Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dr. Vedik's case, disply of double standards by BJP.

Recent meeting between Dr. Ved Pratap Vedik (known to be close to Baba Ramdev, BJP and RSS) and 26/11 terrorist attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed created lot of controversy and uproar in Indian media and political circles. This event was heavily politicized just because of involvement of above mentioned organizations and people and that's what made media to cover this very extensively. I personally feel that as a reporter Dr. Vedik has total right to meet anyone and conduct interview, this view was expressed by almost everyone involved in discussion of this subject. But he should tell for which news paper or magazine or channel he conducted this interview? Where did he publish it so that people can know the contents of that interview? Is he active journalist, if yes, associated with which journal? He was part of some delegation when he visited Pakistan, I assume that this delegation must have got Indian government's permission to visit Pakistan as Pakistan is not like any other country where any Indian can go and visit without going through rigorous process. So did he inform anyone from the delegation about his plans to conduct this so called interview? It will be also interesting to know who sponsored his trip to the residence of Hafiz? This guy Hafiz Saeed is internationally wanted terrorist, more than one countries have included him in their list of most wanted, he is accused of carrying our major terrorist attacks on India which killed hundreds of people. If Dr. Vedik was aware of all these facts then he also must have aware of the repercussions of this meeting in India, so what was his real purpose to take the interview of this person? Why did he publish photo of his meeting before publishing the interview? He needs to give satisfactory answers to all these questions.

Another interesting angle to this issue was created by the response of current Indian government headed by BJP, for some reason they responded by defending Dr. Vedik's actions indirectly (by not condemning it). This is the same party which reacted very aggressively when Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik shared stage with same fellow in 2013. They demanded strong action against him (like revoking his passport and arresting him), but they didn't say same things about Dr. Vedik. Dr. Vedik also gave one interview to some Pakistani newspaper or channel in which he clearly talked about possibility of granting independence to Kashmir. As far as I am concerned I have no problems with his personal views about any issue. He has full right to say whatever he feels is right (total freedom of expression), he should be able to share his views without worrying about violent reactions of anybody in any civilized society. But it seems BJP and its supporters don't believe in existence of such society, and I am saying this based on some of their reactions to such statements in past. Many times in past they tried to vandalize homes, public buildings or even attack people who made any controversial statements related with Kashmir or said anything which doesn't align with their stand on any sensitive issue. Their silence in this case was a total (pleasant) surprise (for me). It is not that I would have liked their violent reactions but I am surprised to see that they base their reaction based on who is making the statement but not the content of statement itself. So it seems for them the person who is making the statement is more important not the content of the statement. If the person is from their party or supporter of their party or someone close to their associates (which Dr. Vedik is) then it is fine if they say anything but same courtesy is not offered to other individuals (recent example of Mr. Prashant Bhushan must be very fresh in people's memory). Even close aids of prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi who was well known for his fire brand speeches and promised zero negotiation policy with terrorists is keeping mum on this issue.

It is really sad to see such a blatant display of double standards by BJP. If they believe in total freedom of expression it is really a great news and I congratulate them for this. But they should show it in their behavior towards everyone irrespective of their party affiliations or political ideologies not only for selected individuals because then it is called double standards or hypocrisy. Surprisingly they are doing this type of things when they have no pressure of coalition politics (this excuse was offered by Congress on many occasions) they have absolute majority on their own in parliament. They should know that people judge you based on how you judge people who you love, not people who don't love. It is easy to be harsh and critical about people from opposition party or other people not related with you but when person from your own group does something serious and you keep mum or rather try to justify his/her actions then you portray yourself in very poor light. This is what BJP is doing in last few days whether it is issue of bringing ordinance to hire one particular person their prime minister want as principal secretary or this particular one. Their attitude is same like Congress which used to justify each and every action of their leaders in past. I hope BJP soon realizes their mistake as they have long way to go in this term, these are just initial days of their new government so I hope that they will take necessary corrective measures not to repeat these type of mistakes. If not then we all know what happened to Congress same thing will happen to them sooner or later.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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