Friday, August 28, 2009

Jaswant Singh: Hero or Politician?

The truth is out. The beans are spilt by the dissidents.

While time owes it to the nation to set records straight, I wish it were done in a more honourable and statesmanlike manner.

Jaswant Singh waited to be thrown out of the party to open the can of worms. How much more dignified it would have been if he had walked out of the BJP after Godhra! Would he have let the cat out of the bag if he were not dumped by the party?

Jagjivan Ram did it once. On the eve of the election in which the nation passed its verdict on the Congress party, Mr. Ram walked out of the party, taking a high moral stance – after keeping quiet during the entire period of the Emergency and enjoying its fruits.

No heroes, these people.

Guess one cannot blame such “leaders”. Integrity and patriotism can only be expected when these “elected representatives” of the people are statesmen and not mere politicians.

Gone indeed are the days when a minister resigned owning responsibilities for his or his party's failures. This is the only way political parties can be forced to do that soul searching so necessary for self correction. In these times, when politics is a mere profession or a career, it’s only the naive who give up a ministerial berthe or positions of power on account of ideological differences with the party to which they belong, or in disagreement with actions/policies which violate fundamental human rights.

Incidentally, regarding all this noise about Advani having knowledge of the logistics of the exchange arrangements of a dangerous prisoner for passengers, what would the Congress have done had it been in power then? Conduct an Entebbe like rescue operation? Maybe the only course open to the government was to outsource the rescue operation to Israel. But then that would have pulled the rug from under the foreign policy of India.

The then BJP government could do nothing else. Terrorists were bargaining with the lives more than a hundred Indian citizens. What choice did the BJP government have? And I admire the courage shown by Jaswant Singh to go to Khandahar. What guarantee was there that the ruthless terrorists wouldn’t take him as a trump hostage?

I only wish that the physical courage that Mr. Singh showed going to Khandahar resurfaced again as moral courage post Godhra.

The moral of the story is the most clich├ęd of all truisms. The loyalty of elected representatives of the people should be to the country first, and only then to their party. And they should love their country above themselves.

We have become a cynical nation which no longer expects from our leaders statesmanship, honesty and dedication to the nation.


  1. I agree. The whole drama is indeed shameful. Some even view it as a ploy to increase Mr. Singh's book sales, which has actually picked up after his expulsion. God forbid if he returns to the party soon!

    BJP--is it set to become history?

  2. Its funny to see how BJP is playing with words. Chandan Mitra says Advani only said he doesn't "recall" and that he never said he was not "aware".

    I'm amazed at the audacity with which these people take us laymen for fools!

    But I'm not complaining at all. Have never been a fan of BJP (except Mr. Vajpayee)

  3. I agree that it would have been a lot more dignified had he walked out on his own accord in stead of waiting to be asked to leave first!

    Though I quie enjoyed the drama! :)

    Its all rather amusing - the games politicians play!

  4. and the drama continues with the 'kozha' for the confidence vote. Never had respect for Advani; but Vajpayee was different.
    still don't consider Jaswant singh a hero ( agree with you, he going kadhahar was heroism), he behaves like a true politician.

    aha, add to fun was Amar Singh's statment about his party's ( rather his) 'Historic Blunder'. I guess, onething ia gree with SRK: May Amar Singh get mentally well too!
    have a good weekend teacher!

  5. "The loyalty of elected representatives of the people should be to the country first, and only then to their party."

    :) Corrrrrrrect....!!!!!!!

  6. I am glad the founding fathers are long gone.

    What kind of democracy is it without a working opposition?

  7. Khandahar happened because the international Currency king was in the airplane, with his Secretary. Inernational governments would have made India give up Kashmir, if the hijackers had only known about that passenger and asked. The Swiss and French governments only made India give up the terrorists. TIME had published all these then itself.

    Why do these people here still play funny accusation-games about it time and time again....?

  8. It is easy to criticize others for lack of moral fiber. You are not a central figure (of the level of a foreign minister) in your community. Now, are you raising your voice in the Sister Abhaya murder case? The Vimochana Samaram? The unethical exploitation of college teachers, prior to the Mundassery reforms? The stifling of open-minded higher education and research in church-owned colleges?

    "Here, let me take the dust out of your eye"? And all the time you have that stick in your own eye!

  9. "The loyalty of elected representatives of the people should be to the country first, and only then to their party."

    Absolutely. But it's doubtful whether such a standard will ever find its way into Indian politics.

    In a country where doing the right thing is only a matter of spiteful response, how will morality prevail?

    Vengeance most certainly doesn't qualify as heroism, despite the running theme for most action blockbusters.

    The root of this particular problem is the book. I personally think Jaswanth Singh skirted issues and interpreted selective episodes of history to paint a somewhat skewed imagery of what happened. But that's my opinion. But whether or not it was flawed research, how intolerant can we get for one person's views?

    Is the issue so taboo that we couldn't even have had a debate around it? Because ultimately, that's all that the book warranted. A debate. "No, dude, you got it wrong." and allow JS to respond.

    Instead, we have a wave of intolerance that went way out of proportion. And now we have backbiting, bitchslapping and a general air of infantile adamance.

    Dave Barry once defined politics as Politics, n: [Poly "many" + ticks "blood-sucking parasites"] and I really couldn't agree more.

  10. The exit of these leaders who have no mass base may not have immediate electoral impacts in states where the Party is facing elections. However, given the profile of these leaders what the BJP lost was its remaining moderate trappings.


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