IT IS beyond common man’s wit why a man as learned as Mr. Shashi Tharoor should make such an absolutely reprehensible statement that India would get converted to Hindu Pakistan should the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win the 2019 elections. This thoughtless and extremely vitriolic statement by him has, naturally, sent shock waves across the country, so much so that even the Congress party has wished to distance itself from it. It has asked its rank and file to exercise caution and restraint while making statements that may hurt public sentiment and also damage the party’s political prospects. Nevertheless, the statement needs an unequivocal condemnation by one and all as it seeks to distort political narrative purposely and drive a wedge between communities. In fact, it may be a good idea for the authorities to examine if any legal action could be taken against Mr. Tharoor.
Most unfortunately, domestic politics in India has always remained dogged by senseless statements, partisan illogic, sectarian manipulations and finally pseudo-intellectualism. The political community has often sought to divide the society on the basis of unholy considerations. Despite all this, it was least expected that a person of the so-called intellectual eminence must make a statement that the BJP would convert India into a Hindu Pakistan. By making such a statement, Mr. Tharoor has tried to belittle not just the BJP but also the Hindu community as well as the great Indian tradition of accommodation. He should never have made such a statement. But now that he has uttered that dirty diatribe, a way must be found to punish the man who has authored many extremely readable books that added to the value and virtue of India’s public discourse. He has often explained various diplomatic nuances of India’s foreign policy and has deciphered what diplomacy should mean. And now, he has come up with a totally unacceptable and reprehensible statement. We condemn him without reservation.
This is not taking up a so-called Hindu cause; this is taking up the cause of sensible public discourse in the country. This is insisting that it is time the political community gave up the dirty habit of making provocative statements aimed at creating confusing the larger society and philosophical divide among people. The statement by Mr. Shashi Tharoor comes in such an unholy category. By making such a statement, Mr. Tharoor has shown that he belongs to a cheap category that defies his intellectual capabilities and previous achievements as a world-class diplomat. The statement shows him in poor light.
We have always insisted that the political community must exercise caution all the time so that it does not abuse the social fault-lines in India. We have always stressed the need for everybody in public life to ensure that no distortions of reality takes place tempted by petty considerations. It is obvious that Mr. Tharoor is serving a divisive cause and instigating the Hindu community to react strongly. For, when he picks up the devilish courage to say that the BJP would usher a ‘Hindu Pakistan’ in the country, all Mr. Tharoor intends doing is to inject certain radicalism in political discourse. This is unacceptable by any standard.
Though the Congress party has advised its rank and file to exercise caution while making statements, the fact cannot be denied that most of its leaders are engaged constantly in efforts to defile the current Government in which the BJP is a lead party. All such efforts are clearly aimed at political gains at the cost of reality. Even Congress President Mr. Rahul Gandhi, too, cannot be spared on this count since he has made many deliberately provocative statements aimed at defiling the image of the Government, let alone the ruling BJP. Many of his statements go much beyond and paint the country as a whole in bad light. Mr. Tharoor has sought to achieve a similar result.
He must apologise to the nation without any reservation.