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Tuhin A Sinha
Monday , December 17, 2012 at 10 : 45

Blame mediocre Shinde for the Rehman Malik fiasco


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The one thing that's common between the present Indian and Pakistani home ministers is that they're both wannabes who shoot off their mouths at the drop of a hat, in sheer desperation to be heard and taken seriously. However, this time around, Shinde's quest for limelight has resulted in another major embarrassment for India vis-à-vis Pakistan, with Malik shooting off his nonsense on every sensitive issue.

At the end of this futile engagement, Shinde ought to be made to answer the following questions:

A. What was the pressing need for India to engage with a man, whose credentials have always been suspect, especially when Pakistan has steadfastly refused to act on 26/11 and a new regime is likely to take over in Pakistan soon?

B. The convenient rational used for easing visa restrictions is farcical. It certainly won't enhance the kind of 'people to people' contact that will benefit India in any way. Literary and cultural exchanges have anyway been taking place between the two countries even without easing out the visas. Those families who have relatives on the other side have anyway been travelling freely even within the existing visa norms.

What the easing of visa restrictions will do is that it will increase the population of those Pakistanis who have been overstaying in India for years after their visas have expired. Trust a Congress government to facilitate an easy entry for potential terrorists and later cry foul.

C. It is shameful and inexplicable that the Indian Government did not officially take up the case of Captain Saurabh Kalia with Rehman Malik despite the Supreme Court censuring the government on the issue.

D. It is equally shameful and inexplicable that Shinde did not take up the issue of increasing persecution of Hindus in Pakistan, despite some of the worse instances of brutality being reported from the country against the community in recent months.

E. Neither is Shinde supposed to have sought Rehman Malik's involvement in taming those terror outfits in Pakistan who have as recently as in the last couple of weeks, being issuing threats against India to avenge Kasab's killing.

I need not dwell upon Rehman Malik's outrageous utterances. When he says Captain Saurabh Kalia could have died due to the weather, I am forced to wonder if he is as dumb as Veena Malik. Trust India, though, to make a hero out of a man whom nobody takes seriously in his own country.

But yes, Shinde, as the home minster, is a cause of concern for the country. His mediocrity as Maharashtra CM and then the Union power minister needs no reiteration. His elevation as home minister had raised several eyebrows. Today, one only feels more convinced he is another Shivraj Patil in the making.

For India, the Rehman Malik fiasco is as big an embarrassment as the one in Sharm-el-Sheikh. The culprit this time around is a man who is not qualified to be India's home minister.


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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.
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