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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Debating BJP's 'tentwallah' culture

Surfers are divided on whether Rahul's indiscretions reflect the party's ills.

india Updated: Jun 06, 2006 16:56 IST

Vir Sanghvi's account of what possibly transpired at PramodMahajan'sSafdarjung Road home in New Delhi that resulted in the death of his former personal secretary VivekMoitra and his son Rahul taking seriously ill, has garnered mixed responses from the surfers.

His take on the snorting charges against RahulMahajan and Apollo Hospital's cover-up operation have been appreciated.

But it is his questioning the "Pimps, fixers & tentwallahs" culture in the BJP that had the surfers divided equally.

Here's how it went.

Mangesh, writing from Dubai, had this to say:

"Excellent. With this article, if BJP comes to power, it may affect VirSanghvi. Would like to read such power-packed articles."

"Sitting here in Dubai I have been wondering what to make of the reports on Indian news channels. Some said these chaps had been poisoned, some talked about a conspiracy against the Mahajan clan. Your theory of pimps, fixers and tentwallahs seems closest to the truth. However, I would still wait for Rahul's statement before making up my mind. Indian politics is coming out of the closet all right. May the youth of the country now join politics not leaving it to 'neta betas' alone," said Gaurav Paul from Dubai, UAE.

An anonymous surfer writing under the pseudonym of DASD said, "We need people like VirSanghvi; strong, focussed and daring. I salute you, Mr Sanghvi, for coming out with this truth about pimps, fixers and tentwallahs crowding the political circles. Do not bother what BJP or other people say."

Speaking slightly off the tangent was Mr Rajesh Pal from Leicester, UK. He chose to comment more on general terms.

Here's what he said:

"With regard to this article I do not know how you can be so full of praise about the achievements of PramodMahajan. Where did Mahajan get all this money that he could send his son to London for studies or be able to buy a flat in Mumbai? Before he entered politics or during his political career he did not have a well-paid job or business.

You are a journalist and you cannot see this. Unless the journalists of your stature begin to understand that these corrupt politicians have to be exposed, India will not have a just and meaningful form of democracy."

Of course those against Sanghvi's views were in no mood to spare either.

Venu of Trivandrum was his caustic best.

"BJP's tolerance of sleaze! Yes, you are right on that count. But would also appreciate your pointing out Congress's tolerance of corruption and murderers. Last heard Vinod Sharma - father of Manu Sharma - is still very much a part of the Congress with nary a public rebuke or anything being said to him."

Shivani of Mumbai also chose to be sarcastic.

"Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar, Satish Sharma, Vinod Sharma and Manu Sharma's activities could not taint the Congress. In fact, media went overboard trying to show the activities of these individuals as independent of the party. However, a Rahul Mahajan's (who came into the spotlight only after his father's death) activity or extra-curricular activity can really taint BJP? So what applies to the goose does not apply to the gander. Right, Mr Sanghvi?"

In no mood to relent was Suket Singh of Bhopal.

"Mr Vir Sanghvi's edit page piece on Sunday (June 4) titled Pimps, fixers & tentwallahs again confirmed his deep-rooted biases. He needs the smallest opening to train his guns on a party he obviously doesn't like.

Small wonder he thinks the Rahul Mahajan episode as being symptomatic of the general decline of BJP's culture ('More damaging is what the incident tell us of the BJP's culture') when there can be no link between the two -- not by a long shot.

The indiscretion of a young man, his capers with drugs or the bad company he keeps is a problem that confronts many families the world over. In fact, should Mr Sanghvi do some serious soul-searching, his own youth (or middle age) may not have been a model of virtue.

The writer's self-righteous indignation on why the late Pramod Mahajan allowed his Safdarjung residence to 'become the headquarters of an extended family of pimps, fixers, and tentwallahs' also smacks of intellectual hypocrisy at its worst.

Surely, Mr Sanghvi doesn't need to be reminded that parties like the Congress and the Samajwadi Party have traditionally had a surfeit of pimps and fixers and continue to do so. Which political party doesn't? And at what point of time in history did politics become a playground of the good, the upright and incorruptible?"

Phew! Now, your take please.

All views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the surfers and do not necessarily represent those of

First Published: Jun 06, 2006 12:00 IST

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