Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan delivered his address at the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday. As you would expect, his speech was full of absurdities, lies and exaggerations about India. And a comical attempt to position the pauper nation of Pakistan as a savior of Muslims across the world.
But as distasteful as it is to admit, he did manage to squeeze in one factually correct remark.
Imran Khan recalled the time when Congress Home Minister said that the RSS was running terror training camps. Here are his exact words.
As much as we may hate to admit this, the fact is that he is quoting Sushil Kumar Shinde correctly and in context. As Home Minister in the UPA-2 government, Shinde did actually say this at Jaipur in 2013.
Hope the Congress is proud today. Their pandering to vote bank politics has shamed India in front of the whole world. There is no doubt that this highly irresponsible remark from Sushil Shinde will be quoted and re-quoted and cited for generations to come.
What else do we expect from Imran Khan. He is the Prime Minister of an enemy nation. When India’s Home Minister says that India’s largest opposition party is a terrorist organization, of course the enemies of the country will seize on it with great delight.
Why would the enemy listen to our excuses? Why will they see the reality of what happened in 2013? That India’s ruling party of sixty years was facing electoral disaster, buried under scams and economic collapse. That as a last ditch desperate measure, they decided to label their political opponents as ‘terrorist.’ Why would the enemy show us that understanding or cut us any slack? Of course they wouldn’t. They will do what suits them, not us.
This is why a Home Minister should choose their words carefully. A party that has ruled for sixty years should have some sense of responsibility. Some sense of history. And if it is not too much to ask, some grace.
All political parties come to an end one day. The Congress is at the end of its political road. The nation will remain. The Congress will not. But the nation will be stuck forever with these words of Sushil Shinde. Our enemies will continue to mock us with it.
The opposition in any democracy is as much a part of the system as the ruling party. The BJP was the largest opposition party in 2013. It had Chief Ministers in major states, hundreds of elected MPs and MLAs. Over several decades, almost half of India’s population had lived in a BJP ruled state at some point or the other. The BJP had even produced a Prime Minister who ran the country for six whole years: he had his finger on the button that controls India’s nuclear arsenal.
So when Shinde was calling the BJP a terrorist organization, he was not smearing just BJP. He was smearing the nation. He was saying that there are terrorists who are occupying and have occupied the highest constitutional offices in India. He was essentially calling India itself a terrorist state.
When India’s Home Minister goes on record to say something so outrageous, how can you expect our enemies not to seize on it?
And so an irresponsible remark from Shinde, made in political pettiness and desperation, has gone global. And will likely remain so.
The irony is: there is no Congress left today that we can demand answers from them. The party is scheduled to vanish over the next few years. The remarks from Shinde will remain on record, though.
Oh and just where were India’s celebrity “dissenters” when these remarks were made in 2013? Today, if the Indian government moves to designate some “activist” somewhere as “anti-national,” we have a liberal crowd that swoops in to defend them. With songs about the glory of “dissent.” Where were these people when Congress Party in 2013 conveniently labelled their biggest opposition as ‘terrorists’?
One more thing. Have you noticed that while Pakistan fought and lost three big wars to India at the time of Congress governments, Pakistan rarely shows any bitterness to Congress? Their anger is always directed at RSS and BJP.
Ever wondered why? What does that tell you about how Pakistan thinks about its conflict with India?
Dear Congress, we are all in this together as Indians. We always were. Perhaps you didn’t understand this in 2013. And as India’s politics unfolds in the coming years, you will probably never again get a chance to make amends.