Samajvadi Party’s General Secretary Mr. Shahid Siddiqui has been expelled from his party. He was expelled because he interviewed Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. Arguably Mr. Siddiqui displayed poor political judgment by conducting the interview. Interviews can expose as well as promote leaders. The interview could be viewed as the offer of an opportunity to Mr. Modi to improve his standing with Muslim voters. But was Mr. Siddiqui’s indiscretion so grave as to invite instant expulsion from his party? That is where the uncomfortable thought arises that the grandstanding by the Samajvadi Party (SP) leadership is hollow and unprincipled.
|What kinds of leaders are guiding the nation?
Muslims leaders must protect Muslims,
Sikh leaders protect Sikhs, Hindu leaders protect Hindus...?
Then God help India,
and its secularism!
By all means Mr. Modi should be exposed and justice should be relentlessly pursued. But might he be considered such an untouchable that mere interaction with him must merit expulsion? Leaders of the SP including its Muslim contingent would vociferously say yes. That is what makes one uncomfortable. The minority vote bank is valuable to the party. Its Muslim leaders are understandably incensed by what happened in Gujarat . They must be understandably careful about not sending any wrong signal to their constituents. But are vote bank considerations all that matter in politics? Do principles and consistency not matter at all?
The basic question to be resolved is whether any politician can be made so untouchable as to render any contact with him instantly punishable. SP leaders would argue that this is how it should be. Mr. Modi’s performance in Gujarat has rendered him untouchable in their eyes. But then in what manner was Rajiv Gandhi worthy of their support at different times, and in what manner is the Congress party that swears by his memory worthy of their support today?
If anything, the 1984 genocide in Delhi was more one sided, more brazen and more vicious than what occurred in Gujarat. The government’s direct participation in the riots was more in evidence than it was in Gujarat. And yet, SP leaders simper and serve as they continue to support the Congress and the UPA government. Why?
Ah, yes! The victims in Gujarat were Muslims and the victims in Delhi were Sikhs. And the SP depends upon Muslim votes and not on Sikh votes. Therefore all this concern has nothing to do with justice, human rights and principles. It has everything to do with elections, votes and communities. What kind of respect should such an attitude earn from the public? What kinds of leaders are guiding the nation? Muslims leaders must protect Muslims, Sikh leaders protect Sikhs, Hindu leaders protect Hindus…? Then God help India, its democracy and its secularism! In secular politics it is claimed that all communities are equal. But the SP believes that some are much more equal than others.