Another attack. This time by a saffron ally on its power-partner.
The two right wing saffron outfits Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena are an alliance in Maharashtra. The latter supports the former at the Centre, even though the former does not need any support since the BJP has enough numbers on its own. But in Maharashtra, the BJP does need support. Hence, a disgruntled Shiv Sena (going back to the pre-poll seat-sharing agreement) has offered support to it. It had no choice, if it had to block a decimated Congress from coming to power again in 2014.
This time, because of BJP’s ‘look westward’ policy, BJP’s Sudheendra Kulkarni (an LK Advani-loyalist) had arranged to launch former Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri’s book in Mumbai today, on 12 October. The brat Shiv Sena (known for digging cricket pitches against Pakistan, cancelling Pakistani singer’s concert, and many other threatening activities) “refused” to permit this to happen in India. But the major partner in the alliance, BJP, refused to cancel the event.
Two hours before the launch of the event in Mumbai, the Shiv Sainiks smeared ink on Mr Kulkarni’s face. But the latter went ahead with the programme, without washing his face.
Both scored brownie points – Shiv Sena showcasing its petty and pseudo-patriotism, and BJP trying to garner some sympathy.
That said, how do we look at it?
This is an unacceptble practice. In the name of “patriotism”, Shiv Sena -like BJP- is accustomed to distruptive activities. When threats don’t work, they use violence. Shiv Sena has done the very same thing, repeating its disruptive history.
The issue speaks volumes for what is happening in India today – in the BP-led government. Any democratic activity or process is not allowed to take place. Political and communally disruptive elements attack people and places without the least respect for or fear of the law. This is not acceptable in a civil society.
In a modern, democratic society, everyone has his/her right to have an independent opinion; to voice one’s differences. But no one can harm anybody else. That is individual liberty and autonomy! That needs to be respected and upheld.