Terrorism or Dirty Politics?

Even though the country is witnessing some of the most tumultuous times due to the terrorist attacks, the political blame game remains ubiquitous, and doesn’t cease to surprise us. However, the latest comment from BJP leader Sushma Swaraj that the Congress is targeting the BJP through these blasts is totally unwanted and uncalled for.

Earlier in 2004, Swaraj had promised she’d tonsure her head and live on roasted nuts (or something like that) in case Sonia Gandhi became PM. That put her on my list of ‘Favourite Stupid People’. But this time she’s lost her head completely. Her comments are shouting it out loud – “Get me help! Get me help!”

The comment that the Congress is behind the blasts have increased my suspicion about the actual culprit. I had planned to write this article when the blasts in Ahmedabad happened, but the fear of the saffron cadres protesting outside my house and killing me, made me give up the idea. But now, my suspicion has almost been converted to a surety and it took more than just Swaraj’s comments. But let’s not reach presumptions so soon, and instead, look at Swaraj’s statement objectively.

Now, all three states which have been subject to blasts in the past three months – Rajasthan, Karnataka and Gujarat – are BJP ruled. This could mean three things – first, the Congress has caused these to malign the BJP’s character; alternatively, the BJP has caused these to highlight the centre’s inability to tackle terrorism; finally, the BJP is unable to tackle terrorism, and hence, terrorists are attacking the states.

Whilst the third one leaves many more options open, let’s look at the first two, and since both of them are inter-related, let’s analyze them together:

It’s ironic how both the Congress and BJP would cause the blast for the same reason – to showcase the weaknesses in the administration of the other party. However, this is the first reason for me to discard the claim about the Congress’ involvement. Terrorism is a national issue, and whichever state it may be, a bomb blast is a failure for the National Government more than it is for the state. At the end of the day, it’s a blot for the country rather than the state.

It’s also noteworthy that the BJP’s only claim against the centre, in all of its campaigns is that “the UPA government is soft on terrorism”. This was also Mr. Advani’s only contention in the debate preceding the trust vote. The Congress responded by calling Advani the “Home Minister who slept while the Parliament was attacked, or the one who didn’t even know that terrorists were being transported to Kandahar”. So could the BJP have caused these blasts to provide more examples in subsequent campaigns? Or is it the Congress trying to prove the BJP right?

Further, it would be easier for the BJP to plan out and implement a blast in its own state versus the Congress doing the same – especially if one of the blasts in Gujarat occurred in the CM’s constituency! And even if the Congress is stupid enough to do so, it would/should be caught by the state government!

Okay, for once let’s suppose the Congress is involved. In that case, its planners are pathetically foolish. Why cause the blasts in Karnataka and Gujarat? Both have had assembly elections just recently. It would have been politically more profitable to attack Madhya Pradesh or Chhattisgarh, where elections are due to happen at the end of this year. It would have been even smarter to attack UP, as Mayawati today, is a bigger (and younger!) threat to the Congress than the BJP.

It would also make sense to link the trust vote and the extra-curricular activities of that day to the blasts. The UPA won the trust vote, and despite the claims of it being ‘tainted’, Singh has become King! This is a cause of worry for the BJP, especially since sources have revealed that the ‘sting operation tapes’ of the alleged bribery, have no evidence against either the SP or the Congress! Perhaps, the blasts were a good way to divert attention?

While writing this, I have taken care to state facts vis-à-vis express an opinion, so saffron cadres, please spare me!

But as of now, let’s join in and chant – “Purna Swaraj from Sushma Swaraj”

Rohan Sandhu


[Image courtesy: http://flickr.com/photos/kamoda/2240802002/]