By Vivek Tripathi
Varanasi, Dec 4 (IANS): The Bharatiya Janata Party has been trying to establish a foothold in South India by organising a month-long Kashi Tamil Samagam in Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of PM Narendra Modi. This mission is being linked to the party, easing the way for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
According to political experts, after establishing its presence in the North, Central and Northeast, the BJP has started its mission in the South.
The saffron party has made special campaigns for states like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
The political, social and economic conditions of the South are completely different from North India.
In such a situation, a single strategy would not be enough which is why the BJP is working on different strategies, including Kashi Tamil Samagam.
While Congress' Rahul Gandhi is busy in Bharat Jodo Yatra in view of the 2024 elections, the BJP has made the South its priority.
The party is preparing to unite Tamil speakers with North India. Through this, the ground for the Lok Sabha elections along with the Assembly elections to be held in South India will be strengthened.
According to sources in the BJP, a group of party leaders is getting acquainted with the ground reality in South India by touring and holding meetings, after which it will submit its report to the central leadership.
According to political analysts, Modi attending the Samagam and his appearance in a Tamil dress in Varanasi were a part of a well thought strategy.
The party wants to increase its vote bank in the southern states on the pretext of the Samagam, for which Modi has been using the religious agenda in Varanasi and the South.
According to the party's strategies, some seats may be lost in states, including Bihar and Madhya Pradesh in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Furthermore, it would be a challenge for the BJP to win the same number of seats in West Bengal as before. To make up for these loss, the saffron party wants to expand its hold in the south.
Its importance can be gauged from the fact that the party has entrusted the responsibility of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to Sunil Bansal, who is known as the 'think tank' of Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP is desperate to increase its seats in several southern states which is why the National Executive Committee meeting was organised in Hyderabad a few months back.
Political analyst Ratan Mani Lal said that among the southern states, Tamil Nadu will be a challenge for the BJP to gain a stronghold in and it has already reached Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The party is trying to pave its way through their cultural heritage.
Political benefits can be gained by increasing social interaction. He further said that Tamil people may not have a sense of liking for Hindi but do have one for Sanskrit.
He added that cultural exchange could take place through such a programme.
Chamu Krishna Shastri, the Chairman of Bhartiya Bhasha Samiti and convenor of Tamil Samagam, said that the idea of Kashi Tamil Samagam was conceived by the PM to strengthen the unity of the country and to fulfill the concept of 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat'.
Shastri said that the relationship between Kashi and Tamil is millennium old which is not just religious but spiritual, educational and commercial as well. The aim of this programme was to bring people closer through language and its propagation.
He said that the people of Kashi should understand the old Tamil heritage and the journey of development and knowledge.
Regarding the Hindi and Tamil language dispute, he said that this problem was created by the British and foreign invaders, everyone used to live in complete harmony before the British arrival.
He told that so far about 3,000 people have come as representatives from Tamil Nadu in the programme. Apart from this, 750 artists will be participating.
A total of 4,000 people will participate in this programme.
Shastri said that the programme has helped a lot in ending the hatred of language. It is being spread through social media and other mediums in the state.
He added that interaction brings change in both mind and language.
Apart from cultures, heritage will also be taken forward through this programme. Unity, intimacy and emotion will also be increased, said Shastri.