Since the army’s surgical strikes, the government itself “is projecting the armed forces in Hindutva terms and using crass casteist and religious imagery to describe their role”, the CPI-M journal “People’s Democracy” said in an editorial.
“The warning bells are loud and clear. Under the BJP-RSS dispensation, no institution of the State, including the armed forces, are immune from the Hindutva subversion,” it said.
“This should be a matter of serious concern for every citizen of the country.
“All those who wish to protect the secular democratic character of the Republic should raise their voice to tell the BJP and RSS – ‘Hands off the armed forces’,” the editorial said.
The CPI-M said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Dussehra speech in Lucknow was connected to the coming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
“Modi utilised the religious festival to lace his political message in a religious idiom. He started his speech with ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and talked of fighting terrorism using analogies from the Ramayana.
“The message was clear – the electoral battle in Uttar Pradesh would be fought by mixing religion with politics and on a strident communal agenda.
“The army’s ‘surgical strikes’ have already become an election propaganda point for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh,” the editorial said.
The CPI-M said what was truly disturbing was the use of the army for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “narrow partisan ends”.