The Home Minister tweeted on the terror attack as follows:
“The people of Kashmir have strongly condemned the terror attack on Amarnath yatris. It shows the spirit of Kashmiriyat is very much alive.”
One of the many responses was from Shuchi Singh Kalra. She tweeted:
“Who gives a f*** about the spirit of Kashmiriyat at this moment? It’s not your job to placate. Just drag those cowards out and cull them.”
There were many other tweets giving the same message – some even more strongly worded than Shuchi ji’s. But her’s was the one that the Home Minister responded to. His tweet was:
“Ms Kalra I certainly do. It is absolutely my job to ensure peace & tranquility in all parts of the country. All Kashmiris are not terrorists,”
Clearly the Home Minister has not cared to appreciate the essence of Shuchi ji’s tweet. She is saying ‘at the moment’, and not forever. She has also said that his job is not to placate the terrorists or their supporters. And she is asking that the cowards (meaning the terrorists) should be eliminated. Her language is indeed very strong.
But is this not the language that the Home Minister would have used when he was in the opposition? Clearly, the Home Minister has shot the messenger and ignored the message. And the message is what the BJP has used to seek votes from its support base.
The worst part of the response from the Home Minister is the allegation that Shuchi ji is saying that ALL Kashmiris are terrorists. One does not know where in the tweet Shuchi ji has even mentioned this. She has said that the cowards should be dealt with. And even the apologists for the separatists in the Kashmir Valley have termed the terrorists who undertook the act as cowards.
In this case, everyone would do well to remember that Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, noted commentator on Arab and Islamic issues, said: “It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims.” This was in 2006, and still applies with equal measure today.
The Home Minister is expected to maintain a decorum in his language and idiom, and not say the same things when he was in the opposition. Often a government official has limitations about not being able to be frank. At the same time, when the official indulges in being economical with the truth, then great harm can be caused to society. It would be best if he/she just keeps quiet.
It has to be noted that the present government has taken many effective steps to handle terrorism – be it in the name of Islam or Marxism. The support base of the government is fully appreciative of these efforts, and also notices that these steps have achieved considerable results. The support base knows that once in a while the terrorists will not be caught before they can conduct their act of cowardice and will kill innocent people. As they say, the terrorists can be lucky once, while the government has to be lucky all the time.
There are some members in the present government who seem to be wanting (in the words of Swapan Dasgupta) a certificate of secularism from the people whom they have called pseudo-secularists in the past. They should not test the patience of the BJP support base.
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