Like Father Like Son by Mohammed Ataur Rahman (MARCH 20, 2009)

The obnoxious behaviour of Varun Gandhi is a reminder of the fascist hooliganism of his father, Sanjay Gandhi, writes Mohammed Ataur Rahman.

This country remembers with fear and loathing the grim days of Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi when democracy was placed under animated suspension. Fascist goons led by Mrs Gandhi’s favourite son Sanjay Gandhi made no bones about their contempt for rule of law, and the press was silenced. Except a few honourable exceptions, the press, politicians and assorted creatures that survive on the peripheries of power “crawled when they were only asked to bend”.

The Emergency showed that democracy can never be taken for granted. Any moment a Sanjay Gandhi (or, for that matter, a Modi or Thackeray) can sping a surprise on the Constitution, impose a fascist dispensation and exile democracy. Eternal vigilance being the price of liberty, India must always be on guard against such elements if it wants to protect itself from tyrannical rule.

This point is particularly important in view of the reckless and malicious remarks of Varun Gandhi at Pilibhit against Muslims earlier this week. The Election Commission has taken note of it and criminal proceedings have been initiated against him for rousing hatred against a section of the society for electoral gains.

Meanwhile, he said at a press conference in New Delhi that Hindus were being persecuted in Pilibhit, which made him to offer such remarks. He also claimed that the tape of his speech had been tampered with. Few people would accept his claims.

As regards his claim of rape of Hindu women by Muslims, the Indian Express has found out in its investigation that there were seven cases of rape recorded by the police, out of which four were under trial in courts. None of the men charged with rape was a Muslim. One of the remaining three was expunged by the police as it turned out to be a frame-up. The other two were dismissed by courts as false. The men charged with rape were not Muslims in these cases, too.

This “Gandhi”, who is not much of a Gandhi (a follower of the mahatma’s killers can’t be taken as a Gandhi), is a BJP candidate for the Lok Sabha from Pilibhit. He thinks by inciting hatred, triggering a riot and getting some Muslims killed, he can ensure his victory. That is an old formula that may not work now. Even BJP has dissociated itself from his mischief.

It is important to note that already there are two cases pending against him and his henchmen in Pilibhit for assault and intimidation. The victims who have filed these cases are Hindus. This behaviour is a disturbing reminder of Sanjay Gandhi and his goonda tactics. The Election Commission and the people must make sure that goondagardi is not rewarded at the polls.


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