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Books written by B G Verghese

Books written by B G Verghese

Books written by B G Verghese

This same Batra text patronised by Modi equates India with Akhand Bharat that incorporates Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan in India. Such maps are totally unhistorical and un-constitutional and are yet being propagated as the authentic image of India

Hurrah for Little Crimes

The official message is that the little lie, the little crime, the small infraction is all right - at least for the mighty. Yet small crimes unpunished lead to greatr transgressions.

By B G Verghese

Tribune, 2 November, 2014

The BJP has just taught us something of the new morality that governs our lives. The Union Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari, was shown riding a scooter in Nagpur without wearing the regulation helmet which he has been advocating for road safety. The newspapers depicted him cheerfully entering the RSS headquarters unmindful of his transgression. There was no subsequent apology or acknowledgement of error; nor do the police seem to have pursued the matter, waiting as they were for directions from above. Citizens protested this brazen conduct to no effect. And then a party spokeswomen told a national channel that Gadkari’s was only a minor offence. He had driven no more than 400 metres and that too on a quiet by-lane. Why was a mountain being made out of a molehill? Why, indeed! Because little crimes unpunished, encourage ever-larger transgressions.

Some years back, in Bangalore, as Party President, Gadkari had said that something he had done was not moral but not unlawful. So the message is that the little lie, the little crime, the small infraction is all right - at least for the mighty!

Now Modi has repeated the nonsense he patronised in Dina Nath Batra’s book,“Tejomay Bharat” – compulsory reading in 54,000 Gujarat schools - about India’s invention of stem cell techniques in epic times since the Mahabharata tells us that Ganesha had an elephant’s head implanted on his torso through plastic surgery. These remarks were made in a speech in Mumbai on October 25 and subsequently posted on Modi’s website (Indian Express, October 28.). Is this the superstitious garbage the nation needs to learn from the Great Teacher?

This same Batra text patronised by Modi equates India with Akhand Bharat that incorporates Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan in India. Such maps are totally unhistorical and un-constitutional and are yet being propagated as the authentic image of India. How can the prime minister wilfully indulge in such criminal folly and get away with it. He must be hauled up and made to retract. Here again we see the mighty indulge in little lies. The man repeatedly lied about his marriage before the Election Commission until ordered to tell the truth or face electoral disqualification. Only then did he grudgingly acknowledge that he had unceremoniously dumped his 13-15 year old wife within a day of the nuptials. With what moral voice does Modi address the nation? No achhe din can ever emerge from such dubious foundations.

Meanwhile, the RSS is taking over the government by the day. On October 28, several Ministers were summoned to meet RRS advisers in Delhi to discuss their plans and programmes. These sessions are to be represented across the board. Such tutoring surely violates administrative norms with ministers being called upon to share ideas with and do the bidding of unaccountable ideologues. Such tendencies can only undermine the system. It is time the alarm bells started ringing.

The Government has got egg all over its face by the bravado with which it has given the names of foreign bank black money holders, albeit in a sealed cover, to the Supreme Court. It had scoffed at the UPA for not revealing the names and getting the money home, despite its pleading confidentiality of treaty obligations in sharing this information. It now making the same plea in a totally dishonest 100 degree somersault that its spokespersons are defending with classical gobbledygook. What riled the Court was the selective leak of nine out of 627 names in order to show up the Congress in a bad light. The Court would have none of this gamesmanship and ordered full, confidential disclosure of the list to it. Further orders from the Court are awaited.

In yet another smart turnaround in which Arun Jaitley has become so adept, the Finance Minister has advised the CAG not to sensationalise his reports and arouse lynch mobs but rather remain cool and objective. Earlier, in the year Jaitley was leading the charge when the UPA was being indicted. What this illustrates is that our leaders, across parties, lack moral fibre.

Now, with the possible early approach of elections in J&K, Delhi and Jharkhand, the BJP has talked of offering Rs five lakhs in compensation to every Sikh killed in the shameful 1984 riots. This is cheap electoral bribery and the CEC has objected. Just compensation is always welcome, but what of rehabilitation and justice for the victims. Justice has yet to be done to the Sikh victims of Congress brutaliy. The BJP has an equally dreadful guilty conscience about the Gujarat holocaust of 2002 and is hoping the final submission of the Nanavaty Commission Report, now ready for submission after 12 wasted years, will bury that issue. Strangely, Nanavaty never found it necessary to summon Modi, the central figure in this grim tragedy, for questioning. However, other cases are still being heard, with murder-accused like Amit Shah out on bail, virtually absconding from justice.

And finally, the month ended with an inglorious BJP-led competition to pit Sardar Patel against Nehru and Indira Gandhi and appropriate him as their idol. Such silly ploys will not work even if the Nehru-Gandhi name has been shamefully overworked. For a party busy dividing the nation, it is strange to appropriate Patel as a unifier. They had divergent views on some matters but worked loyally and unitedly under Gandhi. Building the world’s tallest statue to Patel on the banks of the Narmada is a crude vulgarity that will only caricature his new-found devotees.

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