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Duty evaded

Editorial |

For once there is reason to appreciate a politically- aimed action by the Delhi Police. It intervened to put an end to mischief that ought to have been thwarted by the leadership of the Congress party ~ the burning of a 16-headed effigy bearing images of the Prime Minister, Chief Minister of Delhi, locally-elected BJP members of Parliament etc.

Since the “plan” had been announced by a local Congress activist, neither Rahul Gandhi nor the advisors of the party president can honestly profess ignorance, and that the DPCC chief (a palace favourite) has slammed the cops’ intervention only confirms the move was conceived with malice aforethought.

This cannot be attributed to any attempt by the party to paint itself in “soft-Hindutva” hues, rather it confirms its seeking to emulate its arch-rival in stooping low in the quest for political advantage. Mani Shankar Aiyar must be wondering where he had blundered when calling Narendra Modi ‘neech’: for which he had been suspended (temporarily) from the Congress. Perhaps in Rahul’s reckoning the street-fighting capacity of Ajay Maken counts for more than for Aiyar’s supposedly-sophisticated brand of invective: unlike his father who always favoured the public school, Oxbridge types.

At the best of times burning somebody’s effigy is cheap: a mutli-headed effigy at Dussehra has a context of it own. Nehru, Indira, Rajiv and Sonia have participated in Ramlila celebrations, but never had those festivities been given the lowly political complexion to which the DPCC has reduced them. It is now a moot point of what represents good or evil.

The BJP’s allegation that Rahul’s Hindu credentials are dubious would appear to stand confirmed by what was planned near Shyam Lal College. Already stretched to their limits with crowd control duties at the hundreds of Dussehra and Durga Puja activities, the last thing any sensible person would have wanted was a politically-triggered outbreak of violence ~ neither BJP nor AAP activists would have taken kindly to an effigy of their leader being burned.

Rahul could have read the riot act to the DPCC, instead he abdicated responsibility ~ now endemic across the political spectrum. To add insult to injury the DPCC chief accused the police of “suppression and strangulation” of the democratic right to protest.

“Whether PM or CM, if they work like Ravana their effigies would be torched”, Maken told reporters, and hailed his party’s “Ravana Dhan’ as part of its ongoing “Nyay Yudh” against the court-directed sealing drive in the city ~ whether in Delhi or Sabarimala judicial directives are being countered by politically- fuelled mobs.

“The BJP government at the Centre and the ruling AAP in Delhi have completely failed to find a solution to the problems faced by the people,” said Maken. A sidekick added that effigies would be torched in all Delhi Assembly constituencies from October 25 onward. Will Rahul join the inexpensive “fun”?