Procrastination : A Remedy For All Problems

The ruckus over Tharoor’s “Interlocutor” remark has hit headlines again. The minister has irked and embarrassed his party with such relentless regularity that expecting him to remain politically correct is a fallacy. But interestingly all the controversy his statements have raked up is centered around usage of dialect and it has now reached a crescendo when he sought to point out the difference between “Mediator” and “Interlocutor” in his defense. Interpreting his sound bytes and twitter messages has gotten critics to dig deep into intricacies of English language and the media is feeling insulted at the hint that his language is not being understood. So, here’s a minister who seemingly reminds us of his sound literary grounding time and again, having authored several books. This is a contrast of sorts, since majority of Indian politicians are incoherent while articulating their views.

In all fairness, overturning the foreign policy decision, of having no third party intervention in addressing issues concerning Pakistan and dealing with them only in the bilateral realm, is a gross violation. India asking Saudi Arabia to exert their influence on Pakistan to stop cross border terrorism could be termed as going an extra mile in ironing out problems with its neighbour. On the other hand, the slightest overture of involving a third country to intervene and mediate even through inappropriate usage of spoken word can spell trouble. Ironically, foreign policy issues are being deciphered on the basis of semantics. Despite several slip ups and receiving flak from opposition for his comments, congress just decides to bury the hatchet by expressing displeasure over the matter. Isn’t it time to clip the wings of partymen who rake up a controversy at the drop of a hat and show them the door?

The party’s attitude of dragging its feet is just not restricted to Tharoor’s conduct but applies to matters as grave as terrorism emanating from across the border. A case in point would be the wavering stance adopted over JUD’s war cry against India. They decided to go ahead with foreign secretary level talks with Pakistan on the premise that some progress on terror has taken place and no engagement whatsoever would further hinder the peace agenda. When the bugle of jihad blew over the streets of Lahore in the form of a huge rally, the external affairs ministry chose to give it a deaf ear stating that rhetoric by likes of Hafiz Saeed should not be given much importance. But, why is India then insisting on his captivity and holds him as prime conspirator of 26/11 when his speeches are to be brushed aside. Then, leading up to the talks, Pune witnessed a terror strike which was being seen as preceded by specific warning by JUD’s top brass. Subsequent to the German bakery attack, there was again an echo that India should not fall prey to attempts by vested interests aimed at derailing the ensuing dialogue.

As expected, the talks were reduced to mere farce with Pakistani delegation making strong statements and referring to Indian dossiers as piece of literature rather than treating those as proof of their complicity. Both countries addressing press conferences separately resulted in contradictory details emerging with respect to primary focus of discussion. The neighbour claiming Kashmir was touched upon in great detail while the Indian contingent downplayed the same and stressed on having made demands for dismantling terror infrastructure and clamping down on overt acts of perpetrating violence. In the backdrop of events that played out in last year and a half, Congress must have realized the fact that dialogue and diplomacy with Pakistan would not budge them an inch. Yet, congress seems content in pursuing the same approach.

Will the menace of terrorism and troubled ties with Pakistan, ever be handled by congress regime in a manner that befits the neighbour’s shirking and obstinate ways. Perhaps, procrastination has become congress’ forte and recourse to tackling problems instead of being resolute in its stand.

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Sena’s Tirade Bites Dust

It takes bollywood stars steadfastness against Sena’s tirade to exercise the constitutional right to freedom of expression in Maratha land. That reeks of surreal democracy, the populace of this country so proudly embraces and more agonizing is ruling regimes frailty in upholding its tenets. Such is the spineless disposition of the state government that it only assures to provide cover against any disruption the Shivsainiks has vowed to unleash instead of nipping the violent steak and instincts of hooliganism in the bud that characterize them. Despite having a lot at stake commercially, Shahrukh has refrained from reaching out to Bal Thackeray or retracting his statement on non-inclusion of players from Pakistan in IPL-3 by tendering an apology. Qudos to his spirit as this precedent has garnered a lot of support in his favour from various quarters. These voices would otherwise have remained stifled, searching for a denizen who could be audacious enough to defy the wrath of lumpen elements, to echo their sentiments.

The leadership of a regional party so easily claiming propriety to an entire state on frivolous grounds of their regional identity and acting like self appointed guardians of Marathi Manoos, needs to be scoffed at. This delusion, when their outfit couldn’t even manage to secure the mandate of its people is even more bizarre and anti-national. Shouldn’t this ideology which is unconstitutional and totally converse to the principles of democracy, automatically expunge them from being part of electoral politics?

A viewpoint that Pakistan cricketers shouldn’t have been isolated from IPL-3 by franchise owners, does not make the person expressing it partisan and construed as owing allegiance to a neighboring country. Though, Shahrukh himself could not eventually include any Pak-player is another question. He elaborated his intent of doing so but the injury to player of his choice could not make it possible and thereby other viable option was exercised. Infact, aftermath of 26/11 has complicated issues and would have had some semblance of influence on the perspective of team owners viz the player’s availability factor, possibility of match disruption at certain venues and eventuality of terror attacks. Nevertheless, all franchises cited their own strategic compulsions in keeping away from Pak-players and made themselves oblivious to political posturing with Pakistan while deciding the team composition.

But why not pick on a political figure who also happens to be Home minister of India. Mr. Chidambaram on national television had articulated his displeasure on this issue and went to the extent of saying that IPL has done disservice to the sport by distancing itself from world class T-20 players. Perhaps, Sena thought him to be beyond their grasp to muscle round with or that their idiosyncrasy would not hold ground and picked on an easy target.. This way, they could prompt a two pronged attack, one on his religious identity and his vocation being the other which meant serious monetary ramifications not just for the actor but many other business associates if screening of his film is disrupted.

In a larger context, it is evident that Shiv Sena having been consecutively routed in three assembly polls is getting marginalized, with MNS further cutting into their vote bank. Bereft of any genuine issue, they are harping on misplaced nationalism and targeting the film and its protagonist, to keep themselves afloat. The fact they are ignorant of is that their bankrupt political agenda and bullying ways is alienating the masses further and would not take the party long to get decimated from the political arena if they do not do away with their blinkers.

The entire Sena-SRK plot has culminated in a manner that movies are usually scripted, with “good overcoming the evil”, but this time around the country would not feel wretched of repetitive story-line like they do for reel action. Rather, this real life magnum opus would be lapped up as a triumph of innate democratic values that ”Badshah” refused to comprise on and went around proudly proclaiming ” My Name is Khan”.