In any healthy organic system, a self-correcting mechanism kicks in the moment the system sensors sense something going wrong. For Narendra Modi led-BJP, which didn’t set a foot wrong in the long election campaign and, as regards its initial moves, in government, the Home Ministry directive to use Hindi in all inputs — even if only in the “social media” is an appalling misstep. Because social media today, could be all official correspondence tomorrow. It has predictably led the southern states starting with Tamil Nadu to rear themselves up on their hind legs to oppose the imposition of a “North Indian” language. Indeed, it was precisely the Tamil fear of such cultural imperialism that led to the Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu to consolidate their hold on the state polity. That such instructions should have been ordered fairly casually, presumably, by Rajnath Singh in the main suggests the PM’s social sensors are beginning to go on the blink. For surely, Modi would have been in on this decision and should have warned Rajnath of this folly — which has every potential of spreading like wildfire and consuming all the hard work the party has done so far so early in his first term.
The language issue has historically been at the centre of Dravidian identity. Reviving this problem at just the point in time when BJP’s prospects in South India are looking up — if the performance of the party at the hustings is any indication — amounts to shooting oneself in the foot even as the race has just begun. Combined with the BJP’s support for the Rajasthan MP, Nihalchand, accused of rape and his minions charged with terrorizing the young woman at the receiving end of his evil actions — was no background check done? And if this rape-case in the court did turn up on his docket, was it willfully disregarded or inadvertently ignored — it isn’t clear which, in either case it shows up the BJP in very bad light, and are the sorts of things that were avoidable and could have been easily avoided.