His shirt is dirtier than mine!

His shirt is dirtier than mine!

Is that a justification?


Faraz Ahmad

The BJP’s latest counter to the numerous scams that have surfaced in recent past bringing into disrepute its senior leaders, including two women cabinet ministers and at least two chief ministers is “Hamare do, tumhare chaar” clearly implying that Congress is no less corrupt.

The BJP MPs coined this slogan at the instance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah, who clearly incited their MPs at the parliamentary party meeting held on July 21 to throw back mud at the Congress instead of feeling contrite over the financial and other misdemeanours of senior cabinet members like Sushma Swaraj or Education minister of India Smriti Irani of cooked up educational qualifications fame.

There is no reason to be remorseful over the Vyapak Vyapam scam of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan or the shameful act of pinching the rations of the Below Poverty Line (BPL) ration card holders by Chhatisgarh administration under the highly praised chief minister Raman Singh. No apologies over the many scams surfacing of its newly elected ministers in Maharashtra.

As for Rajasthan, fresh skeletons are tumbling out every day from Rani Vasundhara Raje’s cupboards, the latest one being about taking home expensive Persian carpets, when she ceased to be the chief minister in December, 2008. She still has the gumption to walk with a straight face after giving in writing that her promotion of former bosom pal turned foe Lalt Modi be kept a secret from the Indian Government. This, from the front ranking leader of a party which keeps pounding its chest Tarzan like to declare its patriotism and tarnishes every critic with an anti-national brush.

The Prime Minister called upon his MPs to brazen it out, spit back at the Congress rather than showing any regret over the deeds of the BJP which came to power on the slogan of rooting out corruption. The faint saner counsel by senior leaders like former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Shanta Kumar has naturally drowned in this cacophony. But Shanta told a TV channel he is not alone, there were at least three BJP ministers and several MPs who came to the Central Hall to compliment him and encourage him after the BJP parliamentary party meeting where he was openly snubbed for going public in his criticism of the loss of face, the BJP was facing on account of these scandals.

Sushma was the first off the block alleging that some Congress leaders had pleaded with her to give Santosh Bargodia the diplomatic passport (It is not unusual for a Member of Parliament or former minister). It’s good she did not do it. But that’s why we need an External Affairs minister of some integrity and not someone to promote the professional career of the husband and a young daughter and plead for a proclaimed absconder. Then came the combative Union Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman exposing some sting involving the personal secretary of Uttarakhand chief minister (Interestingly the man is an IAS officer of Gujarat cadre and it is worth probing how many predecessors of Harish Rawat this officer has served). Nirmala has been duly rewarded by Modi for keeping her sword unsheathed all the time and has naturally to justify her calling.

But I don’t know who is advising Narendrabhai. By suggesting a slogan, Humare do, tumhare chaar, the knight in shining armour is implicitly admitting to scams. Had he heeded to the saner advice of Shanta Kumar, Modi might have refrained from proceeding on these lines, for this slogan automatically admits to the fact that the BJP leaders have also indulged in corruption but at a lower level: “Your shirt is dirtier than mine.” But that only means I am wearing a dirty shirt too.

All through the election campaign and even later both in the country and abroad Modi kept waiving his sabre like hand declaring his intent to root out corruption. At Modi’s instance people trounced the Congress party. People have already rooted out the Congress from Delhi and most other states. They put their trust in Narendra Modi in 2014 just as they did in Rajiv Gandhi in 1984. They gave an overwhelming majority to Rajiv Gandhi in 1984 and an unbelievable single party rule to the BJP under Narendra Modi, not to be told, “His shirt is dirtier than mine.”  That doesn’t sell.



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