Not even a week passed and Rahul Gandhi's hope to bring out a changed India has already been dashed. Yes, we are talking about the great Home Minister of the country known by the name of Sushilkumar Shinde. The man, who is often popularly called Hasmukh (for his smiling face) vis-a-vis the late Vilasrao Deshmukh, has been getting attention ever since he took the important office but for reasons that are trivial and of no substance.
Shinde made his latest goof-up when he accused the BJP and RSS of conducting terror camps and promoting Hindu terror. This is an issue that involves the nation's internal security and also can impact its foreign relations. The incumbent of a key ministry can not afford to talk loose on these issues to gain a political advantage over domestic opposition. It is really unfortunate that the standard of our leadership has touched such a nadir that a motormouth Home Minister is putting the country's stake at peril.
If Shinde really thinks that there is a strong Hindu terrorist force carrying out its activities in India, he should have dealt with the issue effectively and not by making a huge noise in the public. Why doesn't he make a blue-print behind the closed doors to nab the culprits rather than making hollow overtures? If he really can not do the actual task, then it is better he keeps shut and stop fuelling tension in the Indian society. This country is already having enough trouble and Shinde will do us a world of good if he resists the temptations.
The problem is that by uttering the words 'Hindu Terror', Shinde no more kept the issue confined within the Indian borders. The anti-Indian voices in Pakistan wasted no time in jumping into the fray and congratulated Shinde. This is a pathetic show by a representative of the Indian government and can jeopardise the nation's vital interests in issues like terrorism or Kashmir problem. It is very urgent that the Indian Prime Minister either puts Shinde under check or removes him from the ministry.
As a power minister, the man had allowed the nation to witness a horrible black out last year after a series of power outages but got a surprising promotion. But can we allow him to put up similar performance in the home ministry?
Shinde later said that what he meant was saffron terror but without any deep understanding of these sensitive issues, why is he mentioning words like 'Hindu' and 'saffron' so casually? No wonder the man, who applied little brain while speaking, is being flayed across the nation.
Attaching terrorism with a religious identity is a dangerous game and Shinde's utterances in a way is going to prove a shot in the arm for Islamabad and all the terror outfits that it backs. Hafiz Saeed has already congratulated Shinde and Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik also began to find confidence to speak on saffron terror. He is also demanding that India be also declared a terrorist state. Shinde's goof-up is unpardonable.
If the BJP and RSS are fuelling Hindu terror, then what was the Congress doing in November 1984?
In the past, we had seen how Congress media cell chief Janardhan Dwivedi contradicted Shinde's predecessor P Chidambaram by saying terrorism had no colour other than black and was cautious of not associating terrorism with saffron, a colour that is religiously significant to the Hindus.
The BJP has said that this is a ploy by the Congress to satisfy its minority vote-bank and also to isolate the BJP by winning over more 'secular' allies.
Whatever dirty politics is being played, there should be some line drawn for petty politician not to cross the lines. Shinde should stop pretending to be an iron man for he is another mediocre follower of the great family. If he is really interested in curbing terrorism, then he should show some spine in demolishing the terrorist camps across the border. But don't make terrorism a means to buy votes.
We are making ourselves a laughing stock in front of the whole world.