The Congress, as always, is undecided what to do about a minority minister who has done little but asked a question that is all over the net in what can be described as alternative news sites. How did Hemant Karkare and the others with him die? It is a simple question, but so far the authorities have been amazingly unclear about the answer. The result is that while the question might have fed into the various conspiracy theories that are being forwarded by otherwise sane persons, it actually stands alone as a question of justice. How did he die? Who informed him of the terror attack? Why did he and the other senior officers all decide to get into one vehicle along with four ---or was it five---constables and head in the same direction? How is it that one constable survived? The terrorists reportedly used the same car to move on. How is it that in the burst of fire that killed at least seven persons inside that car, it was still in a condition to move? And did the terrorists throw out the bodies, if so where exactly? The questions are basic questions that should have been asked by the crime reporters on the job, but obviously that part of the chapter has been deliberately closed with just copious tears being shed for the 'brave' officers without any investigation into how they actually died. This is not to say that the terrorists did not kill them. This is to say that most probably they did, but how. The police story does not stand muster, so what are they hiding.
Those gunning for Antulay's head will have to admit that for once in his life the Maharashtra politician has shown some courage. He has not only asked the question, but he has stood by it instead of apologizing profusely to Sonia Gandhi and the nation for the 'embarassment' he has caused the party and the government. The Congress, of course, now does not know whether to own or disown him. Judging from Digvijay Singh's remarks it has decided not to act against him for the moment, although it will not be premature to say that he will be persona non grata at all party functions.
Dissent is a fundamental right in a democracy. The right to free speech and expression ensures this. It is therefore, really a sad commentary on the intolerance that has crept into the system that whenever any one speaks outside the line set by the government of the day and its pliant media, he or she is immediately pilloried as a traitor, as an anti national, as communal. Adjectives are hurled by these supposed custodians of India's nationhood at a moment's notice, with no effort being made to understand the reasons for the doubts expressed, and the questions asked.
The Front Page is carrying two stories today, one of a Muslim techie being arrested for being the son of a leader who had been rallying public opinion in Azamgarh against the Batla house encounter in the Okhla area in New Delhi. The other is of how the police plants evidence to arrest the innocent. If true, these are pointers to the rot in the system and any sensitive government will intervene to release the innocent, and pull up the police and the administration for subverting the law. Instead those seeking to draw attention to the injustice will be placed in the dock, and made to answer not just by the government but by a belligerent media just how they dared to question the system, the establishment and worse still, the ruling elite. This will not strengthen India, but weaken her secular and democratic foundation.
*Just bringing the site http://thefrontpage.in to your notice. Currently has the latest on the terror laws passed by parliament.*