V K Singh’s puppy analogy: What’s wrong with our leaders?

VK Singh
MoS External affairs General VK Singh

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.

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.