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Tuhin A Sinha
Tuesday , July 19, 2011 at 12 : 47

Taming a rogue politician


Digvijaya Singh's nefarious statements are as worrisome as his boss Rahul Gandhi's silence over them. Is Singh executing a script?

In 2003, as Madhya Pradesh CM, Digvijaya Singh suffered a humiliating defeat in the Assembly elections held in the state; a defeat so earth-shattering for him that he apparently lost his sense of proportion, swearing never to accept a government post for the next 10 years. After all, the person who wiped him off Madhya Pradesh was a mere sanyasin (Uma Bharti) towards whom Singh (who is supposedly the heir of a royal clan) had always had a condescending attitude.

Several years later, in 2010, the disgruntled Singh embarked upon a vindictive, communal campaign that sabotaged national interests at will.    

First, Singh paid a political pilgrimage to Azamgarh when he visited homes of suspected terrorists killed in the Batla encounter, thus undermining his own government's position, besides insulting the sacrifice of the valiant slain cop, M C Sharma who was killed in that encounter. Later Singh lied through his teeth when he said the slain Maharashtra ATS (Anti-Terrorist Squad) chief Hemant Karkare faced a threat from right wing fundamentalists. When asked for evidence, there was little he could provide beyond a call record from a landline number of the Maharashtra ATS.

As if that was not enough, Singh came down to Mumbai to release a book called '26/11: An RSS conspiracy'- the name, providing enough hint of it being indoctrination, rather than a book.

Strangely this happened at a time when Chidambaram kept handing over documentary evidence to Pakistan proving its hand in 26/11. How then does Singh's act not amount to sedition? It compromised the government's stand internationally on what will remain the most humiliating attack on India's self esteem.

Then after the recent 13/7 attack on Mumbai, Singh said he does not rule out the hand of RSS. Now isn't that a direct attempt to shield the real culprits? Given his penchant for visiting infamous homes, can one rule out Singh knowing who the culprits are? After all, given the complexities of the case, none of India's leading investigative agencies has yet issued any statement about who could be behind the attacks. How does Singh then know what our investigative agencies do not?

Once again Singh, with his nefarious statements, has tried to give terrorism a communal color. Yet again, he has harmed national security interests by embarrassing the government, besides hurting the sentiments of a vast section of people.

Is there no way a rogue like Singh can be tamed?

What is even more appalling is the Congress party's enigmatic silence over Singh's remarks. For a long time, Singh succeeded in keeping everybody confused about whether he was just another loose canon or if he was enacting someone's script. But with the continued patronage that he enjoys from Rahul Gandhi, there's no further ambiguity on that score.

And that only raises the larger question: who will tame this rogue? It certainly won't be the Congress party for sure.


More about Tuhin A Sinha

Tuhin A Sinha is among the best-selling authors in India, a columnist and a screenwriter. Starting in 2006 with his first book, That Thing Called Love, an unconventional romance set in a Mumbai monsoon, Tuhin has written five novels. They include The Captain (formerly 22 Yards), Of Love And Politics, The Edge of Desire and The Edge Of Power. Tuhin is acknowledged among the most prolific Indian writers with a maverick knack to experiment with new genres. While his first book was an offbeat romance, The Captain was a cricket thriller that explored the underbelly of modern cricket. Of Love And Politics was a political thriller. His last two books which comprise the Edge series can be called socio-political thrillers with a strong feminist skew. Tuhin is a screenwriter of several popular TV shows, the most noteworthy being Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai on Star Plus. Apart from his fiction novels and scripts, Tuhin is a keen political observer. His columns on Indian politics appear regularly in India’s leading dailies. Tuhin has a regular blog on ibnlive.com. He also appears frequently on news channels on discussions around politics and cricket.