Overreactions are the new analyses. So it is that one comment by Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik has been described as a "blow to Indo-Pak relationship".
This reveals more about us - that for fake diplomacy we will reuse a comparison that we say should not have been made. How convenient it is. Here is what Mr. Malik said:
"We don't want any 9/11, we don't want any Mumbai bomb blast (attacks), we don't want any Samjhauta Express blast and we don't want Babri masjid issue."
We don't want Pakistan to meddle in our affairs, but why the rage? Don't we talk about minorities in Pakistan? Why, we even discuss Balochistan. The minister has subsequently clarified:
"When I spoke of Babri, I never compared it with terror acts. What I said is that we do not want ugly incidents..."
I don't agree with him. My problem is that anything coming from Pakistan about issues to do with Indian Muslims makes it difficult for the latter. We don't need Pakistan to solve our problems, but we don't lead isolated existences. The US rakes up 26/11 on its 'do India' time. Why does it interfere in what is our problem? It uses it for its 'war on terror' narrative.
I'd also like to state in clear terms that the post demolition riots were an act of terror. On what grounds, do we make a difference? Only because our own people did it, does it become a lesser crime?
- - -
Now that Bal Thackeray is no more, should his legacy be killed? I ask this with reference to drop cases against him in the post-Babri Masjid demolition riots, as well as the active participation of Shiv Sainiks in the kar seva and the act, something their leader was proud of on record.
An IPS officer quoted in TOI said: "The CBI has informally approached the Mumbai police for this purpose. We are expecting a written communication from the CBI in a day or two. We will certainly provide them with the relevant documents."
The relevant documents are the death certificate and not reports of incitement.
The others who participated in the crime are alive. Since the CBI has woken up, can it pursue those 20-year-old cases? It is rather impudent that it openly seeks closing of a case against one respondent who is dead, whereas families of several dead people await justice.
But then, when has justice been top priority, especially when we talk about holy cows?
- - -
If one 'legacy' is sought to be scotched, another is being forcibly kept alive.
"If they mind their business, the Indian Army will mind its own." This is what an officer said about preparations for Vijay Diwas at Shivaji Park.
Why does the army have to even talk to the Shiv Sena? The party is refusing to vacate the space and has put a couple of hundred workers on vigil. Newspapers report that there is concern about a midnight coup to dismantle what was meant to be a temporary funeral stage and not a memorial. This is illegal occupation of land. The state government does not need to use sly tactics. It can legally remove the structure.
The latest news is gratifying. The Shiv Sena has agreed to remove the makeshift structure. We are a nation that creates shrines everywhere. Bal Thackeray, whatever be one's political stance towards him, was a leader revered by many. However, a memorial to him is not a national concern. His party has every right to commemorate him, but it needs to do so with government sanction.
It is a bit surprising they wanted the place itself named after Balasaheb. Whatever happened to their fealty towards Chhatrapati Shivaji? Wasn't their leader a huge admirer who, in fact, mimicked the Maratha king?
Uddhav Thackeray, his son and leader of the Sena had better not fall into the trap of old tactics. The lure of demagogues only works until the rally ends. These days, such excitement cannot work as more than retail therapy.