BJP and the art of excluding Muslims

This December (when the Election Commission will hold Gujarat’s polls), it will be exactly 30 years since I became old enough to vote. In these three decades, my hometown Surat was represented six times by a single Lok Sabha MP, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Kashiram Rana, a colourful man, whose opponents unsuccessfully smeared him with the ditty: “Surat na gaurav Kashiram Rana / ek haath ma baatli, ek haath ma dana (Surat’s pride Kashiram Rana is never without his bottle in one hand and peanuts in the other)”. This was meant to show him as …

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