Intolerance is proving carcinogenic, contagious, and literally “cuts across party lines”. The Congress leadership in general, Rahul Gandhi in particular, have surrendered the moral authority to point accusing fingers ~ at the BJP, Shiv Sena et al ~ after opting for silence over their own lumpen elements creating difficulties for Madhur Bhandarkar’s Indu Sarkar.
Even if there is cause to quibble over the claim that the film is 70 per cent fiction, and the Emergency serves essentially as a backdrop, the Congress leadership has shown scant respect for the repeated calls for a liberal, tolerant society from the outgoing President among others.
Surely the Sonia-Rahul duo do not reject the views of one of the most accomplished leaders of their party ~ or are they confirming the charge that the Nehru-Gandhi family is “untouchable” in the perception of 10 Janpath and 24 Akbar Road? Does the party leadership deny the Emergency of 1975-77 and the controversial role (to put it mildly) of Indira Gandhi and her upstart son, Sanjay?
Numerous articles and books have been written on what is widely accepted as the darkest chapter of Indian democracy, the investigations/findings of the Shah Commission authenticate what none had dared raise their voice about during that period of infamy ~ hence trying to black out a film that does not project that era in flattering light (in the Congress’ eyes) is a futile, pathetic attempt at re-writing history.
Or does the embarrassment continue to linger, constitute a smear that cannot be erased ~ not even after an apology from Indira? The issue is not what took place when “civil liberties were suspended so that the trains ran on time”, but the shameless manner in which the riffraff is now being permitted to prevent the public from being reminded of a grim period in our history.
Questions that can never be answered satisfactorily are now being “ducked” by silencing the questioner: with the tacit approval of the Congress president and vice-president.
“Can I have my freedom of expression” is the valid poser from Bhandarkar to Rahul ~ it is a question so many others are asking to those who wield any kind of authority: authority that is exercised only selectively it must be said.
The Central Board of Film Certification has asked for the words “RSS” and “Akali” to be deleted from Indu Sarkar, very benign when contrasted with its “beep” orders on the Amartya Sen documentary. Or the “scissors” it sought to apply on Lipstick under my burqha.
Two points, or at least two, stand re-confirmed: the thin-skinned political leadership is devoid of the courage and culture to “face” the past or learn from shortcomings that history reveals ~ and that our leaders hold the Indian people in such low esteem that they deny them the elementary right to make their own value judgments.