyrdom? Doesn’t it indicate that the BJP doesn’t wish to lift the curtain over his mysterious death for which Dr. Mukherjee’s mother Jog Maya Devi had urged the then Prime Minister Nehru, that he had whimsically and unreasonably declined? Has not BJP been playing politics over the blood of one of its founding fathers and a great ideologue? So, in what respect BJP is different from Congress? The BJP when out of power had intermittently clamored about justice for Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee.

There are many things to suggest that Dr. Mukherjee’s death could be a result of a foul play. In 2004, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had openly claimed that Dr. Mukherjee’s death was the outcome of Nehru’s conspiracy. The current Governor of Tripura, Tathagata Roy, in his meticulously researched book on Dr. Mukherjee, named, ‘The Life and Times of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’ has said that the arrest of Dr. Mukherjee was deliberately made in J&K, so as to keep him away from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India. He had been confined in a straitened detention-center near Nishat Garden that was situated at a considerable distance from Sri Nagar central town. Sheikh Abdulla, the then Prime Minister of J&K, had issued strict directions that Dr. Mukherjee must not be provided any special treatment without his prior approval. Pt. Nehru along with Kailashnath Katju had been to Sri Nagar for holidaying on 24th of May 1953, just one month before Dr. Mukherjee mysterious custodial death, but they were devoid of even slightest courtesy or the minimum social nicety to go and meet Dr. Mukherjee once.

After this mysterious custodial death, the mother of Dr. S.P Mukherjee, Jog Maya Devi had penned a letter to the then Prime Minister Pt. Nehru, demanding that the truth behind her son’s death be found out. But, Nehru declined her request saying he had accumulated information from his source and found out that there was nothing unusual about the death.

Tathagata Roy in his book on the life of Dr. Mukherjee says that ‘this has been a general precedent that whenever a celebrated personality from any field dies under mysterious circumstances, an inquiry commission is constituted, but this didn’t happen in case of Dr. Mukherjee’s death.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee had to run a coalition government, so, that might have its compulsion in constituting an inquiry committee to find the real cause of his mysterious death but what pressure the present BJP government carries is something that is beyond my comprehension.

In my opinion, BJP doesn’t want to find the real culprits behind his death because it has to keep playing politics on Dr. Mukherjee’s blood and the sacrifice of a great son of Mother India.

Further, Read More:

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Rohit Kumar

Rohit Kumar is a law graduate, an RTI activist and a former SBI Youth for India Fellow (2017-18) Batch.