As a symbol of unity in diversity, India has the world’s tallest statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (Height 587 feet/182 meters), who happened to be the first Home Minister of independent India and the statue has been named as the Statue of Unity. It stands in Gujarat as a new national monument to inspire a new generation towards the beauty of unity in diversity. It cost the Indian exchequer a whopping amount Rs 3,300 crores and it was crafted in China. It has been built on the pattern of the Statue of Liberty standing on an Island in New York, USA. Sardar Patel, an Indian National Congress (INC) leader was chosen for this honour by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), despite ideological differences, because he was instrumental in integrating many independent provinces (princely states) into the fold of the Indian Union. However, there are more reasons why Patel was honored by the BJP. Firstly, he was from Gujarat state to which Prime Minister Narendra Modi belongs. Two, the RSS which had sided with the British rulers during India’s freedom struggle does not have any leaders amongst its sphere whom it can claim or choose as its national Icon or Hero. Now, Sardar Patel has been christened as BJP’s national Icon. It was at Sardar Patel’s initiative 562 small and big states were united with India, making it part of the Indian Union. But, to the utter surprise of the people, the same government, which installed the statue of Sardar Patel and eulogized about Unity are tattering it by carrying a politics of division and polarization. Such a huge statue of unity is hardly a source of inspiration for the incumbent political leaders of BJP, especially Home Minister Amit Shah, who has been completely dedicated to divide the country vertically by polarization on religious bases, causing enough damage to its secular fabric. He has already made a major success by side-lining 20-crore Muslims of India. This is not the end, as he has been continuously involved in vilifying campaigns against mainstream leaders, including those of Jammu and Kashmir. He hardly looks at the teachings and ideals of Sardar Patel. The Home Minister hurls incentives calling members of the Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) leaders who formed a seven-party alliance Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, as “Gupkar Gang”, anti-national and Pakistani. Shah further termed the alliance as an “unholy global gathbandhan” and that it went against national interest. He also accused the “Gupkar Gang” of hobnobbing with foreign players. Of late it has been observed that the BJP leaders find an international conspiracy in everything that is not to its likings like Shaheen Bagh women protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Hathras (UP) rape and murder case of a 19-year-old Dalit girl and whatnot. So, this is not the first time the BJP leaders, especially Union Home Minister have used such a demeaning word as ‘gang’ to legitimise a legal grouping of democratic leaders. His labeling of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students and activists who were anti-BJP as the ‘tukde tukde gang’ has proven enduring for those in the BJP, even though Shah’s own ministry declared earlier this year that it has no data on any such gang. The leaders of both the parties NC and PDP had flirted with BJP since long ago Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah have remained Union Ministers in BJP Government at the Centre. Mehbooba Mufti’s father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was Home Minister in the BJP government led by Atal Behari Vajpayee, the BJP’s first government at the Centre. Still more in the recent past, Mufti Mohammed Syed was also Chief Minister of J&K following an alliance with BJP-PDP and after his sudden demise, his daughter Mehbooba Mufti was made Chief Minister. How come suddenly these J&K democratically elected leaders, who abhorred violence, had become anti-national. These leaders have been stating categorically that they do not believe in the politics of using gun or stone-pelting. They cannot face viewing youth of J&K being killed in violent protests. Amit Shah’s attack on J&K eminent political leaders is so because, much against the ruling BJP expectations, the leaders of seven parties are contesting the District Council’s election unitedly against BJP candidates and other parties such as Apni Party. The Apni party came into existence under the patronage of BJP after the nullification of Article 370 and splitting of the state of J&K into two Union Territories-J&K and Ladakh. The type of statements the BJP leaders are spewing indicates their utter frustration as the leadership was thinking of a cakewalk in district Council elections in the absence of established democratic parties of J&K. Led by National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, the Alliance also has the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Conference, CPI (M), Awami National Conference and Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement (J&KPM). In its initial formative stage, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration had appeared to be a group of leaders that may collapse under its own weight of different multi-vision for the solution of lingering J&K multi-country complex problem. Instead, it does not appear now to be so, and carries a strong political strength. It is a strong force moving slowly and sturdy in the right direction in the most suitable democratic ways, available under the prevailing circumstances, in the new formation of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). However, those who were manning the UT of J&K affairs for the last 18 months appear to have failed to visualize with their myopic vision as to what shape the political developments take and in which direction it would lead to. It is also unclear as to what spurred Shah on to tweet thrice on the alliance other than the fact that the first phase of the newly constituted District Development Council elections are scheduled to take place on November 25. This is going to be the first political exercise in the Union Territory since it was formed by the Centre. Significantly, the Gupkar Alliance has decided to contest the polls jointly. More so, the leaders whose constituents are members of the Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration while venting their anger against abrogation of Article 370, should move consciously by not using the language which gives a handle to ruling BJP leaders and its minister to corner them as anti-national. The BJP considers the J&K issue as solved once for all and is India’s internal matter but Mehbooba Mufti has been time and again emphasizing that India talks to Pakistan to find out its permanent or lasting solution. What she says appears to have some relevance as about 40 percent of the J&K territory is under Pakistan’s control. On one side, the BJP government is bragging about the tallest statue of the world, claiming it to be the Statute of Unity, while on the other hand they have created a paradoxical situation by targeting Muslims and other minorities directly and indirectly. Apart from mainstream politicians in Jammu and Kashmir, the attitude and approach of the present dispensation was averse and loathsome against Muslims and liberal Hindus with regard to CAA induced protests in Shaheen Bagh. The leaders of the BJP openly targeted Muslims at public rallies during the Delhi election. They stoop so low to call every non-BJP supporter as ‘Gaddhar’ (Treacherous). So, creating a paradoxical situation in a country that has the foundation of secular credentials, the BJP is mocking the very idea of Hindustan and Unity. The writer is a senior journalist and Indo-Pak peace activist.