This is my translation of Pratap Simha’s Kannada Prabha piece on 10 August 2013. Comments and criticism welcome as always.
Does this nation really have a person called the Prime Minister?
Aren’t you bitten by this suspicion? If we really had a Prime Minister, wouldn’t he have at least made some noise in the wake of Pakistan’s barbaric killing of five our soldiers? Would he remain silent instead of delivering a statement equivalent of a tight slap, instead of teaching it an unforgettable lesson? And why has the Prime Minister not opened his mouth even after more than four days have elapsed? On 8 January 2013, this same Prime Minister remained silent in just the same manner as now when Pakistanis brutally killed two of our soliders on the J&K border: they sent just the headless body of one after beheading him and sent a mass of bones and flesh of the other. How does one call such a man who occupies the highest position in the land as a Prime Minister? Be honest: is Manmohan Singh really behaving like a Prime Minister should? Isn’t his basic human compassion moved even one bit even as our soldiers are being butchered? Doesn’t the feeling of righteous anger ever move him to action? What place will this man get in history?
- Nehru showed that a rich man can become the Prime Minister
- Lal Bahadur Shastri showed showed that even a poor man can become the Prime Minister
- Indira Gandhi showed that a woman can become the Prime Minister
- Morarji Desai showed that even a grandfatherly person can become the Prime Minister
- Rajiv Gandhi showed that a youth can become the Prime Minister
- Narasimha Rao showed that a South Indian can become the Prime Minister
- Deve Gowda showed that anybody could become the Prime Minister
The Oxford-educated economics academician Dr. Manmohan Singh proved that it is perfectly okay for the country to not have a Prime Minister at all. And no, this is not a joke. Have you felt that this nation has a Prime Minister in these 10 years, especially after the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai? What is the kind of people who currently hold the reins of power today? When the entire Opposition has unanimously announced their support for the Government to take stringent action against Pakistan, what seems to bother the Government? It’s been eight months since our soldier was beheaded but the Government hasn’t punished Pakistan yet. Forget punishment. In the wake of that barbaric murder, our Goverment invited the then Interior Minister of Pakistan Rehman Malik for “talks,” and fed him Hyderabadi Biryani. In return, he spat on our face. This is the character of the people ruling us. How do we even expect them to avenge the death of our five soldiers?
There’s no evil the Congressmen haven’t committed, and after each evil, they’ve used the “honest” mask called Manmohan Singh as a cover. And now, with the latest skulduggery with Pakistan, they’ve tried to unleash yet another “honest” mask in the form of AK Antony. There’s certainly no doubt that AK Antony is a clean politician. However, how has the country benefitted from his honesty? Check out his response to the murder of our five soldiers: “the Pakistani army had no role in these killings.” What exactly is wrong with Antony? Forget Indians, Pakistan itself doesn’t believe his statement! Even assuming it’s true that heavily armed terrorists dressed in Pakistani army uniform attacked and killed our soldiers, could they get anywhere near the border without the covert or overt support of the Pakistani army? The diseased mentality of the Pak army establishment has all but destroyed democracy in Pakistan. What is the level of intellectual bankruptcy of our own political leadership which seems to be compelled to issue a certificate of merit to such an army establishment? And how can we term someone, who’s unable to pinch the ill-informed Antony’s ears or to ask him to step down, as the Prime Minister?
Today, Manmohan jokes are floating around in every remote village in India. The mobile phone’s Silent mode has been replaced with “Manmohan Singh” mode. This kind of cynicism has reached dangerous levels. Who is responsible for this? Who needs to take the blame? This Prime Minister kept his lips zipped up even when the gargantuan 1.86 Lakh crore coal scam happened under his watch. Oh wait! He did. Here’s what he said after being severely, relentlessly castigated: “Hazaaron Jawabon Se Acchi Hai Meri Khamoshi, Na Jaane Kitne Sawaalon Ki Aabru Rakhe.” In other words, “my silence is better than a thousand replies.” But say a wrong word about Sonia, and see how he erupts in anger! Is this man the nation’s Prime Minister or is the mask of Sonia Gandhi? Like how Jayalalithaa put Pannerselvam on the CM’s throne before going to jail, it appears that Sonia too has merely placed him on the PM’s chair. Here’s the response time of this Prime Minister in the wake of each major issue:
- 2G scam: after 16 months
- CWG scam: 1 year
- Lokpal Bill: 6 months
- FDI in Retail: 82 days
- Delhi gang rape: 8 days
Even if we agree that silence is sometimes the best response, Manmohan Singh could’ve at least shown his intent in action. What action has his Government taken against the gruesome beheading of our jawan in January this year? How has his Government avenged the 26/11 Mumbai attack? What kind of a morass has this nation been pushed to! Instead of pecking the incursion-loving Chinese–who nonchalantly walked 19 Kms deep into our territory–to death, our leaders rush to cringe shamelessly before them: are these scaredy-rats even leaders? Have we become so bereft of courage that we can’t deliver a tight lashing to what has become a Fakir-stan, the land of beggars?
Besides, why do we even need friendship with Pakistan? Whom does the Government want to please or appease with various announcements and meetings and talks about building a friendly bridge with Pakistan? Despite having such a powerful foe as its neighbour, hasn’t Cuba successfully cocked a snook at the US? What about Taiwan, which has steadily refused to bow down to the threat of the bully named China? And what about South Korea which has emerged as a powerful economy despite having the murder-hungry North Korea as its twin? Why are our pathetic leaders so enamoured of Pakistan? How difficult is it for our leaders to sever all ties with Pakistan, close and strengthen our borders and suppress the traitors within? It could be Atal Bihari Vajpayee or Manmohan Singh. The moment they hear the name of Pakistan, they begin to behave like something has possessed them. Recall the backstabbing in Kargil fresh after the Lahore bus nonsense. And Musharaff, the architect of Kargil was invited to Agra in 2001 and roundly pampered! And what did we get in return? The Parliament attack on 13 December. It took that to shatter Vajpayee’s illusion. At least Vajpayee had the guts to declare “aar ya paar ki ladaai” and mobilized our troops along the border. Look at Manmohan Singh: he didn’t even as much as gently poke Pakistan after the dastardly 26/11 Mumbai attack which killed 180 people. His bravado began and ended at sending out a list of the perpetrators of the attack. Aren’t we ashamed to call such people our rulers? Whatever criticism one may level against George W Bush, he declared war against faraway Afghanistan within a month of the September 11 attacks and uprooted the Taliban. Our eunuch-like leaders don’t have the guts even to order a small missile attack against the various terror camps operating in Pak Occupied Kashmir. They’re content to make more and more appeals to Pakistan. What’s the point in making appeals–please rein in your trigger-happy insurgents–instead of first strengthening our own defences? We don’t need any sort of relationship with a double-dealing criminal nation like Pakistan which has openly entrusted the modernization of the Gwadar port and building of roads in POK to India’s sworn enemy, China. When will this Mauni Baba–the Silent Saint–understand the commonsense reality that an eye for an eye is the best option? The Mumbai attack happened in 2008. The very next year, in July 2009, this Mauni Baba submitted the list of the terror-perpetrators at the summit in Sharm el Sheik. Did he take any action? Forget action! He announced that this was a good time to kickstart the peace process with Pakistan! But what else can you expect from this man? Think about it: if we did have an effective Prime Minister, wouldn’t he respond forcefully at the killing of five Indian soldiers?
And it’s not just the Prime Minister. What about the mentality of our other leaders?
In June 2013, 22 Congress leaders and party workers were killed in a well-planned and horrible ambush by the Maoists in Chattisgarh. Effectively, almost the entire Congress leadership in Chattisgarh was wiped out. Here’s how Sonia Gandhi threatened Chief Minister Raman Singh when she rushed immediately to the spot: “If I make up my mind, I can dismiss your Government in a minute!” Where is this courageous woman hiding now? Does she lack the guts to issue a similar threat to Pakistan? And then we have the shameless Nitish Kumar who declared that the terrorist-associate Ishrat Jahan was “Bihar’s daughter” merely because her grandmother hailed from Bihar! Isn’t this hypocrite still aware that four of the five soldiers who were killed in Poonch were Biharis? When Home Minister Sushil Shinde arrived in Patna, Nitish Kumar personally went to the airport to receive him. However, when the bodies of the four Bihari martyrs arrived back home, Nitish didn’t show even the basic courtesy and humanity to receive them and utter a few words of comfort and compassion. Aren’t these martyrs the sons of Bihar? Is only Ishrat Jahan—born and raised in Mumbai—the daughter of Bihar? In the interim, Nitish’s close confidant and cabinet member, Bhim Singh declared thus: “people join the police and the armed forces only to die.” Instead of dismissing this heartless minister immediately, Nitish continues to retain him. What exactly does Nitish Kumar eat? And it isn’t just Nitish. Even the J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah didn’t show the courtesy to receive the bodies of these five martyrs—even when they were killed in Poonch which happens to be located in Omar’s own state. What sort of progress will occur in a country which doesn’t show respect to its patriots and soldiers and martyrs? And where exactly is Rahul Gandhi who was celebrating his birthday in Spain even as thousands of people were dying in the Uttarakhand floods? And why is the ultra-shameless Digvijay Singh unable to muster anything from his filthy mouth now? The same Digvijay Singh who visited Azamgarh to console the family of the terrorists who died in the Batla House encounter?
US President Barack Obama has cut all conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin merely because Russia gave asylum to Edward Snowden. And here, our Prime Minister is not even willing to say that he won’t speak to Nawaz Sharif during the upcoming convention of the United Nations!
See the sort of people ruling us?
Remember how in 2007 this same Manmohan Singh claimed that he couldn’t sleep at night because he was pained at the plight of the family members of Dr. Mohammad Hanif who was apprehended by Australia on charges of terrorism? Can’t he see the plight of the family members of the five slain martyrs? Doesn’t their sorry plight disturb his sleep? Or is this Mauni Baba—who continues to zip up his lips even seven days after their martyrdom—still busy, engrossed in deep sleep?