By Sapan Kapoor
The crude and unacceptable remarks of former Indian army chief and Minister of State for External Affairs General V K Singh on the brutal murder of two Dalit children who were burnt alive have left many a people speechless and shocked.
When asked to give his reaction on the ghastly incident in Haryana’s Faridabad wherein two Dalit children were burnt alive allegedly by members of an upper caste community, Singh said,
“When someone throws stones at a dog, the government cannot be blamed.”
Singh, however, later slammed the media for ‘misquoting’ him again. Here’s a look at some of the reactions on his remarks.
Aghast at the senseless comment made by some BJP leaders including Union Minister on tragic Dalit killings in Haryana
— Nitish Kumar (@NitishKumar) October 22, 2015
VK Singh’s statement is shameful and prosecutable under SC/ST Act. A case should be registered against him immediately(1/4) — Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 22, 2015
Agar Modiji sach mein Dusshera manana chahte hai to unko apne cabinet ko burai aur AHANKAAR se mukt karna chahiye(3/4)
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 22, 2015
Aaj shaam se pehle, VK Singh ko Cabinet se bahar nikaal dena chahiye(4/4) — Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) October 22, 2015
— Omar Abdullah (@abdullah_omar) October 22, 2015
देश में ये सब क्या हो रहा है? माना कि ज़ुबान में हड्डी नहीं होती पर मोदी के मंत्रियों की ये बदजुबानी देश की रीढ़ की हड्डी को तोड़ रही है — Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) October 22, 2015
Alas, ever since this government has come to power, such off-the-cuff, controversial statements by leading ministers and politicians seem to have become the norm. It’s a new ‘normal’ for the Indian society.
Be it Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti’s ‘Haramzada’ remark in Delhi against Muslim community, Union Minister Mahesh Sharma calling Dadri lynching incident a mere ‘accident’, Giriraj Singh asking all detractors of PM Modi to be shifted to Pakistan, the political discourse in India sees a new low every day.
And then people wonder why PM Modi does not crack the whip and pull up his party’s bad boys. In my view, he is simply not in a position to do it considering his own questionable past record in this regard.
In 2013, during his whirlwind election campaign, when PM Modi was asked by Reuters in an interview if he felt any regret for what happened in 2002, he replied by saying,
“Another thing, any person if we are driving a car, we are a driver, and someone else is driving a car and we’re sitting behind, even then if a puppy comes under the wheel, will it be painful or not? Of course it is. If I’m a chief minister or not, I’m a human being. If something bad happens anywhere, it is natural to be sad.”
I am in no way implying that both PM Modi and V K Singh deliberately drew puppy analogy to insult Muslims and Dalits. They have indeed clarified that despite all the evidence on the record they were misquoted by media which seemed to be pursuing an agenda against them.
It might as well be true. After all the journalists like me are also human beings and can commit mistakes. I, however, fail to understand what is it that compels the BJP leaders to make such offensive remarks time and again. After Niranjan Jyoti’s offensive statement against Muslims, PM Modi sought to defend her in the Parliament saying that she should be forgiven considering her rural background.
People ought to be judged through their words and actions, for we are what we do, say or write. Therefore, a hatemonger cannot claim to be a saint or called a sadhvi, if his/her only job is to hurt people through their words, no matter what cloak they adorn to hide the evil inside them.
Therefore, if our honorable leaders do not wish be misquoted by the journalists like me, instead of running their mouths they had better keep their mouths shut as a precautionary measure.
Dear V K Singh, please avoid using words like ‘kutta’ while talking on the sensitive issues like burning alive of two Dalit children, if you do not wish to be ‘misunderstood’. For that is not only simply being politically incorrect, but being inhuman. The minister should know better.