While Sadhvi Pagya's choice is contentious, the Congress which is crying itself hoarse on the matter has no real moral ground to stand for its track record is dubious. To bring this up is not 'whataboutery', but just pertinent comparison. For, it has made Kamal Nath, whose role in the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 is too notorious to be overlooked, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. It is an abstruse technicality that is saving him
There has been a huge kerfuffle after the BJP made a bold decision to grant party ticket to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur for contesting from the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency.
Now, Sadhvi Pragya is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case. She is still out on bail, and faces trial under charges of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Her nomination has verily set the cats among the pigeons with people questioning the morality of giving ticket to a terror case accused. The BJP's argument is that she is only an accused, and there is no final verdict in the case. It is a technicality, and the BJP does find itself on the back-foot on the issue.
But while Sadhvi's choice is contentious, the Congress which is crying itself hoarse on the matter has no real moral ground to stand for its track record is dubious. To bring this up is not 'whataboutery', but just pertinent comparison. For, it has made Kamal Nath, whose role in the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 is too notorious to be overlooked, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. It is an abstruse technicality that is saving him.
Worse, of course, is the fact that the Congress's most trusted ally now, the DMK, was the main accused in the killing of Rajiv Gandhi. A case in which, it is important to note, the DMK has got no formal clean chit from any official agency till date.
The DMK's diabolic role in giving the villainous LTTE a free run in Tamil Nadu that led to Rajiv's gory assassination will have a dark chapter in the nation's history.
The Congress itself brought down the IK Gujral government after the Jain Commission's interim report made pointed charges at the DMK for emboldening the LTTE.
How that southern political party has now come to occupy the centre stage is the tragedy of modern India.
Public memory may be proverbially short, but those who have lived through the late 1980s and the 90s, cannot forget those tumultuous times.
Of course, India, as a nation itself, had a role to play in backing the LTTE's rise. The Tamil Tigers, who were fighting the chauvinistic Eelam forces in Sri Lanka, were initially cultivated by India, and the MG Ramachandran's AIADMK government of the early 80s gave all kinds of sustenance to it. LTTE forces even took training in Tamil Nadu, all with the official support.
But after Rajiv signed the (ill-conceived) Indo-Lanka peace accord (1987), and India sent its forces (IPKF) to Sri Lanka to oversee peace there, India's official stand on the LTTE changed. The latter was no longer persona grata. But the DMK (after it came back to power in Tamil Nadu in 1989) continued to slyly facilitate the Tiger's activities here and elsewhere. The DMK also stoked the emotions in Tamil Nadu in support of the LTTE.
The Jain interim report concluded that the LTTE "was getting its supplies, including arms, ammunition, explosives, fuel and other essential items for its war against the IPKF from Tamil Nadu. That too with the support of the Tamil Nadu government and the connivance of the law enforcement authorities".
The Tigers killed with shocking impunity EPRLF leader K Padmanabha and his acolytes in Chennai (1990), and the killers escaped thanks to the free space provided by the local DMK government then. The Padmanabha killing was the precursor to the assassination of Rajiv. This is not a throwaway allegation. This is something that P Chidambaram, as a Union minister, told the Lok Sabha way back in 1991. Chidambaram had said that the movement of senior EPRLF leaders "was conveyed by the state police to the LTTE". As it happened, the same LTTE hit squad was later deployed to eliminate Rajiv in 1991.
Justice Jain took over 66 months to submit his first report, after examining 110 witnesses, including politicos, bureaucrats, and terrorists. Based on the deposition of key and credible witnesses, the report singled out the DMK for its severest indictment in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
The Jain Commission's final report was a bit watered down, as it focused on foreign angle in the assassination conspiracy. Still, there were specific recommendations for the prosecution of certain members of the DMK and DK, who were earlier charge sheeted in the assassination of Padmanabha in Chennai.
The point is the DMK's role in the assassination case can never be wished away. The case has ceased to be important because of strange political expediency.
It might not seem big now because the two main parties involved in the matter are firm allies and political realities are starkly different now. But Rajiv was also the former Prime Minister of the country. So it is not just about party politics. It involves nation's security and sovereignty.
To talk of DMK's hand in the whole murky affair would invite strong protest and ridicule in TN now, as the party has re-strengthened itself among the media lights in the state. Its venality and nefarious activities are being brushed aside because Dravidian ideology trumps everything else now.
But people who have seen the strange case unfold with bizarre twists and turns can never forgive the DMK for its wanton proclivities. Compared to that matter, the Sadhvi case is a mere bagatelle.
But, for the Left liberals, the DMK continuing to be in the thick of things does not seem to be a problem at all. But with the Left Liberals and the Congress, moral equivocation is a given.
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Last Updated Apr 19, 2019, 3:41 PM IST