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For BJP, time to hate not heal

For BJP, time to hate not heal
By Pankaj Vohra | None, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 15, 2006 02:24 AM IST

The BJP'S decision to send Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to Mumbai following the bomb blasts and its advice to the Centre to "govern or get out'' is clearly a desperate attempt to revive itself by appearing to be the saviour of Hindus and the only party capable of providing good governance.

Modi is perceived in political circles as the most successful practitioner of hate politics. By sending him to Mumbai, which needs healing rather than hatred, the BJP hopes to improve its prospects and create the perception that the blasts were targeted against Gujaratis.  Everyone else in the country is viewing the strike as attacks against Indians and the Indian state and not against any particular community or region.

It has further talked about "hot pursuit" without actually applying its mind on what the consequences of such a misadventure can be.

The BJP’s own track record in dealing with terrorist situations has been both dismal and appaling. The most glaring example of how the BJP handled acts of terrorism is evident from the manner in which it had dealt with the hijacking of the Indian Airlines aircraft to Kandhaar.

Not only did then foreign minister Jaswant Singh travel all the way with some of the most dreaded terrorists (who later masterminded the attack on Parliament) but also gave them huge amounts of money. The story is that the government appeared to be more concerned in securing the release of Roberto Giondi, the world currency king who was on the plane as also a top US operative, rather than the safety of Indian passengers.

Similarly, the BJP had totally failed when it came to protecting the Parliament which was saved by some valiant policemen on duty. The then leader of Opposition Sonia Gandhi had called up Vajpayee to inquire about his safety and  not indulged in any immature criticism. Again during the Akshardham attack in Gandhi Nagar, the security forces had suffered unnecessary casualties because the government was unable to handle the situation properly.

And so far as governance goes, even Vajpayee, who later looked the other way, had advised Narendra Modi to follow the tenets of governance after the Gujarat riots.

The NDA regime is already being accused of destroying India's security and intelligence apparatus and the BJP should realise that Indians have to face terror with a united face instead of indulging in jingoism to exploit the situation politically.

One wonders why leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani's comment -- that it was not the time to attack the Centre -- was overlooked by his party.

Are they not with him or is there more than what meets the eye?

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