By Mubasshir Mushtaq
Law and order have two enemies: the Full Truth and the Complete Lie. When people realize the truth, they start revolutions. When they are fed lies they begin meaningless riots. (M.J. Akbar, 1979)
A leader is one who leads by example and does not follow in the footsteps of his followers and disciples but Lal Krishna Advani, country's desperate Prime Minister-in-waiting, is an exceptional political entity. He used to lead by example in his infamous Rath Yatra days but the addictive taste of Delhi's political power has changed his state of mind. No wonder he is blindly advocating a theory originally propagated by a small fish in the dirty pond of India's communalism – the notorious Narendra Modi.
Modi had recently said, "Attacks like 26/11 couldn't have happened without local support... The UPA Government is quiet on this aspect because of vote-bank politics." In other words, it simply means that the attack could not have taken place without the active help of Indian Muslims. Modi's statement was much appreciated within the BJP and Sangh Parivar. Advani, whose eyesight is fixed on 7 Race Course Road (Prime Minster's residence), realized that it was time that he broke his dignified silence to please saffron souls lest they think Modi is their natural leader! It is in this context Advani raised the issue that local angle "could not be ruled out", and demanded a "thorough" judicial inquiry covering "this aspect of the conspiracy as well."
Winston Churchill once said, "The nation will find it very hard to look up to the leaders who are keeping their ears to the ground." Had Advani kept his ears to the ground, he would have certainly broadened his approach but he didn't. A man who desperately wants to be India's next Prime Minister should have demanded a "thorough" judicial inquiry of Batla House, Mecca Masjid, Samjhauta blast and Malegaon blasts etc. That would have made him a man of all seasons but alas he is a man of saffron reason!
If Advani's eyes are on the 7 Race Course Road, his ears are paying attention across the border. He is desperately seeking votes in Pakistan! The ad featuring on many Pakistani websites reads, 'It's possible, Advani for Prime Minister.' Does Advani want to become Prime Minister of Pakistan? Advani's adventurous ambition will bring much needed relief to Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan's current Prime Minister!
For a change we must give Advani benefit of doubt. If his "local angle" concern is indeed genuine, let's try to apply this logic in totality. What would be the reaction of government and politicians if any political leader of Malegaon tries to raise the "local angle" involvement in September 29 2008 blast? What if he repeats the exact words of L.K. Advani only replacing 26/11 with Malegaon blast? He would be branded as a "communalist", an "anti-national". The police department will sing a song of law and order problem. It is quite possible that he would be booked under some sections of Indian Penal Code for making provocative statement of the communal nature.
This classic Indian duplicity is not a gift of British Raj but it's a product of hate-preachers who still see Indian Muslims as "outsiders" and "invaders". This tendency emanates from none other than the right-wing ideologue Golwalkar who put it quite bluntly, "Ever since the evil day, when Muslims just landed in Hindustan, right up to the present moment, the Hindu nation has been gallantly fighting on to shake off the despoilers."
It is altogether a different matter that this kind of rabid rhetoric has been replaced by soft Hindutva because in an era of coalition politics, BJP can not form government on its own. Adopting the same kind of language will cut short Advani's Prime Ministerial dream.
The duplicity and hypocrisy of L.K. Advani is nothing new. He has been accused of a criminal conspiracy to demolish Babri Masjid. Advani first blamed Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao and, next, acclaimed the event as a historic one. In front of Liberhan Commission, he has repeatedly said that December 6, 1992 was the saddest day of his life although Advani had said in Ayodhya that, "Aaj (December 6) kar seva ka akhiri din hai, kar sevak aaj akhiri kar seva karenge." (It is the final day for the kar seva today. The kar sevaks will be doing the final kar seva today). And when the demolition of the mosque was in progress, he also told that the Central forces were moving from Faizabad towards Ayodhya, but they were not afraid of it and instructed the public to block the national highway straightway so that forces do not reach Ram Janam Bhoomi. This was reported by Indian Express and later documented by noted lawyer and commentator A.G. Noorani. Jaswant Singh said that the demolition should not have happened in the sense that the BJP was one of the participants and BJP has direct responsibility. Ashok Singhal was more blunt. He told a gathering in London that "Kar sevaks had removed a stigma attached to the Hindu community. This was a matter of pride for Hindus the world over. It was like Hanuman setting fire to Lanka."
A.G. Noorani has beautifully described BJP's confession and denial thus, "The BJP wants to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds. It simultaneously acknowledges as well as denies its involvement in the crime."
Advani's autobiography (My Country, My Life) is full of lies and contradictions and there is ample evidence of his "Muslim phobia" in it. It is an attempt to portray Advani as a "nationalist" leader and pave way for his Prime Ministerial dream. Perhaps the last word must be left to Noorani: "If Advani succeeds in fulfilling his 20-year-old ambition, this book will rank as the Fuhrer's Mein Kampf. If he is defeated in 2009, it will be remembered for ever as the swansong of a man who wanted to be Prime Minister of India too badly."