NO one should take Congress general secretary, Digvijay Singh’s hugely controversial and embarrassing conspiracy theories as off the cuff remarks of a frustrated politician. His proximity to Sonia Gandhi and the Congress party’s flip flop on his disgusting outbursts are good enough reasons to take this congenital liar seriously. This column has more than once pointed out that he is an unofficial spokesman of the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the “crown prince” Rahul Gandhi’s mentor. His ridiculous and scandalous statements are made on behalf of the boss to spread canards and test waters. Once the purpose of demonising Hindu society, the RSS and its ideological family is served and Singh’s utterances prove counter-productive, the issue is rested.
Official spokespersons of the party step in to make a feeble attempt to distance the party from its general secretary but he is neither condemned nor reprimanded. Sanjay Nirupam committed the “indiscretion” of coming out strongly against him by pointing out that Singh’s absurd statement about Hindu “extremist” elements’ involvement in the killing of ATS Chief Hemant Karkare would help Pakistan and weaken India’s case against Pak-sponsored terrorism. A hidden hand moved and Sanjay was forced to soften his stand within 24 hours. There is absolutely no doubt that Singh had made that ridiculous statement with the tacit approval of his boss. And in the Congress party, boss is always right whatever the cost to the nation and its fight against terrorism.
Sections of Islamists whose first love is Pakistan floated the conspiracy theory that RSS-the patriotic organization that has a proud track record of commitment to national integration and social harmony-was behind the 26/11 attack. Encouraged by ruling party’s response, the editor of a little known weekly authored a book titled RSS ki Saazish-26/11 full of stupid canards to malign Hindus and to bail out terrorists that attacked Mumbai on that night of horror and ease pressure on Pakistan that sponsored and handled that attack. The absurd theory was picked up by the then Minister for Minorities Affairs A R Antulay who came up with his own intriguing conspiracy theory that Karkare was killed by terrorist “plus something”. The inference was that Hindu “extremists” were also involved in the crime. Two years later, Sonia Gandhi’s Man Friday raked up the malicious conspiracy theory adding a new twist namely the hollow claim that Hemant Karkare had called him two hours before terrorist struck Mumbai on 26/11 to confide in him that ATS Chief’s life was blighted by constant threats from people opposed to his probe into Malegaon bomb blast, allegedly carried out by “Hindu extremists”. To make the story juicier Singh added that a magazine linked to the RSS had carried a story against Karkare’s son. QED. RSS’s involvement in the crime is proved!!!
Kavita Karkare, widow of the martyr reacted sharply and slammed Digvijay Singh for politicising sacrifices of martyrs. Rejecting the claims made by the Congress leader, Kavita said her husband never got any threat calls saying she would know if there were any threat calls. She refused to believe that “Hindu extremists” had anything to do with her husband’s killing and that she had absolutely no doubt that ATS Chief was killed by Pakistanis. Kavita also discounted Digvijay Singh’s claim that he had family relations with Karkare. Accusing Singh of playing vote bank politics, she ruled out the possibility of any telephonic conversation between him and her husband. On the back foot, Digvijay changed his stance admitting that it was not ATS Chief but he who had called Karkare on that fateful evening. He was again caught on the wrong foot by media that published call records of Karkare’s mobile phone showing he had neither called nor received any call from the Congress general secretary during that period. Never to give up on his lies and canards, the defiant Congress leader now wants the Government to trace the call records of his cell phone that, he says, is no longer with him.
On December 23, 2008, in a cable to the Secretary of State, the American Embassy in India wrote that willingness of the Congress party to support the “outrageous” comments by Digvijay and Antulay in the wake of attack on Mumbai on 26/11 reflected a “cynical political calculation” which, once again, proved that the party was still wedded to old “identity politics”. This sharply critical American assessment of the Congress politics was revealed by the WikiLeaks – the whistleblower website that has published countless secret diplomatic cables – the day after Digvijay Singh revived the conspiracy theory. The American embassy was also critical of Antulay’s absurd statement that terrorists had no reason to kill Karkare. Digvijay, the cable noted with regret, had supported Antulay that encouraged the latter to argue that there was no question of his tendering an apology for his statement as it reflected the views of a large segment of Muslim population. These are telling comments on Congress politics and strategy that strengthen the widely held public perception that the Congress is corrupt and communal to the core and the rot in the party runs deep and up to the top.
It is not for the first time that the Congress party’s second most powerful general secretary, after Rahul Gandhi, has floated fake conspiracy theories as part of the party’s strategy to indulge in Hindu baiting to fish for Muslim votes. Digvijay Singh had raised questions about the Batla House encounter in which a brave police officer was killed and demanded a judicial enquiry into what he described as a “fake encounter” even as the Congress Government honoured the officer as a martyr. He later visited Azamgarh the den of home-grown terrorists that are believed to be involved in several terrorist attacks in various parts of the country, including the recent bomb explosion at Varanasi. In Azamgarh, he met relatives of suspected terrorists who are accused in several terror-related cases. His antics encouraged rabid Islamists to raise a hue and cry against “fake encounters” and “harassment” of Muslims. Rahul’s obnoxious statement comparing RSS with SIMI-the banned terrorist outfit-was presumably prompted by Singh who, it is believed, is the head of the party’s Dirty Tricks Department. His actions and utterances are exploited by the Pakistan Government and its media to spread venom against India and Hindus. These have weakened India’s case against Pakistan’s involvement in cross-border terrorism. There is no point in demanding Digvijay Singh’s resignation. He needs to be brought to justice for fanning communal passions and endangering public peace and harmony.