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Published in the 16-28 Feb 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Gujarat crying and dying for President's rule

By I. K . Shukla

The Milli Gazette Online

Law and order - wise Bihar may not be the model state. Which Indian state is? True, all of them can really use a lot of law and order, not noise, but the norm. And, not only to remove Rashtriya Janata Dal government from power, but long after that, on a permanent basis. Bihar governments before Rabri Devi's were no less corrupt and criminal-infested. Those seeking to replace it have proved their eligibility through humongous corruption and brutal oppression.

But the racket piercing the sky now about law and order having gone haywire in Bihar is both obscene and abjectly opportunistic. Take Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He becomes a huge cutout of a joker calling for the President's rule in Bihar. And, why is his moral ire stirred so vigorously? Because of kidnappings of children? Vajpayee, unless pitiably in the grip of irreversible dementia, euphemistically now called Alzheimer's disease, could care less for the kidnapped children. Does he care for the statistics on kidnappings? He need not, because it would confirm him as somnolent and certify him as amnesiac. Delhi and other states leave Bihar far behind. But it would not deter our prime poetaster nor make any dent in his sensibility as a human or as an Indian citizen. The moment one swears allegiance to RSS one becomes lesser Indian, least human.

He showed no such compassion in the case of Gujarat where hundreds of Muslim boys and girls were torched alive in 2002 holocaust, infants speared and tossed in fire. He was not moved by gangrapes of Muslim women in hundreds followed by their murders and bonfires . He did not allow his moral sensitivity to squeak, nor his concern for law and order bleat even once. He stood strong not by the victims of the carnage unleashed by Hindu fascists, but by the killers and criminals with his silent acquiescence and solid approval (his Goa fulmination against Muslims not being singular). In Dangs he had chastised the nuns for failing to remove shards of window panes broken by Hindu fascists. He expressed no sympathy for the Christian victims of saffronazis.

He did not call for President's Rule for Gujarat then, nor has he ever done since, even as the criminals there remain unpunished, the victims remain still persecuted, and even as law and order remains a sham and a big scandal there. For him to cry wolf in respect of Bihar is disingenuous, to say the least. What he could not achieve then, viz., dismissal of Bihar government of Lalu Prasad Yadav, he pines and whines to achieve now. Yadav has a point when he attributes the kidnappings to his political rivals. There are many ways to settle political scores.

Lalu Prasad and his RJD have earned the eternal wrath of BJP and its gang of HinduTaliban for pre-empting Advani's mischief in Bihar. Yadav had showed pluck and determination by disallowing Advani's Blood Yatra entering Bihar and blazing a trail of death and destruction. It was Lalu Prasad who opted to respect and abide by the Constitution by guaranteeing safety of the citizens of the country, in this instance, the minorities in general, and Muslims in particular. Thus Bihar remained unscarred by BJP's crimes nation-wide. When BJP proved its antecedents and credentials as India's enemy, RJD proved its patriotism by upholding the Constitution against its avowed violators.

Atal is part of the conspiratorial vendetta against Yadav relentlessly pursued by the saffronazis ever since. He sounds hollow, he looks ever more like a pipsqueak, and ever more like a ventriloquist's stuffed dummy. Vajpayee showed no respect for the Constitution itself, or he would have recommended President's Rule for Gujarat. He proved pathetically and ignobly enough to be RSS's PM, not India's PM. He deserves to be impeached for this deliberate lapse and dereliction of duty. He miserably failed and shamed the nation. He outdid Narasimha Rao (collusion in Babri's demolition) by going one better in quietly watching Gujarat drenched in blood, charred in fire. Rao escaped ignominy of impeachment by his death betimes. No such lucky windfall or escape hatch needs to be allowed to Atal.

The other vocal crusader for law and order in Bihar now is George Fernandes. He who became famous, among other deeds, for his declaration in parliament that rape is not an outrage since it has been always happening. This moral perspicacity, he believes, makes him especially qualified to howl holy horror at law and order in Bihar. Setting himself above both Constitutional and political norms, he pontificates that Bihar is fit for President's Rule. Bihar may be fit for President's Rule. But not for George's reasons. He knows, without BJP (his NDA partner) in power, he would be reduced to a big nullity. And, people may start asking where does he get all the money from?

Atal excels his own clowning. Now he wants UP also under President's rule. The unstated reason is that Mulayam Singh has not surrendered to saffronazis either as a criminal partner or as a surrogate. Had he been helpful to BJP, as the late J. P. Narayan was, or as the ex-CM Mayawati was in the recent past, he could be suffered. Not otherwise. Not in UP, with Ayodhya, and even with Uttaranchal sliced out of it for BJP's benefit.

UP is too big to be lost. It can still make or mar the political fortunes of the parties at the centre. Hence, control of the state by the BJP in partnership with communal fascists overt and covert is a dream it cannot live without. Demographically, BJP's constituency in UP is small in terms of caste and communal equations. But Dalits and minorities can be roped in via bribery and intimidation. Thus a minority (BJP) rule can be foisted on UP as majority rule. Mulayam Singh Yadav is in the way. He can be removed by President's rule.

To benefit the saffronazis, Congress as partner or cheering from the sidelines.

Unfortunately, the Congress in its pique at Mulayam Singh for his past perfidy of betrayal (handing over the Central government to BJP at George's instigation and thus promoting the communal polarisation in the nation), has, shortsightedly and vindictively, joined BJP in demanding the ouster of Mulayam Singh government by President's rule. This is puerile, and peevish.

Congress is again falling in the rut of helping Hindu fascism forge ahead with this ill considered move. Indira Gandhi had done it and the bitter harvest was Bhindranwale and Blue Star. Rajiv did it in the case of Ayodhya (providing the HinduTaliban with a perennial item on their fascist agenda and thus aggravating the communal divide) and against V. P. Singh (Mandal agitation with its immolations and casteist configurations coalescing in BJP's favour).

Congress did not call for President's Rule in Gujarat in 2002 nor afterwards even in the face of glaring and constant violations of law and order, suborning of justice, and criminalisation of polity, communalisation of bureaucracy and police there. It would be highly reprehensible for it to pretend law and order in Gujarat is hunky dory calling for no intervention by the center in the form of its dismissal and installation of President's rule, but it is precarious in UP and Bihar.

This myopia will cost Congress dear, both in the short and long runs. Let it wake up if not with any ideological pretensions, at least with the facts on the ground. It should not drift to its own extinction, helping BJP. It should avoid this kiss of death.

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