“Tera kya hoga, kaaliya?”
That line from Sholay is what comes to mind listening to Rajnath Singh’s ‘apology’. The antics of politicians never fail to amuse but BJP is giving full value for money. First come the senile prattling – ‘Hindus must have at least 5 children’ – ‘We will give shelter to Hindu Bangladeshis but Muslims are infiltrators and must be deported’ – and other gems. Then comes along Rajnath Singh, apparently in Damage Control Mode, saying that he (BJP or him personally?) is prepared to bow his head to Muslims IF (and only IF) they have done anything wrong. That is the most creative apology that I have heard in a long time. So I thought I would share some thoughts on this.
Which one of BJP’s dirty deeds was Rajnath Singh apologizing for? Muzaffarnagar? Gujarat? Babri? pic.twitter.com/O5McjMpi5Y
— Truth Of Gujarat (@TruthOfGujarat) February 26, 2014
1. Firstly, we must differentiate between a mistake and a crime. What happened in Gujarat was a premeditated crime. Not a mistake. An apology, even a genuine one, has no standing in our Criminal Justice System for such a crime. Crimes must be punished. It is as simple as that.
2. Secondly, what Rajnath Singh proposed is not an apology at all because in any apology the first requirement is admission of guilt. He is reported to have said, ‘IF WE DID ANYTHING WRONG…..’ That is not an admission of guilt at all. Did they do wrong or didn’t they?
3. Thirdly, what happened in Gujarat is a fact – that 2000+ Indian citizens were murdered. It is now for the State to investigate the crime and bring the perpetrators to book according to the IPC/CRPC. That is why we have a Police Service and a Criminal Code. Where is the question of any apology taking the place of the Criminal Code? The same is true in the case of the Sikh pogrom in Delhi and elsewhere after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. In that case also, the criminals are walking free while those who were bereaved, lives destroyed and homes desolated – are still crying for justice. Only that. Justice as citizens of India – not Sikhs. Just citizens of India.
4. Fourthly, we need to stop talking about Muslims and Sikhs and Christians as if they are anything special. We are a secular democratic Republic according to our Constitution which is the Supreme Authority of this land. According to that Constitution, a citizen of this country is entitled to the same rights and is liable to fulfill the same duties as any other citizen, IRRESPECTIVE of his/her religion or ideological beliefs. So let us talk about crime and punishment and not about the religion of the victim or criminal. That makes no difference to the seriousness of the crime.
Salman Khurshid on Rajnath Singh’s apology: We are one country. Why is he apologizing to Muslims? He should apologise to the nation.
— EconomicTimes (@EconomicTimes) February 26, 2014
5. Fifthly, we have every faith in the Legal System of this country and only demand that it be used properly and fairly. Let the police investigate what happened and bring the criminals to book and let the courts pass sentence and let it be carried out. That is what the Legal System is supposed to do. Any Government or political party which opposes that is opposing the Constitution of India.
6. Sixthly, we have no faith in Rajnath Singh or his party and this suspicion was amply supported by his non-statement and its prompt refutation by the BJP spokesperson. When their promises can’t even last 24 hours, what hope that they will be honored post-election? Amnesia seems to be a common problem of the BJP.
Is it such a difficult thing for justice to be done? Is it such a crime to ask for justice?
That is all we – the citizens of India – ask. DO JUSTICE.
By Mirza Yawar Baig