Guest Post by Ravinder Kaur
As India begins the countdown to the 2014 general elections, a new discourse has started taking shape around its minority populations. It is called the ‘what about 1984’ argument. The supporters of Narendra Modi in a bid to deflect attention from his role in 2002 pogrom usually throw 1984 at his critics. The critics have lately begun responding by placing 1984 pogrom in a less grave category in comparison to 2002. The difference we are told is the political ideology – Congress is inherently secular and 1984 an aberration whereas BJP is communal and 2002 symptomatic. This unfortunate comparison means that the ‘what about 1984’ argument has unintentionally turned 1984 pogrom into an exclusive Congress problem even when it sets out to call out Modi’s anti-minority stance. The role of Hindutava ideology has been airbrushed out of the history that led to 1984 pogrom as a consequence.