‘Vrinda Grover shouts her way through !’

published on July 4, 2013

This lady, supposedly a lawyer, has no idea of how to conduct herself on national television. She appeared on NDTV on a program concerning the Ishrat Jahan case (‘Ishrat Jahan encounter was staged, says CBI’ July 3, 2013). She shouted and would not let anyone else speak and in passing made some erroneous statements and was in general quite sure that she and she alone knew everything to be known about the facts of the case. She reminded one of that other woman who seems to have gone back into the woodwork ever since it was reported that she had been bribing witnesses, intimidating them, making false promises etc. (Teesta Setalvad). This process may overtake Grover also, since facts are coming out that the NIA had omitted mention of the alleged guilt of Ishrat Jahan as an LeT operative, the source being none other than David Headley.

The ubiquitous Mukul Sinha was also present with his customary arguments, none very convincing regarding the guilt of the Gujarat police and now also the IB. Both he and Grover continued to play the communal card pitting the alleged Hindu biased Gujarat police against the Muslim community. When that was not sufficient she resorted to exaggeraterd claims of state terrorism etc. One had heard all this before.

NDTV reporter Srinivas Jain was also present for the discussion and this time a much chastened and subdued Jain who had been admonished and rebuked by his peers, fellow journalists, for his slap dash irresponsible reportage on the case. He did manage however, to get in some shafts against the Chief Minister.

In this melee the Gujarat spokesperson continued soberly and so did Mr. Karnik of the IB, that is when they could get in a word edgewise when Grover had finished with her tirade. Only one person was able to silence this woman at least for short periods of time and that was Kirron Kher who matched Grover’s shouting with some loud protests (her grace and charm helped ; advantage Kher).

The anchor Nidhi Razdan had lost control over the discussion. Mercifully, Tavleen Singh brought some commonsense and balance into the debate and discussion. While not justifying the alleged fake encounter that had killed Ishrat Jahan and her three comrades in arms, Tavleen pointed out that it was vitally important to confirm whether the foursome were terrorists or not and that the CBI had signally left that out in their report.

Tavleen’s point was well taken. If indeed these four were terrorists in the pay of LeT and other sinister agents, then the question arises as to whether in such a situation there can be a fake encounter at all ? In other words when dealing with terrorists when exactly do you make a call ?

The question may or may not exercise the general public even though mainstream media has been trying valiantly to raise the philosophical/moral question of whether one can kill someone in cold blood (if indeed that was the case in this encounter, the CBI report notwithstanding). Grover may talk wildly about the Indian Constitution but as far as one knows, there is nothing in the Constitution which says that one cannot act in self defence.

Is it possible to ask whether the nation can also act in self defence, if there is evidence enough against the aggressors that they were terrorists. And if the unfortunate young woman was alleged to be a suicide bomber then should the nation sit back and bare its chest ?

Grover made much out of the fact that people remarked that the young woman was economically deprived. This too is a legitimate question because it placed this young woman in a vulnerable position where she could be exploited by sinister agents.

Whatever the case, the Indian public is surely at the end of their tether, with the many terrorist attacks that have actually taken place.

(The author is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university).

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