“Never whittle toward yourself or pee against the wind” is a wise old saying among farmers which India’s political parties will do well to remember. Things have a way of coming back to you.
The outrageous and barbaric outpourings of Imran Masood, the Congress candidate for the parliament from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, that he will cut Narendra Modi to pieces is not just despicable and shameful but also deserves swift prosecution for murder and punishment if found guilty under the new Supreme Court guidelines that demand twelve months as the deadline for completing trials at the lower courts stage.
But the more worrying thing is some larger than this incident. Our political parties and their leaders in their craze for power and to win at all costs, have accommodated criminal elements as candidates using the pretext that they have yet not been convicted. And the depravity is evident. The BJP spokesmen in self-righteous anger, are condemning and fulminating against Masood. Can it get hollower? Why did they not expel Varun Gandhi for a similar crime in the previous elections, when pouring venom in full public view, he thundered, “And these hands would chop off the heads of Muslims after the elections.”
Varun Gandhi today not only roams free but he’s often used as a mascot by a large number of bigots in the BJP and its alter ego, the RSS. He is also contesting these elections.
Even after the Supreme Court strictures and orders disallowing candidates to contest an election or hold any public office from the moment of conviction, and in the face of such overwhelming anger against corruption and criminalisation of politics, a shocking 30% of the candidates for the ensuing elections have pending criminal cases against them. How insensitive, how politically foolhardy can it be to not see the writing on the wall? Have the lessons learnt during the Delhi elections been so soon forgotten?
The recklessness continues without scruples and throwing all prudence to the wind. The BJP state unit in Karnataka had admitted amidst a lot of fanfare that the infamous and rabidly communal Pramod Muthalik of the Sri Ram Sene, who along with his goons had behaved like the Taliban and beat up women for drinking in pubs five years ago. Now, after a public outcry, the party quickly retracted and denied him membership.
Sabir Ali, the man who has openly supported the most wanted terrorist of the country Yasin Bhatkal and is also accused in a murder case too had been welcomed into the party. How much more ridiculous can it get? Sabir Ali, may I remind you, as the erstwhile bête noire of the BJP in Bihar, had heaped abuse on Narendra Modi and had held him responsible for the death of Muslims in the Gujrat riots. He was one of the fifty MPs who had in 2013 allegedly written to the US government to deny Modi a US visa.
When the BJP is gaining from strength to strength and coasting towards victory under the development plank and the personal integrity of Narendra Modi, why this ‘harakiri’?
How about Rahul Gandhi and his deafening silence on criminals in politics?
If both the major parties do not want to heed the farmers’ adage, they might as well remember from The Bible, “As you sow so shall you reap.”