Afternoon Dispatch & Courier must be congratulated for two special reasons: One, for having the courage to report Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi'stalk in Mumbai on July 17. Few newspapers had the decency?forget courage?to report what he said. One may or may not like his politics; but he has a point to make and to dismiss him as a ?Hindutva poster boy? is in poor taste. It may be fashionable to dismiss him as communalist and fascist. We can conveniently leave opinions to an editor. Reporters should stick to reporting.
ADC reported, Samajwadi Party General Secretary, Amar Singh as protecting, Mulayam Singh who is supposed to have defended Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). Amar Singh'sreaction was: ?Government has not even found any evidence against SIMI. What is the basis to ban them?? Amar Singh wants evidence against SIMI just as Musharraf wants ?evidence? against ISI. Joke. More. According to Amar Singh ?when America didn'tissue a visa to Modi why should we allow him in Mumbai?? This is ?secularism?. We won'tfind any evidence against SIMI or ISI or Pakistan'sinvolvement in terrorism. Shri Amar Singh should invite Musharraf to Uttar Pradesh and garland him. The truth of the matter is that if there was no Godhra, Narendra Modi would hardly have been heard of. That any Indian could be proud of the fact that Narendra Modi was refused a visa by the US makes one hang one'shead in shame. George Bush is responsible for the death of thousands of innocent Iraqis. Would Amar Singh suggest that India deny Bush a visa to come to India?
SIMI is supported by the ISI. And on its edit page ADC says: ?There is now strong evidence that Pakistan'sInter Services Intelligence (ISI) is implementing a huge terror programme in India and is building a terror network and recruiting several Indians and directing terror operations.?
And in the column ?Viewpoint? ADC adds: ?Two jehadies captured by security forces have given useful details (emphasis added) about the bomb blasts in Mumbai and the ISI'sinvolvement in the same. They have also mentioned that under instructions from the ISI, the Lashkar-e-Toiba is carrying out a violent anti-India campaign?, congrats, ADC. And shame on you, Amar Singh. It is Amar Singh who shouldn'thave been allowed to visit Mumbai and screate tension. But the best thing that ADC did was to interview twenty one Muslims from different fields of activity on what they thought about Abu Asim Azmi, Amar Singh'sbosom friend. Not one wanted Azmi.
Seldom has any media sought to find out what Muslims think. It is for that reason that ADC deserves our sincerest thanks and congratulations. The Muslim voice had in the past been stilled. ADC has done what the media should have done a long time ago. Things are bad enough in India without politicians like Amar Singh and Mulayam Singh Yadav adding fuel to fire. They have been answered richly by those Muslims in Mumbai who have stated their views to ADC.
Incidentally why hasn'tanyone reported that among the 200 killed in the Mumbai blasts some seven were Muslims? At least that is how their names sound. In the Mumbai blasts it was not just Hindus who got killed. Muslims and Christians also got killed. Why hasn'tthis been reported? What kind of secularism are our secularists practicing?
ADC also carried an interview with Mumbai'sPolice Commissioner A.N.Roy. And an excellent one, too. ADC is truly an eveninger for Mumbaikars. But in the name of secularism we are supposed to forget what SIMI has done.
One may wish to dismiss Organiser (July 23) as an RSS journal but one would do well to read Balbir Punj'sarticle on SIMI in that issue. ?Blasts have LeT, SIMI stamp? said The Times of India ( July 12, 2006).
Amar Singh would do well to read the article written by Balbir Punj, quoting extensively from records. But what can one expect form semi-literate politicians?
But what was more painful to read was another issue of Organiser (July 16) in which the lead story is how evangelists have been defiling the holy shrine of Tirupathi under what is considered as encouragement of secular parties. The first to blow the whistle was The Indian Express in three issues of the daily in July. But there was no follow-up of the story in any other paper, except the Pioneer. And who was responsible for exposing the doings of evangelists? This was a committee of five that included Justice G.Bhikshapathy; Justice K.B.Siddappa, former Judge of the Andhra Pradesh High Court; T.S.Rao, former Director General of Police, Andhra Pradesh; Dr P. Geervani, former Vice Chancellor of Padmavathi Mahila Vishwavidyalaya and a former Vice Chancellor of Dravidian University, R. Srihari. Do we, in the name of secularism, have to condemn them as fascists or communalists? Why hasn'tthe great secular Indian media followed the story? Because it involved evangelists creating trouble in, of all places, one of the holiest of holy places in India, Tirupathi? To what level will our secular journalists stoop to justify their secularism?
Even The Hindu (July 17) went out of its way to check out on who has rights over the Seven Hills. Incidentally, one must read what the highly secular The Hindu (July 19) has to say about our secular press. Its correspondent, as bitterly anti-RSS and anti-BJP as one can think of, has this to say: ?It must be understood that the communal forces thrived?and ultimately captured the Indian state during the National Democratic Alliance regime?because throughout the 1980s and 1990s anti-social elements and practices were allowed to go unnoticed and unpunished, all in the name of some esoteric notion of secular correctness.?
There were people like Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh, one supposes, who allowed anti-social elements go unnoticed. And the same Harish Khare adds: ?During his six years at North Block, L.K.Advani tried many a time to get the states to agree to a centralised police force. The effort did not yield any result partly because there were reservations about the Union Home Minister'sintentions. The time has come for the political leadership to dissolve such distrust.? Shri Advani had advocated a wise step (Centralised Police Force), but no one was willing to listen to him and now we are paying for it. What, in effect, Harish Khare says is that we, have to thank our secularists for the situation that we find ourselves in now. There is something sick about our secular leaders and secular press. And it has taken The Hindu?and Harish Khare?to point that out.
Incidentally, another article worth reading is ?Point of View? by T.J.S. George, writing in Indian Express (July 23) who clearly states that ?America will never concede that India has the right to defend itself against terror based in Pakistan?. And, now right he is.