One politician tries to bring the poison of communal passion into the hallowed portals of the Indian Army, another declares her wealth to be far less than one would imagine considering her stature over the decades, and the third was slapped by one of his own party men, not the first time either that this has happened. The General Elections 2014 are already here and indeed some parts of the country many of our huge population have already exercised their franchise.
To give you a flavour of the General Elections in India I have in previous posts on March 13 and March 20, written about them as I saw them over the decades. Who the people of India will vote for remains to be seen as the elections are spread over several phases and we have to wait till the final results are announced on May 16.
Yet our politicians continue to make news with their pronouncements and antics. I shall give but a few examples of recent incidents. Azam Khan, an influential Minister in the Uttar Pradesh Government kicked off a storm by his saying that only Muslims fought for India in the Kargil war against Pakistan and Hindu soldiers did not. You can imagine how sacrilegious this comment is when we are so proud of the Indian Army, perhaps one of the last few institutions that remain untouched with the communalism that taints almost every part of our lives. It is so clear that politicians like Azam Khan have no clue about the history and traditions of the Indian Army, one of the finest in the world. Sadly, the boss of Azam Khan’s party, the Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh Yadav has not pulled up his Minister for his remarks. And to think that Mulayam Singh was our Defence Minister at one time and still hopes to be the Prime Minister some day. Shocking!
In other news, Sonia Gandhi, the Chairperson of the ruling UPA and the President of the Congress party has declared her personal assets as being Rs. 9.28 crores. A crore is Rs. 10 million in Indian currency. This seemed to be an amazingly modest amount as it has been reported in the media that she is one of the wealthiest women in the world with assets worth $2 billion, roughly above Rs. 12,500 crores . She has been part of the family that ruled India for the longest period since Independence when she came here way back in 1968 as the daughter-in-law of the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. Later her husband, Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister and more recently for the last 10 years she has been leading the ruling coalition in India.
Another event that caught my attention was that AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal was slapped by a member of his party in the last day of the election campaign in Delhi. He then went to Rajghat where the mortal remains of the Father of the Nation lie. If he wants to do what the Mahatma would do, why did he allow his men to beat up the assailant? Wouldn’t it have been better for him to show him his other cheek as advocated by Gandhiji, I wondered.
These are but a few of the incidents that grabbed the attention of the nation as it went into the polls.