Arrogance of Amit Shah
Contempt for Gandhi, Congress and Opposition
By Faraz Ahmad
Amit Shah’s castigating Mahatma Gandhi as a “Chatur Baniya” has justifiably caused widespread uproar all around questioning this pompous political pygmy’s pejorative and derisive mention of the Father of the Nation.
But when photographic evidence is available on the social media of Shah’s “Saheb” Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering floral tributes to the portrait of the Mahatma’s assassin Nathuram Godse, and records of Sardar Patel writing to Rashtriya Swaywamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sarsanghchalak Guru Golwalkar pointing out how the Sanghis celebrated on the streets Gandhi’s assassination distributing sweets, why should this derision of Gandhiji by a Swayamsevak surprise anyone?
Be that as it may, it is now getting to be three years since this man once implicated in a murder case, has been leading the biggest and the ruling party of India. It is normal courtesy and every former president of the ruling party, starting from the Congress presidents Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi, to Rajiv Gandhi to P V Narasimha Rao extended the basic courtesy to the Opposition by meeting them and confabulating with them on all matters of national importance and this included former BJP presidents, be they L K Advani or Rajanth Singh or even the current HMV of Modi, Venkaiah Naidu, they all granted this basic courtesy to the Opposition leaders.
But what about this Gujarati trader? Has he bothered to meet the Opposition leaders even once, call on them and discuss any national or international issues? Can’t recall any! And how would he? Has he shown any signs of developing into a leader of national stature in all these years? Has he betrayed any traces of growing into a statesman? Not that is evident.
Amit Shah’s forte is divisive politics, which he has learnt well at the feet of his “saheb” and his strength lies in being able to implement this successfully with an elan, caring a damn for what the critics say.
Take for instance his decision to choose Mr Ramath Kovind as the next occupant of Rashtrapati Bhawan and a clear attempt to browbeat the critics by beating the chest of denigrating a Dalit, in case anyone questions who is Mr Kovind. What are his antecedents?
Yes those in the know recall that at one time he was a personal assistant to Morarji Desai and naturally must be well versed at taking dictation from the Prime Minister of the day. Insofar as that, rest assured he will serve the cause of this Sanghi establishment very well. As for his other qualifications being touted by the BJP and its kept media, he was once briefly appointed by the BJP on the panel of its long list of spokesmen/women. I don’t recall the year, but I think it was around the time L K Advani was about to contest as the PM candidate in the runup to the 2009 general elections again to showcase a Dalit face. He must have come to address the daily briefing of the media at 11, Ashoka Road, hardly a few times, maybe only three or four or even less. And our prospective President was largely tongue tied in the face of a barrage of questions, except a few leading ones from the vast majority of embedded journalists. By the way this was not because of his discomfort with the English language. After all Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi or Syed Shahnawaz Husain too made no effort to impress the media with the command over this alien language. Nor did Rajnath Singh. But they had no hesitation in fielding the most difficult questions with a flourish. That was always left to the resident of 9, Ashoka Road Arun Jaitley. But not our so-called Dalit leader. The only time, and I missed that opportunity, his name appeared in the media was when he made a statement opposing any reservation for the Dalit and OBC Muslims and Christians, a typical Sanghi line. That’s it.
Choosing Kovind as the BJP candidate for the presidency is actually a snub to the Opposition which is what Amit Shah is most adept at. Everyone knew that after the last round of Assembly elections earlier this year wherein BJP swept the largest Uttar Pradesh, BJP has overwhelming numbers in the presidential electoral college and therefore getting its candidate elected was no big deal. The Opposition kept waiting for the ruling party to seek their views on a possible consensus candidate. But that was far from Amit Shah and his Saheb’s mind who revel in rubbing the nose of their opponent in the sand and so they chose this gentleman relishing breaking the Opposition unity by crying Dalit, Dalit even as they continue the torture of the Dalits of Shabirpur and Saharanpur, incarcerating Bhim Army leader Chandrashekhar Azad while sharing the dais with that Savarna perpetrator of arson and violence against the Dalits of Shabirpur. It is now for the Dalits to make a choice whether they will get carried away by the BJP tokenism of Mr Ramnath Kovind in Rashtrapati Bhawan or rally behind Chandrashekhar Azad and Una’s Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani.