Wrong approach

The newly elected BJP president Rajnath Singh has begun on a wrong foot. If Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s recent remark that the BJP and the RSS conduct terror camps to spread terrorism was inappropriate and  provocative, the BJP’s reaction to it is also wrong.

Shinde made the sweeping comment on ‘Hindu terrorism’ at the Congress chintan shivir at Jaipur last week and he has not been able to support his serious charge with any credible evidence. The BJP has held nationwide protests against it, demanding Shinde’s resignation, but Rajnath Singh’s threat that the party would create such a situation in both Houses of Parliament that the prime minister would be forced to remove the home minister is taking the issue too far. Why should Parliament be made a victim of every political skirmish in the country?

The budget session will soon start and it has important  financial and legislative business to undertake and complete. Many previous sessions have been curtailed or lost because of the stand-off between the Opposition and the government on different issues. Shinde did not make the offensive remark in Parliament and there is no need for the forum to be held to ransom. Both the Opposition and the government should consider the work of Parliament important and should refrain from derailing it. When it becomes an easy target  for partisan political fights democracy is devalued. Aggrieved parties have various other forums and means  to make their point and to protest against the actions of the government or comments of ministers or leaders.

The BJP has enough reasons to be aggrieved by Shinde’s remark. The country’s home minister should not make a casual remark that shows that the main opposition party as promoting terrorism and  being involved in anti-national activities without being able to substantiate his claim. If Shinde is right, he should have taken action on the basis of any evidence he has. Expressions like Hindu terrorism and Muslim terrorism are misnomers and should not be used to brand entire communities. Individuals who resort to terrorist acts do not represent their communities. It is unfortunate that Shinde did not display this basic sense. One minister even supported his claim and the Congress party did not did not go the full distance in convincingly repudiating the remark. It should be borne in mind by all parties and leaders that issues of national import should not become playthings of bad and misconceived politics.

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