If you are the caretaker of the store and the owner finds that inventory has been pilfered and the cash register emptied, there are two options open to you. Fall at the feet of the maalik begging forgiveness or rip one’s kurta and accuse the owner of having tried to force himself on you.
The Congress has gone for the last option. At a time when the government presides over the kind of corruption that actually makes one feel sorry for the guys who made small change during Bofors, the Congress have trained their guns on the BJP for their support of the “Bling Bling Rappah”, showing that those those who stay in glass houses can throw stones if only there is no one outside who can throw the stone back. And the BJP for long has been exactly that—–a toothless, leaderless entity, a political Nirupa Roy who sits at the steps of the temple waiting for God to come down and restore her eyesight.
If there is any lesson from the recent elections in Bihar, it is that even in a place defined by votebank politics, there really is nothing as powerful as genuine development and performance. One would have hoped that after the ass-whopping in Bihar, the Congress would….but who am I kidding, jab hum naheen sudhre to tum kaise sudhroge. Instead what it has done is amped up the rhetoric that their opponents are terrorists. Yes not communal. That’s so 90s. Now they are terrorists.
Politics is a dirty game and if the Congress thinks, that with sympathetic mass media just a phonecall away, it can twist the narrative through a campaign of aggressive FUD then it has every right to try it. But when Digvijay Singh, at the release of a book called 26/11 RSS ki Saazish, hints at Karkare’s death being RSS ka saazish and by extension the whole 26/11 or when Rahul Gandhi equates the RSS with SIMI or says, to the American ambassador no less, that Hindu extremism is more of a threat than Islamic terrorism ( the equivalent of saying that Ravindra Jadeja is a greater all-rounder than Sir Gary Sobers, after all both are left-handed), they aren’t just being virulently divisive and outright wrong but are doing the country immense harm, giving Dawn, Jung and Zaid Hameed references in their related work section, trivializing Islamic terror in India and undermining their own government’s efforts, half-assed they be, in fighting the problem. Political mud-throwing is one thing. This is something totally different.
One wonders why. What is the core of the Congress’s “RSS is worse than SIMI” strategy? Does it honestly believe that the few hardcore Muslim votes it thinks it will win through this rhetoric, in places like Azamgarh and JNU, be worth the trouble (since the majority of Indian Muslims, perhaps one of the least radicalized communities in the world today, also won’t buy something this outrageous)? Does it think that they can genuinely convince Americans to put RSS on a terror watch list like a bunch of “agitators” got Modi refused a visa? Or is it no longer about strategy but more a sign of desperation, driven by rage—the core Right wing supporters (and one just needs to listen on twitter on one day to know what I mean) have been at the heart of some of the very personal nastiness directed at the Gandhis to which Rahul Gandhi is lashing out, under the guidance of the pathogenically “liberal” Digvijay Arundhati Singh (he is notoriously soft on Naxal terror also)?
As I was reading Rahul Gandhi and Digvijay Singh’s statements and letting their outrageous audacity sink in, I kept wondering to myself—would anyone in the US political mainstream ever attend an event of 9/11 conspiracy theorists? Would any liberal Democrat politician with Presidential ambitons, say that since Tim McVeigh and the man who drove his plane into the IRS building were Christians, Christian terror was a bigger threat to the security of the US than Islamic terror? Would anyone even dare trivializing 9/11 without risk of political suicide? No they wouldn’t.
In India though they can. Which is sad. Very sad.