By Kunal Anand:
Home Minister P.Chidambaram’s recent statement about “saffron terrorism” has evoked the response he and his government would have expected. The Opposition is up in arms calling it an affront to the majority community. Congress spokespersons were quick to call it the opinion of an individual and distanced the party from this controversy. They say Sonia or Manmohan Singh had nothing to do with P.C’s remarks. It’s like saying that the U.S President had nothing to do with the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the entire blame lay on the pilots who dropped the bomb! Let’s get it straight and clear- “Terrorism has no colour” and if our Home Minister is adamant to give a colour to it, then the best he could do was calling it “black terrorism”. After all, hasn’t terrorism blackened our lives and times?
I am not going to waste time discussing the merits of Chidambaram’s statement, because I sense a bigger and sinister agenda hidden behind it. Till last week, the whole country (including our Opposition parties and media) couldn’t get enough of the mammoth corruption in the Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee. What should have been a final stamp on the growing prowess of India has turned out to be a shameless specter of money laundering and loot. Right from the beginning, both the Delhi Government and Kalmadi and co. were busy telling us that CWG will be a watershed event. Heavens have shed more than enough water on their plans and they themselves are busy shedding crocodile tears. The UPA government’s response was predictable. Tough statements from Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh about how the guilty won’t be spared and feeble action involving sacking of few scapegoats. They did the same during the IPL controversy by diverting all the heat on Tharoor-Lalit Modi and letting the BCCI bosses walk away scot free. This time, it’s Suresh Kalmadi who was paid for his loyalty to the grand old party.
There’s also a huge resentment about the shameless way in which the salaries of the MP’s was increased threefold while the country is reeling under double digit inflation. Kashmir, Naxals, fake encounters, so many failures in such a short period for the “Common Man’s Government”.
Enter the man who saved the Government’s face when their Home Minister Shivraj Patil was facing the music post 26/11. He saved the day by donning the mantle of Home Minister then. He is saving them now by diverting our entire attention now. What was the point in giving colour to a menace that doesn’t choose its victims based upon religion? And what message has the Opposition given by supporting the MP salary hike bill and shouting about the colour of terrorism? How do I trust a government that lets off the culprits of one of the biggest scams in independent India and whose investigating agency (CBI) is being accused by a respected IAS officer (Geeta Jowhri) of coercion to implicate their political opponents? As an Indian, I will rejoice the hanging of Kasab or Purohit, provided their crime is proven beyond doubt. But our system gives me very few opportunities to do so. It takes less than 5 years to hang the assassinators of Indira Gandhi while the mastermind of the attack on our Parliament in 2001 still eats biryani at the taxpayer’s expense. It takes the suicide of over lakh farmers to bring their miseries in the eyes of the media and politicians while it takes just a few cheap speeches by Lalu Yadav to increase the salary of our MP’s.
At times I feel we all are amnesic. We tend to forget our problems, miseries and the wrongs done to us quickly. We forgive the culprits easily and embrace for the next slap on the face of our democracy without batting an eyelid. We debate the colours of terrorism instead of fighting it. We support our corrupt governments in making CWG a success on the name of “national pride” forgetting the poor who have been displaced and the mammoth amount of money that has been siphoned by those who were supposed to account for every penny.
The ease with which our politicians and bureaucrats fool us every time makes one thing very clear. No matter what colour terrorism is, Corruption is surely WHITE in colour. It doesn’t hurt our eyes, can be easily concealed behind the white colour of our netaji’s kurta and like the white colour in our national flag, it’s deeply engraved in our day to day life. More people die at the hand of this corruption than at the hands of Hindu and Islamic extremists. We can win the war against terrorism of every colour Mr. Home minister. But what about the white corruption rampant in the country that you call home?