The problem with these educated politicians is that they think they are being clever and don’t realise that those quotes they bark out could bite them.
Why is everyone so chuffed about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Shakespearean reference? This came about at the final session of the 83rd AICC plenary when he said he was ready to face questions by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the 2G spectrum probe:
“I wish to state categorically that I have nothing to hide from the public at large and as a proof of my bona fides, I intend to write to chairman of the PAC (Public Accounts Committee) that I shall be happy to appear before the PAC if it chooses to ask me to do so. I sincerely believe that like Caesar’s wife, the Prime Minister should be above suspicion.”
Aye, aye, sire. Forsooth thou forgeteth the dark shadow of seduction. Caesar Sonia had already laid the ground by emphasising Dr (Pompeia) Singh’s strengths, but King Julius had divorced his wife despite her not being implicated because “Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion”. He did not want her to be paraded before a committee. He struck before that and pre-empted any doubts and stood up for probity, instead of getting the linen washed in public to prove there were no stains.
To mix my Bard a bit, the PM ought to have chosen Macbeth’s wife and merely uttered, “Out, damned spot”. For, the blood may be illusory but the swift murder of integrity haunts.
There is still time for the Ides of March and the elections.
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Et tu Brute?
And while we are at it, is Digvijay stabbing the Congress in the back with his kindness? I am afraid that even though I agree with his views on the RSS and saffron terror, he may land in big trouble for pushing it:
"The RSS in the garb of its nationalist ideology is targetting Muslims the same way Nazis targetted Jews in the 1930s.”
It is obvious to anybody that he could not possibly be literal. The RSS and the rest of the Hindutva parties have often expressed their admiration for Hitler; they use the swastika as their symbol and they also have the same form of salute. They believe in the supremacy of culture as seen from the majoritarian point of view and their dream is a Ram Rajya.
However, it is a known fact that the Jews are touchy about their suffering under the Nazis and also very possessive about it. Immediately after Digvijay’s statement, an Israel embassy spokesperson said:
“Without entering the political debate, no comparison can be made with the Nazi Holocaust in which six million Jews were massacred solely because they were Jewish.”
Of course, the numbers and the manner of those killings were horrendous. But, I do not see why the reference should cause the embassy such a problem. Is it because the people compared here happen to be Muslim and they have a huge baggage with regards to Palestine, which is now seen as a Muslim issue? Why this need to hold on to their tragedy as though such cruelty inflicted on them is to be patented?
With this overt protest, the Congress party could be in a spot. It is not dealing with Holocaust memories or the Israeli embassy or even Israel; it is dealing with the United States of America. Deep shit. Don’t forget that following the Mumbai attack of 26/11 in which the Jewish Chabad House was one of the targets, by an ‘Islamist’ group it may be emphasised, we have become extremely cautious. Had you ever seen Jews distributing sweets on Hanukah before, that too outside the Gateway of India? This year you did. It is the Obama-Israel-Manmohan triangle that will be at work. We have to consider the nuclear deal, the fight against terror and the global economy.
"Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't."