Truth and lies



I have rarely heard a wittier line from a Congressman.

“If the BJP stops telling lies about us, we will stop telling the truth about them,” Abhishek Manu Singhvi said last week in the context of the 2G note that had led to a war between two top union ministers in the Manmohan Singh cabinet. Singhvi, I noticed, was tickled pink by his own comment and kept repeating it through the day on all the television channels he visited that evening.

But while not much might have been said by others about his witticism, I have reason to believe that Singhvi – and the Congress – was dead serious about the remark.

While the BJP is racked by its own internecine wars (now one has broken out between their top leader L K Advani and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi), there is a reason why the party is going for union home minister P Chidambaram’s jugular. And it has very little to do with 2G.

I have been told by senior cops in the Bombay police that several terrorist trails are leading them straight to saffron forces in this country (though the perpetrators may not necessarily belong to the BJP, per se). Recently, a lot of false Muslim beards and some skullcaps were discovered in, of all places, Gadchiroli, the Naxalite-infested district of Maharashtra. And Maharashtra’s cops know that many terrorist attacks in the state do not involve a foreign hand.

So I was not surprised when, in a recent interview to the BBC, Chidambaram said as much – we must stop blaming Pakistan for the more recent terrorist attacks in India, he had said. Many of these terrorists are home-grown, he added. And, I believe, Chidambaram did not quite mean they were influenced by the rhetoric from across the border.

Informed sources in the state intelligence forces have told me that there is more to right wing terrorism than just Malegaon in Maharashtra or the Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderabad or even Ajmer and the Samjhauta Express attacks.

However, much as they have uncovered the truth, they despair that the political leadership in Maharashtra is not strong enough to expose the nexuses they have homed in on or even shoulder the responsibility of speaking the truth. “Only one chief minister would have had the courage and the capability to carry this on his shoulders: Sharad Pawar. But now he has no locus standi in Maharashtra and neither the present chief minister nor the home minister can do this.”

The police need some strong political backing if they need must continue the probe in the direction it is going in and they see that coming from the union home minister. I am told they have shared much of their facts with Chidambaram and that is why Chidambaram has been dropping broad hints. Even if the rest of the country did not quite comprehend what he was saying, I believe the BJP has understood it only too well and so the 2G note was some ready-made grist for their mill: if they discredit Chidambaram enough to force a resignation, or even if they constantly bark at his heels, they believe he might be unnerved enough not to take the probe into the involvement of saffron forces in various anti-national activities forward. Or, at the least, that might force him to keep his mouth shut.

That is all that is behind the BJP’s rhetoric and, of course, the internecine war between senior ministers in government is playing right into their hands. It is in this context that Singhvi’s statement was more than just a joke, though I wonder if he at all had the authority to offer that bargain to the BJP, presuming he was in the know of things. And if he was not, then I believe even Singhvi does not know how close to the bone he might have cut with his remarks and unnerved the BJP even further.

Though, I believe, despite the galaxy of intelligent leaders in the BJP, the party was rather stupid to believe that mere rhetoric will force Chidambaram’s resignation – that would have surely brought down the government and the Congress is simply too clever to fall into that trap.

If it seems to be otherwise acting quite stupid, I believe, that essentially comes from the lack of a strong leadership at the top – very few within the cabinet have much respect for the Prime Minister, I am told. And, in any case, the PM has been more comfortable with the party’s allies like the DMK and the NCP (from whom he seeks his strength) – and most of the scams seem to be coming from these sources.

Even in the latest episode of the 2G scam, I wondered why it was Pranab Mukherjee who had to make a placatory statement and not the Prime Minister. After all, the decision not to auction the 2G licenses was a joint cabinet decision and Chidambaram’s character was put in doubt only because the PM was not owning up to it. While he did vest full faith in the union home minister, I thought he could have put an immediate stop to all further speculation if he had said right at the start that the cabinet was jointly responsible for all the decisions: not for a moment would any one then have suggested that Chidambaram belonged in Tihar jail. For, while one can doubt the wisdom of their decisions, I do not think the country would have bought into the allegations (and in the case of the PM the innuendos) that they were scamsters who had taken the decision for personal gains.

So, as I see it, today there is really nothing to choose between the two main political parties in India. With such tall leaders in both, they are all supremely stupid and equally self-centred. The only difference is that while Sonia Gandhi can intervene and put a stop to the warring among her men, the RSS’s intervention does nothing for their own: Advani and Modi still keep fighting with each other!

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  • http://twitter.com/shrikantbala Shrikant Bala

    BJP lacks the thought leadership to to be a decent opposition.. their in-fighting and confusion on all major national issues is well known.. Each person in BJP has declared himself the next PM candidate.. they should focus mor on what they will do to win a few seats ..rather than dreaming.. BJP needs to crub the rampant corruption be it Karnataka or Gujarat.. and we the people have to correct them for their communal politics

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  • Abu Ahmed

    You know what, every body knows about the Sangh Parivaar’s hand in the bomb blasts. Muslims have been telling this to the govt since the last 20 years at least. Not for nothing is the Congress known as the soft Hindutva party.

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  • Anonymous

    All the existing Indian political parties, including the Congress and BJP, have now lost the trust and support of the people due to the myriads of scams that have been revealed by the apex courts, Wikileaks etc. Now we know that all out political parties are tainted by corruption and graft. And so are almost all our so-called political leaders, who compared with their counterparts of other modern democracies 1947-2011, have been and still are totally useless and good for nothing but corruption, graft and self-aggrandizement. Now, unfortunately, it seems that there are only two kinds of politicians in India; those who are corrupt to the core and those who actively or passively, directly or indirectly, aid and abet corruption and graft. Thereby they have proven beyond all shadows of doubt, that they all definitely are a part of the problems in India and not its solution. Meanwhile, India and Indians truly deserve something far better than these unique world champions of corruption, egocentrism and inefficiency 1947-2011. This underlines yet agin the utmost necessity of a brand new political party untainted by corruption and fully committed to harbingering a new era of rich opportunities, prosperity and welfare and a brand new and fair deal for India and all Indians. All good and wise Indians now ought to sink all their trivial rifts these destructive and foolish politicians have created, understand the dire necessity of this new political initiative to save India and Indians from the extremely serious dangers all around us, and rise to the occasion in the service of the nation, at this defining hour in its history. Therein lies the only real Alexander thrust that can untie the present Indian Gordian knot once and for all and usher in the Ramarajya (supreme welfare state) as envisaged by the greatest leader mankind has ever seen, our own Gandhiji.

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  • Anonymous

    Abu Ahmed, with people like you in India, nothing will ever change.
    Good luck buddy..live in gutter like a rat.

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    Abu Ahmed Reply:

    Rajeev, do u think the BJP would really do anything for the Muslims? Actually, there is no need to do anything – let the Muslims live peacefully and with some sort of fair-play, they will grow out of their rat holes like you people have done. But thats not what the RSS wants – the conspiracy is to keep the Muslims down, demoralize them and keep them on tenterhooks so that they neither think positive nor take any bold steps for development. Difficult to trust the BJP really.

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    Anonymous Reply:

    Actually both your community and BJP are mirror image of each other and represent self-hate.
    Can you think beyond Islam and BJP beyond hinduism?

    BJP has to drop hindutva and you radical communal mindset if you wish things to improve.

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  • Anil

    Rahul Gandhi is a GOONDA. He is a FASCIST too. Lock him up in Tihar jail…..FOR EVER.

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  • Anil

    Rahul Gandhi is a GOONDA.

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  • Anilsays

    Whatever Rahul may be trying to do or say, But i feel pity on those who come in support of Mayawati & Co. Look at her face..greed comes out of her face , doesnt even know how to speak..E’one knows she wants power at any cost..fir bhi people support her defend her and proving themselves fool.

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  • anil

    So a lazy b u m living by siphoning off people’s blood is to decide who is hard working and who is not?

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  • mithun kartha

    You should perhaps quit journalism and become a bard, singing hosannas for the Italian Mafia here. Little Gandhi has a habit of shoving his silver foot up his mouth and with HT there to cheer him on there is no stopping him!

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  • http://digitalblogindia.in/ Kunal

    Your articles are generally very short and the arguments and your analysis is very simplistic. To know why Maharashtra has progressed, maybe I will suggest you read some book on social reform in the state from 1860 onwards. There is no doubt that Maharashtra has led the country in social reform and this has played a very important part in its industrialisation and development. Also read a book on Yashwantrao Chavan if you find any. This is not to say that these are the only two factors in the development, but in my opinion both these have played a primary role.

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  • Anonymous

    Mr Rahul Gandhi’s detractors say that the concerns showed by him in his ‘ beggar’ comment on UPites is just motivated by selfish greed & political opportunism, with elections & not actually humane considerations in mind.But ,bitter as they may be , they cannot unfortunate as it is, be flawed in their merit. The ruling class of UP has all throughout these decades shamelessly and without any remorse, exploited the people. Hunger and lack of employment in their native place has forced these hardworking and proud people of this, ironically, naturally endowed indo gangetic plain to suffer the ignominy and humiliations of the modern day sahibs of India. These immigrants are mocked, insulted and humiliated; there self-respect & pride challenged each and every single day of their daily lives. They may have earned fortune and respect in Mauritius, Guyana, USA and Europe, but they still are only the disgraceful ‘bhaiyyas’ in Punjab , Mahrashtra and other parts of India, worthy only to be shamed & ridiculed. Who Mr. Rahul Gandhi, has let them down, should I say, so miserably? Does it really need any reminding to you, that it is your own, very own party which has ruled UP for much of post independence era. I truly hope that this time, you have been truly moved by their real pain & suffering and it is not just mere political gimmick & opportunism, which I actually suspect it is. You are again out selling dreams to us but I truly wonder ‘Mera katil hi mera munsif hai, kya mere haq mein faisla dega’.

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    Anonymous Reply:

    Who ruled UP for 45+ years?

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  • http://mybloganilkhanna.blogspot.com anilkhanna

    india’s motto should be honest day pay for honest day work.uttar pradesh is perceived as “bimaru” state.rahul’s description of people of uttar pradesh as beggers is vote bank politics.
    http://kgw.arvindkatoch.com/2008/07/real-face-of-begging-in-india.html

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  • Kanika Dhupar

    Miss you much @ Brunch, and loads of luck for HT Cafe Bunny <3

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    Kushal Reply:

    And thank you, Kanika.

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  • Kushal

    Thanks, Vignesh!

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  • Ramesh Talwani

    mmsingh lacks character of a reformer.He was never a reformer.He works in her masters service only.He lacks leadership qualities.poor chap never had any.At best BARE BABU follow orders.
    I am not disappointed ,but feel sad for nation.

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  • Anonymous

    Absolutely right. Unsung P V Narasimha Rao was the architect of the reforms. MMS is just a lapdog bereaucrat. After he was made PM, he has done zilch in reforms, he just follows orders. He is worse than useless and a liability to the country.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_URSXATBEMZ7HUAB3OH36PLYWDM Ashok

    The government seems to be singing, Din dhal jaye, raat na jaye. This Budget could have changed the music.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_URSXATBEMZ7HUAB3OH36PLYWDM Ashok

    The song it should have been singing is, Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai…

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  • Anonymous

    I think you have avoided the main issue. That is how day in and day out , Shri Digvinash Singh and Chotta Baba Rahul have insulted MMS, making him indifferent to the job.

    When Digvinashji keeps saying that Rahul would make a better PM, is he not undermining and insulting Mammohan Singh? We all know Rahul has not even worked as a peon in his entire life and lives of the royalites of books his gr8gr8 grandfather wrote.

    He keeps getting good press coverage as the media feels he is a public school guy who is the driver of a gravy train of Rajya Seats and prievelages.

    Unfortunately Rahul’s confused VP Singh type of vision of social division has only insulted MMS’ gr8 legacy of 20 years.

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  • http://www.thednetworks.com Dhawal D

    I am going!

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  • http://twitter.com/bihar bihar

    I decided not to spend my hard earned money on this movie.

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  • Anonymous

    How much money has been invested by Saif’s uncle who is sitting across border in ISI HQ?
    This guy got padam shri ahead of many deserving people..He got it because his parents are confirmed chamchas of nehru-gandhi dynasty.

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  • V Vaid

    Still churning out naked plugs in the guise of columns? Had hoped the “Radia” leaks would have plugged the yawning gap in ethical makeup, such as it is.

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  • Anonymous

    You reap what you sow.

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  • butter

    what a subtly burning, angry soul you have man? This blog post is meant for puppets – much like mullahs poisoning young minds. A shame of a blog post and ON HT :) ?

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  • Brown American

    Israel is a great tragedy for human race. Since its forced creation, world has been in perpetual conflict. Two Wars against Iraq; its main objective was to secure Israel’s ascendancy in Middle East, similarly the impending war against Iran has same objectives. Why couldn’t the Jews live in their homelands in Europe? Why did they had to migrate to Palestine and occupy other people’s land? and a bigger question, why it can not be reversed to bring peace and equity in the world. Why the world has to be in this conflict forever?

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  • jean vercors

    no society in the world is perfect

    While the Arab countries are sweating blood to survive the scorching heat of the ‘Arab Spring’, the Israelis are dangling their feet joyfully in the cool water on the other side.

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  • serene

    ohhh really!how do u know ur modi bhai is gonna hit the weak points of corruption in our nation…stop pinching the one-sided spots of ur modi bhai…ol of em are the same…stand up for urself n have some fresh air bro….get out of the books..high time!!lolzz

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