Shoecracy reaches by Mr Advani Mohammad Ataur Rahman (APRIL 17, 2009)

Mohammad Ataur Rahman on the Weapon of Democracy aimed at prime ministerial aspirant of BJP.

The tradition of shoe protest begun by Iraqi journalist al-Zaidi has gained acceptance in India. On April 16 the BJP prime ministerial candidate LK Advani became the third Indian public figure at whom a “shoe” (in this case, a lowly wooden chappal) was hurled in protest.

Advanji, who was already reeling under a counter attack from the Congress Party, was unnerved to see a chappal coming his way. For a while he was struck dumb and sat looking glum, holding his head in dismay.

As usual a BJP leader accused Congress of masterminding the act. However, it later turned out that it was an internal job, the handiwork of a frustrated BJP worker. It was not immediately clear what had led to this man’s frustration, or what he was protesting against.

The shoe-thrower, being a BJP man, was not certainly protesting against BJP’s hate-mongering. On the contrary, he might be feeling bad about insufficient intensity in the hate speeches of party leaders, or fewer cases of anti-Muslim violence.

Maybe within the next few days we will know more about what drove this man to take such a desperate measure. To most of us it looks like an extreme measure, but to a “normal” BJP person the extreme is the norm.

That leaves us even more perplexed. A party and a leader fostering lawlessness and extremism for years have got some taste of the fruit they have cultivated so diligently. That is our comment, till we get more input on that.


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