The last thing that Mumbai needs now

Is an anti-terrorism political rally featuring Narendra Modi

Nothing demonstrates the BJP’s political and ideological bankruptcy than its decision to field Narendra Modi as its anti-terrorism mascot. Not just a decorative, passive mascot, but one which will address an anti-terrorism rally in Mumbai. The very fact that the BJP thinks it is wise, helpful and in the interests of anti-terrorism to hold an anti-terrorism rally so soon after the Mumbai attacks shows demonstrates its hollowness of its claims to be tough on national security. Let there be no doubt—if, as a result of this rally or its mascot, there is an outbreak of communal violence of any kind, the BJP as a whole cannot escape responsibility. By playing into the hands of those who carried out the attack on Mumbai, it will only help them achieve their objectives.

This is not about Modi’s involvement or lack thereof in crimes old, but his potential to set off crimes all new.

20 thoughts on “The last thing that Mumbai needs now”

  1. Nitin,

    Right on the mark.
    Instead of formulating a coherent response to couter Manmohan Singh’s week kneed approach, BJP is just indulging in knee jerk politics and oneupmanship.

    Sad thing is that people may agree with them.

    Regards

  2. Nitin,

    When defeatism parades as enlightenment, you know that something has to give way. We need a leader who can call a spade a spade, brook no nonsense and do what is right. We need a man the jihadis dread and loath. We also know that such a leader exists. It is time we stopped being afraid of mentioning his name.
    Swapan Dasgupta in the Pioneer.

    His name, I can fairly guess, is Mr. Narendra Modi.

    The enemy does not care for civil niceties. As mentioned in your previous post:

    2. If you [mess] with me, I will annihilate you without any warning. Period.

    The Pakistanis need to be confronted with men whom they fear would have no hesitation in pressing the trigger.

  3. Pankaj,

    The Pakistanis need to be confronted with men whom they fear would have no hesitation in pressing the trigger.

    But surely, India and the BJP can find more than just one.

    The question is this—is it even reasonable to throw in a controversial figure when what we need is a united front against jihadi terrorism?

  4. “But surely, India and the BJP can find more than just one.”

    Nitin Pai for example 🙂

    Seriously speaking somehow I think that Pranab Mukherjee or Sharad Powar will be better than Manmohan Singh.

    And let us not forget how Vajpayee got all mushy on Mussharaf in order to shore up his ratings and to distract his criticis in BJP and Sangh Parivar

    Regards

  5. Nitin,
    BJP at first is a political party. They need to win elections next year in Gujarat, Punjab, UP etc. They need to keep the pot on boil as they know only this way of winning. This is why Modi is going to Mumbai. The country can go to hell.

    Pankaj,
    Do you really. think Jihadis fear anyone like Modi? On the contrary IMO they love him coz he gives them more converts for the holy war against ‘infidels’.

  6. Nitin,

    The reality of the situation is that there will never be a united front against terrorism. At least not under the present political set up. Talk is cheap. After all they are not the ones who bore the brunt of the attack. How may MLA’s and MP’s actually use public transport? Unless those in power feel the very real threat to life and limb, we can expect more of the same. Maybe we can strip them of the protective cocoon of Z grade security? Perhaps then we might see some of that “political will” to tackle terrorism.

  7. @@ Let there be no doubt—if, as a result of this rally or its mascot, there is an outbreak of communal violence of any kind, the BJP as a whole cannot escape responsibility.

    How can the BJP bear any responsibility what-so-ever for acts that it has not done ? That is to say, unless BJP is involved in setting off any riots, for e.g. if BJP workers set fire to a mosque or to Korans or some other nonsense of this sort, I dont see how they could bear any responsibility for actions by some other group or party.

    Last I heard, India is a country that guarantees freedom of speech, movement and congregation to people as basic human rights, and if certain sections of people commit violent acts because some other people choose to exercise these basic rights – I fail to see how the latter party becomes responsible for acts by the former !

  8. I’m sick of every two-bit “analyst” and “expert” mouthing about how the attacks will spark communal riots (no offence to you, I like your blog). There have been terrorist attacks before and they didn’t spark communal riots, did they? It’s an insult to Hindus to say this will bring on riots.

    Besides, even if riots do break out, it’s the fault of the terrorists and their supporters (hmm, I wonder who these supporters are?), not the fault of Modi. Godhra happened in 2002 and there have been terrorist attacks before. If Godhra led to an increase in attacks, it’s because of all the p-sec “activists” who spread wild lies about a “pogrom” on Muslims. You’re basically telling us to stand down because this will result harder retaliation from the enemy! It’s like saying we should give up Kashmir because it’s leading to terrorist attacks. On the contrary, I think this is the perfect time mobilise the masses and spread awareness about Jihad. And with the election coming, who do you think is the better cadidate – BJP (in spite of any flaws it might have) or the Pseudo-Secular Cabal? If the statements by BJP after the attacks are anything to go by, it looks like they’re slowly growing balls. If solving our problems results in an increase in tensions and conflict, then so be it.

    PS: I can’t even begin to describe how much I feel offended when people say this will lead to riots. I’m not even going to argue why that claim is utterly ridiculous. You should know stuff like this.

  9. Any response to the terrorists is an implicit giving in to the aims of the terrorists; to make us react is one of their principal aims (hence their name; they wish to create terror)
    One shouldn’t be constrained by a desire to appear non-affected.
    Of course we’ve been affected; it is more important to retaliate in a manner that’ll affect them many times more.

    That said, I agree that provoking communal riots by either the BJP or the Shiv Sena is morally reprehensible as well as not strategic.
    But given a climate where anybody less than a Mulayam is cast as a Saffronite, and demonized, it is difficult to find a popular hardline anti-terrorist politician.
    I, for one, can’t think of many.

  10. I apologize for the poor phrasing of words in my earlier comment about the provoking of riots as a result of the meeting being not only morally reprehensible but also “not strategic”. Though it sounds callous, I did not mean it that way: the purport was that of the post, of not falling into the trap laid by the terrorists.

  11. Nitin, I agree with you about projecting Narendra Modi as a mascot being a cheap trick. After all, the BJP seems to have run out of ideas. And while I also agree with you about the situation being delicate, the BJP has every right to air its views in public so long as it does not stoop to inciting hatred. The media and diasporic blogs have all been talking about the threat of retaliatory rioting by Hindu extremist elements – concerns that may not entirely be baseless. However, there is no need to get all PC and keep harping on a potential backlash when the pressing concern is one of government inaction. Let’s not forget the families of the bombing victims are still in mourning.

  12. “The media and diasporic blogs have all been talking about the threat of retaliatory rioting by Hindu extremist elements – concerns that may not entirely be baseless.”

    What exactly is the bases, Nanda? Can you recall when Hindu extremists/fundamentalists went on revenge roiting after a terrorist incident – ever?

  13. Chandra, no, I don’t recall revenge rioting in case of a terrorist attack. I was alluding to other flare-ups in the past which we are all familiar with. Point is, it is okay to be concerned about a fall out, however remote the chances may be, but the posts/articles I was talking about seemed to suggest that this is the usual pattern, which it isn’t. I wanted to make exactly that point, which is why I was advocating for the BJP’s right to speak on the issue.

  14. Modi gets a bad rap time and time again and everytime his detractors have had to eat the humble pie. Every little incident after Godhra as projected as a doomsday like scenario by two bit armchair analysts be it Akashdharma attacks or Dangs yatra or Dandi yatra last year.
    Get a reality check.. even muslims in Gujarat are voting for Modi. Ever wonder why?

  15. You claim that Modi is dangerous because of his potential for “setting off riots”. First off all you make it sound like your assertion is an accepted truth.

    It is almost 48 hours after the speech. There are no riots yet. Will you retract your statement or atleast modify it to say “alleged potential for setting off riots” now ? Do you want to wait longer ?

    Let us not buy into the demonization theories floated around by the media. Fan or no fan, Modi is talking straight against terrorism. There is a significant chunk of Indians who want to hear the “right” side of any debate.

  16. Nitin,

    I admit that I was wrong about Narendra Modi.
    He did not say anything which could be considered inflammatory.
    Overall the speech was a litte substance and lots of grandstanding

    Regards

  17. Look at Israel folks. Let’s learn lesson from even country man of Israel. …………………. and that is the only reason why this country, surrounded by all Muslim nations, is still surving.

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