Whom is Mr Patil batting for?

published on May 22, 2008


Courtesy:The Pioneer Edit Desk

Patil is a disgrace. He must resign


Home Minister Shivraj Patil
has the unique knack of putting both his feet into his mouth every time he
chooses to speak on matters of state.

In the best of times, he comes
across as a Home Minister who is totally clueless about issues that pertain to
his portfolio; he either waffles or ends up inviting
ridicule both inside and outside Parliament.

In the worst of
times, which is more often,
his utterances are shocking, to say the least.

This is best
exemplified by Tuesday’s manifestation of the foot-in-mouth
from which Mr Patil so acutely
He believes, and would want people to believe, that it is
unfair to seek clemency for Sarabjit Singh, sentenced to death in Pakistan,
while demanding that Mohammed Afzal, sentenced to death for his role in the
terrorist attack on Parliament House, be hanged. Mr Patil, as Home Minister of
the country, should be aware that the Government of India’s case seeking clemency
for Sarabjit Singh is based on the premise that he has been wrongly tried for a
crime he never committed on account of mistaken identity.

On the other
hand, Mohammed Afzal, to quote the Supreme Court’s judgement sentencing him to
death, “was party to the conspiracy and had a nexus with the
terrorists” who attacked Parliament House on December 13, 2001. To equate
the two cases amounts to suggesting that Sarabjit Singh, an innocent victim of
a flawed trial, is guilty of the charges framed against him, thus making it all
the more difficult for the Government of India to save him from the gallows. Whom
is Mr Patil batting for?
He is definitely not batting for either the
Government of which he is a senior member or the country of which, and
unfortunately so, he is the Home Minister.


Earlier, when
asked to explain the delay in executing Mohammed Afzal, Mr Patil had told
Parliament, and brazenly so, that it takes years to process mercy petitions and
the Government cannot be made to take an early decision. On that occasion he
was clearly bluffing — it may well have been a command performance at the
behest of the Congress which is only too eager to indulge in crass politics of
Are his latest comments on the same issue an amplification of
his party’s perverse thinking?

we then witnessing a new chapter in the Congress’s policy of pandering to the
lowest common denominator of India’s Muslims by signalling to them Mohammed
Afzal will not be executed?

Or was it a solo performance by Mr
Patil who appears to have suddenly discovered that there are “humanitarian
issues” involved? Either way, he has knowingly
insulted the memory of the nine persons who died in the attack on Parliament
House; he has made a mockery of India’s justice system; and, he has let it be
known that those who massacre innocent people in the name of Islam will not be
punished, at least till such time the Congress is in power.
Patil does not deserve the office he holds; the nation does not deserve him as
its Home Minister.

Rather than
get his office to defend the indefensible by claiming that his comments have
been “misinterpreted”, if he has any sense of honour and integrity,
Mr Patil should resign. If he fails to do so, he should be sacked. Provided, of course, the Prime Minister has the guts to do
the right thing by standing up for India instead of standing by a man who has
shamed India.




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