THIS ABOVE ALL
BJP itself to blame for debacle
Much has been
written and said about the BJP’s poor performance in the
recent General Election. The think-tank of the party comprising
Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and Kulkarni has
spoken of its disenchantment with the choice of L.K. Advani as
the candidate for Prime Minister, and the unmerited positions
given to election managers-in-chief Arun Jaitley and Sushma
Swaraj. I have my own views on the downfall of the BJP as a
political force. I think the rot set in much earlier—from the
times of the destruction of the Babri Masjid in December, 1992.
It was a dastardly
thing to do. The principal architect of the act of sacrilege was
Advani. Far from being censured for it, he became the hero of
the party and its choice as Prime Minister. Even Atal Bihari
Vajpayee, who privately expressed anguish over it,
never came out openly to condemn it. I recall the evening
when dining with Arun Shourie’s parents. Arun said loudly to
Kuldip Nayar and me: "Who says it was a mosque?" I was
taken aback. What else could a monument with three domes and a
wall facing Mecca be but a mosque?
No BJP leader condemned Bal Thackeray when he claimed that his sainiks had brought down the Babri Masjid
I was sorely
disappointed. It soured our close friendship of many years. Did
any BJP leader condemn Bal Thackeray when he boasted that it
were his sainiks who brought down the mosque? Did any of
them condemn the sainiks for vandalising the Bhandarkar
Institute in Pune, or destroying M.F. Hussain’s paintings in
Mumbai? Did any of them condemn Bajrang Dal’s or Ram Sene’s
hoodlums for wrecking shops selling Valentine Day cards,
or roughing up boys and girls drinking beer together in a pub?
Did they condemn
Raj Thackeray for letting loose his goons on non-Maharashtrians,
forcing thousands to leave the state? No. They made feeble
noises of protest but refrained from outright condemnation
because they were an integral part of their vote bank. In the
process, it also projected the idea of having Narendra Modi as a
stand-in prime ministerial candidate. He may have seduced Ratan
Tata to manufacture Nanos in Gujarat but he has yet to clear his
name in connection with the massacre of thousands of innocent
Muslims in 2002. None of this was lost on the aam admi
(common man), particularly of the younger generation, voting for
the first time.
the reasons for the drubbing the BJP got, it occurred to me that
Varun Gandhi deserves special mention for his wild utterances,
which neither Advani nor Rajnath Singh thought bad enough to
expel him from the party. It is now up to his cousin, Rahul
Gandhi, to honour him by bestowing on him a gold medal for
ensuring victory of the Congress.
Fiza nautanki—ACT III
L.K. Advani is squarely to blame for the sacrilege of the mosque. Atal Bihari Vajpayee never came out openly to condemn the act.
So Chander Mohan
Bishnoi, alias Chand Mohammed, is back in the arms of Anuradha
Bali, alias Fiza Mohammed. It reminded me of Carolyn Wells
(d.1942), saying: "He who loves and runs away, may live to
love another day". How true of this couple. He ditched his
wife and family because he fell for Anuradha, who he saw briefly
one morning in a fruit juice parlour. Though he had been in love
with other people before, it was love at first sight and their
tryst with destiny.
Truly had Mirza
Ishq par zor nahin,
hai yeh voh aatish Ghalib;
Jo laagae na lagey,
aur bujhai na bujhe.
(There is no power
stronger than love;
It is a raging
refuses to ignite;
When you try to
It refuses to go
So they threw all
caution to the winds and decided to tie the knot. Since Hindu
law did not permit bigamy, they converted to Islam, which did.
It is not likely that he got himself circumcised, as the healing
would delay consummation of the nikah.
Mohan, alias Chand Mohammed, got cold feet. He returned to his
first wife and family; then ditched both wives and fled to
London. First he said he had divorced Fiza by saying talaq
three times on a long-distance phone call. Then he changed his
mind and said he had done no such thing and returned to her.
Anuradha, alias Fiza, had taken her errant husband to court on
charges of rape. It was the fury of a woman scorned. Now they
are together again. What about bigamy? Nothing very wrong with
it. Fiza is worth crimes worse than bigamy. If Karunanidhi,
Jethmalani, Dharmendra and Raja Reddy can have two wives living
under the same roof, why not Chander Mohan? Bless him and
Anuradha for providing fodder for gossip-mongers in the deadly,
dull, green town called Chandigarh.
Being in the
limelight can be addictive. Oscar Wilde was right in saying:
"There is nothing in the world worse than being talked
about, and that is not being talked about". Mr and Mrs
Chand Mohammed now must devise new ways and means to stay in the
news. I suggest they make a film based on their affair entitled
"The Path of True Love Never Ran Smooth".
Ghanta asked his
grandfather Natha Singh: "Dadaji, what are you
reading?" Natha: "History". Ghanta: "But it
is full of sexy poems". Natha: "For me it is history.
J.P. Singh Kaka, Bhopal)
Khushwant Singh is on a holiday. This column will not appear in the July 4 and July 11 issues of Saturday Extra