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Political opportunism post Bangalore blast

 | April 19, 2013

Indian politicians are absolutely ignorant of the complexity of terror attacks, and the callous brushing off of home-grown violence.

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Indian politicians are unashamedly opportunistic. No matter which party they belong to, they are out with their incredulous insinuations in a jiffy.

Hardly had any time elapsed after Wednesday’s bomb blasts outside the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) office in Bangalore when a politician screamed that the whole thing could have been orchestrated by the party itself to attract pre-poll sympathy.

Minutes after the explosion – which injured about 16 people, mostly policemen, and mercifully killed none — a Congress Party leader, Shakeel Ahmed, tweeted: “If the blast near BJP’s office in Bangalore is a terror attack, it will certainly help the BJP politically on the eve of election.”

The BJP, which has been in power in Karnataka (whose capital is Bangalore) for five years, has, according to popular opinion, ruined the state and the city.

It has also been one of the most corrupt governments in India. A former BJP chief minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa, was removed from office after he was nailed for graft.

Ahmed’s tweet got a lot of people angry. As speakers in a television debate said on Wednesday night, terror had no colour or creed or political loyalty.

And this was not the first time that the BJP has been under such unfair attack. Earlier, the party had been accused of “saffron terror” by members belonging to rival camps.

A Firstpost report said: “Even the Union Home Minister exhibited an extraordinary partisanship of spirit when he used a party platform to make the grave allegation that the country’s leading Opposition party, the BJP, was actively running terrorist training camps. He was subsequently forced to express contrition for that remark, but it demonstrated just how perverse the discourse around terrorism has become in India”

In any case, such uncalled for and unduly hasty judgements are nothing new in India.

For years, China and Pakistan were the most favourite whipping boys. Time was when China was blamed for just about anything that went wrong in India. “Ah, there must be a foreign hand at work”, was the ready quip and excuse. The “foreign hand” invariably meant China in those days.

When Beijing-New Delhi relations began to improve, the Indian government and politicians needed another punching bag.

Pakistan it was, and given the 66-years of animosity between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, it was only too convenient to point a finger across the plains of India’s Punjab.

One agrees that Pakistan is not wholly pure and divine. The country’s sadistic attempts to sponsor terrorism in India are well documented. But to jump the gun and charge Islamabad even before forensic experts and other investigators have started work is political juvenileness.

It conveys absolute ignorance of the complexity of terror attacks, and the callous brushing off of home-grown violence.

Also, such irresponsible comments tend to interfere in the process of law. Policemen and judges tend to be swayed by conclusions mouthed without a thought.

Gautaman Bhaskaran is India Editor of FMT, and Chennai-based author, columnist and movie critic. He may be emailed at[email protected]


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