Over a month ago, one of the ministers in the current Indian cabinet said, “desh ke gaddaron ko” with the crowds completing the sentence with “goli maaro saalon ko”(shoot the traitors, is a loose translation). Touché!! This brought out the ire of many of the opposition leaders, not the least of which (who?) was the MP from Hyderabad. The MP told the minister he’d meet with him and asked the minister to shoot him!! What the minister, Anurag Thakur said made sense in that, anyone who had treacherous designs should be shot and that happens to be what the armed forces do to traitors. The intent in stating the obvious was obviously lost on these leaders. Or, did the MP think he was being labeled a traitor? Opposition to current policies don’t make a person a traitor. It’s only applicable when someone goes to bat for the enemy. Does the MP think he did that? I’m one of his biggest critics but am not sure he did anything that can be termed treacherous! So why would he oppose what Minister Thakur said? That discussion, although not at the forefront, is still doing the rounds in Delhi.
People have been reacting to this in many different ways, with some asking that the minister be removed while others are lauding the minister. Social media, the hub for rumors and gossip, has obviously been lit up with reactions. People seem to be of the opinion, that most countries shoot civilians who are believed to be traitors! Unfortunately, that opinion is not true, except in a handful of countries, China leading that group. Post 1947, no Indian civilian has ever faced the death sentence for treason, but then, no one has been found treacherous, at least in court.
Before we start implicating people, lets clearly understand what treason is. The Webster dictionary defines treason as “the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family”. In the case of the MP from Hyderabad, none of this holds up. Yes, he wants the current PM gone, but so does the ENTIRE opposition.
The current CM of Delhi comes closest to treason when he wilfully courted the enemy by asking for proof that the Indian armed forces had caused damage to the enemies! This after what can only be called an act of extremist cowardice! But, even he seems to enjoy the confidence of the people of his “state”. Whether, or not, that’s because of all the freebies is up for debate. The chief minister of West Bengal also has courted treason by openly stating that she wouldn’t enforce what is a law. Whatever opposition one may have, to openly state that (s)he wouldn’t enforce a law is openly courting treason. With these examples showcasing what is an oppostion norm, and getting away with it, does the MP from Hyderabad think anything remotely close to a shooting would happen. What the minister said is a rallying cry and should be treated as such. To read anything more into this would open a can of worms that would leave the opposition squirming uneasily. An example is the former PM’S statement that “Muslims have first claim on India’s resources” (Times of India, Dec 9, 2006) or an old one from another former PM, ” when a big tree falls, the earth shakes” justifying the carnage that took place in 1984, killing 3000 innocent Sikhs. There are many such doozies, so lets not go reading too much into what the minister said.
What the country should be outraged at, but isn’t, is an education system that is antiquated and needs a kick in the rear. What the country needs to be outraged at, but again isn’t, is a systematic degradation of the country’s natural resources. What the country needs to be outraged at, but will never be, is the woeful state of a majority of the existing temples. The people have become desensitized to the problems mentioned above. I’m not sure whether to call it insensitive or just plain callousness, but this attitude is what probably did the Greek culture in! Before our culture follows suit, let’s hope we come to our senses.
उत्तिष्ठ भारत। जय माँ भारती