Hardly a day passes without some gaffe or the other from Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde. This would have been entertaining had the issues he takes up not been so serious. His proposal to ask states to review terror cases against the minorities is definitely unconstitutional and should not even have crossed his mind, let alone be articulated. The BJP and its prime ministerial aspirant Narendra Modi are absolutely right in criticising him for communalising a sensitive issue of grave national importance that has a direct bearing on security. Terror has no religion and no one should enjoy any immunity against the law if found engaging in subversive activities. Mr Shinde is doing his office and his party a grave disservice by raking up such issues which are in the domain of the criminal justice system.
If Mr Shinde thinks that this will attract votes from the Muslim community, he is sadly mistaken. The Muslims themselves have made it clear that they have no truck with subversive elements who have been involved in terror activities. The minister should be sharply reprimanded by the high command for speaking out of turn and undermining the efforts of our security forces. By saying that terror cases against a particular group should be reviewed, he is also insulting those who have lost their lives in terror attacks. Recent political developments like the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party show that people are fed up with the old style of politics of pandering to particular communities and interest groups. The Congress certainly seems to have taken cognisance of this and Mr Shinde seems out of sync with the thinking in his own party. Speaking out of turn seems a habit with him as his endorsement of NCP chief Sharad Pawar as prime minister recently suggests but national security is another matter altogether.
We have seen the same sort of communalism tinged politics being played by Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan who has come up with a novel explanation for the criticism against the government, which has sent a delegation led by him on a ‘study tour’ of five countries at a time when the Muzaffarnagar riot victims in relief camps are dying in the cold. He feels that this is being attacked because people cannot tolerate to see a Muslim leading the delegation. This spurious logic is not likely to fool anyone. This divisive sort of politics played by both Mr Shinde and Mr Khan needs to stop. It is one of diminishing returns. Both men have failed to do their jobs properly and are grandstanding in the hope that people will look beyond that. This is a vain hope.