A Wholly Unnecessary Controversy

A wholly unnecessary controversy has been created over Navjot Singh Sidhu’s visit to Pakistan, accepting the invitation of his former cricket buddy Imran Khan to attend the latter’s swearing in ceremony. Sidhu is a minister in the Congress Government of Punjab. But his visit to Pakistan was purely private and personal; he did not go there as a representative of either the Congress party or the Punjab Government. But such is the atmosphere of intolerance prevailing in the country that a mountain has been made out of a molehill. His visit has been decried because Pakistan is continuing terror attacks on India. His embracing the Pak army chief has been condemned as an insult to our armed forces. Rahul Gandhi is being asked day in and day out to give an ‘explanation’ for Sidhu’s visit.
Those who are raising this hue and cry over the Sidhu visit are conveniently forgetting that in December, 2015, Prime Minister Modi made a surprise trip to Lahore to attend the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s granddaughter’s wedding. And he went there uninvited. Fulsome praise was showered on Modi by his party men and supporters for this gesture of goodwill and as an earnest of India’s desire to have peace with Pakistan. Had the Pakistan then become less hostile to India? Or stopped terror attacks on India?  Were Indo-Pak relations any different from what they are today?  Did Modi visit Lahore in his personal capacity and not as the Prime Minister of India?  Certainly not. Then why this hullabaloo over Sidhu’s visit?
Obviously this whole controversy has been created with a view to the coming elections. The Congress being the main political adversary of the ruling party, it must be ruthlessly attacked, its patriotism questioned and it must be held responsible for the failure of the present government to keep its electoral promises to the people, for its failure to deliver practically on every front – from holding the price line to stopping the steady fall of the rupee against the dollar. The more the failures become obvious to the people, the shriller is the campaign of vituperation against the Congress. On one hand the BJP says the Congress is a down-and-out party, on the way to its extinction. Soon enough India will be Congress-mujkt. On the other hand the same down-and-out party is being made out to be the biggest adversary. The people are amused by the Janus face of the ruling party.

Wednesday, 22 August, 2018