Questions for the BJP

Dear BJP,

RE: Your performance during the Kandahar Episode

Do you have anything better than this Kanchan Gupta article to explain your performance? If not, then here are some questions that arise from that article:

  1. The article blames the media for creating the impression that the entire country wanted the terrorists to be released. The question is, were you elected to office based on SMS polls organized by the media? Don’t you have BJP workers all over the country?  Did you really have no way to be in touch with those who elected you?
  2. If you cannot fight your country’s media and some 200 families within the country, how do you expect Indians to have the confidence that you will fight India’s enemies? If you cannot take tough decisions and communicate them during a minor crisis like this, what would you have done if you had faced the situation that Britain faced during World War II when the Germans were bombing them?
  3. The article is pretty critical of the behaviour of the officials at the Raja Sansi airport. Apparently, they failed to obey a direct order from a Central Minister at the time of crisis. What did you do to end the careers of such incompetent officials? Or do your powers of harrassment and vindictiveness extend only to those who expose wrongdoing in your government?
  4. In December 1999, NSG commandoes could not fly from Delhi to Amritsar because they did not have a plane. In November 2008, NSG commandoes could not fly from Delhi to Mumbai because they still did not have a plane. What did you do between 1999 and 2004 to get the NSG commandoes a plane?
  5. Finally, if, when faced with the problems, constraints and incentives that the Indian National Congress did, you are going to do the same things that the Indian National Congress did, why should anyone who is exasperated with the performance of the Indian National Congress vote for you?

19 thoughts on “Questions for the BJP

  1. Here are some potential answers from the BJP:

    1. There was no SMS in 1999. So there were no SMS polls. We simply consulted Bal Thackerey. He said “Terrorists ko chodh do”. Unfortunately some north Indian babu was not aware of law of conservation of h, and so we let the terrorists go as a result of a clerical error.

    2. Churchill used to practise his inspiring speeches in the nude. We told Vajpayeeji to do this many times, but he would not take off his Jangiya.

    3. Jaswantji used the wrong metaphor. He told the airport people they were running around like headless chicken. He also mentioned a truck to block the plane. They misheard him and thought a truck full of boneless chicken had come for the pantry. They rushed there, but by then the flight had taken off. This made Jaswantji very angry. When the CIA heard he was going in the plane with the terrorists, they asked him, “Are you chicken?”. Jaswantji immediately put the phone down, not wanting to create more confusion.

    4. We were planning to give them the IC 814 plane. But Advaniji thought it was unlucky.

    5. We would have sent Muthalik and gang into the bars of these hotels. The terrorists would have thought that these are reinforcements, and we would have exploited the confusion to achieve many goals.

  2. Super, sakkath,

    Few additions,

    1) When there were hunger-deaths happening in the country, Prime Minister was busy touring around the globe. It took Supreme Court to point out “Don’t allow hunger-deaths, when FCI Godowns are filled with pulses and cereals”.
    Vajpayee did not bother to answer. Will Advani be any different?

    2) Congress is accusing now in 2008, on what Advani had promised in 1999. “White Paper on ISI activities in India”. We don’t expect Congress to furnish it? Would you bother presenting it anytime?

    3) UTI was bailed out during your term. Global Trust Bank was bailed by Congress, both from Taxpayer’s money. Would you do the same, if ICICI or some other bank goes bust tomorrow?
    How are you different?

    4) All that Swiss banks have done is “Willing to share info on Indian Account Holders in their banks”. There has been no word about anything else? How can you promise to get that money and bring it back to India?

    5) You rode the tide and accumulated $300 billion Forex reserves. Now, in downturn, Would you sit on money or use it?

    6) Above all, are you keen to building temples (Ayodhya, Mathura, Kaashi, Baba budan Giri….) or keen on building Roads, Ports (as one of your CM’s has done)?


  3. But getting to know the facts about public reaction (particularly those of the relatives) at that time is indeed very shameful.

  4. Swami,
    I don’t blame the relatives for their reactions. They were at risk of losing their near and dear ones for no fault of theirs. People do have extreme reactions when that happens. They knew that the greater drama they created, the greater the chance that the government would heed them. Relatives of hostages should be politely heard, and ignored. The policy should be declared beforehand and the government’s hands should be tied in a credible manner, preferably through a law. If relatives of people in positions of responsibility are abducted (as in the Rubaiyya Mufti case) those people should be immediately taken off from a position of responsibility till the crisis is sorted.

    The actions of the press and of Brinda Karat were of course extremely shameful, but that is to be expected.

  5. Why such questions were not raised during Kandhar crisis. If you recall properly decision of releasing terrorists was taken after consulting Sonia Gandhi & Man Mohan Singh along other leaders. Why they had not raised this at that time. What UPA has done during Mumbai crisis. Behaviour of CM & Dy CM of Maharashtra was rediculous. What action taken by the Government on this account against officers including coastal gaurds, Maharashtra Police, Politician on this issue.

    Raking up Kandhar issue is not correct at all. If you want to raise Kandhar issue, you must raise Mumbai issue also.

  6. I question the competence of those who decide on national questions after consulting Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. If they had asked Advani to jump into a well, would he have?

  7. A spot-on set of questions, Ravikiran. Thanks for them, especially the last one, which is my fundamental problem with the BJP.

    I read Gupta’s whitewash when it came out with my mouth hanging wider open by the second. In effect he’s saying, “Don’t blame us for being lily-livered, because we were too lily-livered to be otherwise.”

  8. Ravi – You are right. I probably got a little carried away after reading the interview of that doctor guy who has said all sorts of nonsense in that interview – but lets give him the benefit of doubt. He was possibly under a lot of stress.

    But the media – really shameful. Very sad situation.

    It seems to me that the only way we can prevent (or be better prepared) for these situations is simply by doing the really dumb things – like what Kalam is asking for. Formulate some learnings, action items and publish a periodic status report on the actions taken.

    Can’t a media organization do this? They should get good readership/viewership for such programmes if packaged right, I would think… We can start with the past 3 big terrorist attacks on India…

    Is someone doing such things?

  9. Also, getting opinions from all senior leaders in the political system in such situations, should be encouraged I think.

    You are saying you will question the competence. I don’t think such situations are tests of competence where we have to obey protocol. We have to get the best minds together and get some consensus.

    And we will have to trust the system on that we will have some good minds (if not many) when asking for such consensus.

  10. Swami, I have no objections to consulting senior leaders. I just have objections to people in government disclaiming responsibility on the grounds that they cleared it with other senior leaders.

  11. Nice to know that Dilip D’Souza’s “fundamental problem with BJP” is your question #5 and not communalism 🙂

    BTW I can’t help but note that the secular credentials you are building up, intentionally or not, are yielding marvellous results 😛

    It is the BJP which has been responsible for smashing the hegemony of Congress rule in the country and for converting Indian politics into bi-polar political system, remarked BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Sri L K Advani.

    Visit to –

    Nowadays Prime minister manmohan singh and his political goddess, the chair person of UPA coalition Mrs Sonia Gandhi along with Rahul Gandhi are playing very shrewdly with the sentiments of the nation. For this they are using the case of hijacking of IC 814 light of Indian airlines and release of 3 terrorists in kandhar in 1999. Surprisingly BJP seems to be on backfoot instead of giving a befitting reply in this context. Though it is a well known fact that the face of congress is dark black in this regard. History of Congress in regard of surrendering against anti national demands of terrorists is not less than a shamefull plethora. Therefore I would like to suggest congress and its pseudo patriotic leaders like Sonia Gandhi, manmohan singh, kapil sibbal and abhishek singhvi to first see their dark faces in the mirror of past. By doing this they will know the coward character and history of national betrayal by congress in this context.
    I would like to remind a few Quickfire points, to which I am sure that the congress will be answerable.
    Those quick fire points which will proved to be burning and pinching are as under.

    1. 3 terrorists were released in kandhar because 161 innocent lives were at stake but will the congress tell the nation that was the life of congress stalwart GHULAM NABI AZAD’s brother in law was more valuable and precious than the lives of 161 passengers of IC 814 flight and 3 dreaded terrorists? which were released in September 1991 to save the life of tassaduq dev who is brother in law of GHULAM NABI AZAD, the then minister of parliamentary affairs of congress government at centre. AZAD is still the heavy weight pillar of congress.
    2. On the same line in august 1991 daughter(Nahida soz) of SAIFFUDDIN SOZ, the present state president of J&K congress committee was rescued from terrorists by unconditional release of hard core pak trained dreaded terrorist mushtaq ahmad and his goons.
    3. These two anti national shamefull incidents are not exception because on the same line in 24 february 1992 the son in law(Mustafa aslam ) of the then President of J&K Pradesh congress committee , Mr. GHULAM RASOOL KAR was saved by unconditional release of few dreaded terrorists. Like this in March 1992 life of Mr. NASARULLAH, son of former J&K minister G.M. MIR LASJAN was rescued by shamefull cowardly decision of the then congress government of releasing of 7 dreaded terrorists.
    4. I want to remind VOTERS of whole nation , specially the generation of young voters that on 21 august 1991 the then congress government bowed cowardly in front of hard core terrorist JAVED SHALLA and released him unconditionally alongwith five members of his terrorist gang for the rescue of the then executive director of INDIAN OIL CORPORATION Mr.G.K.DORAISWAMI. javed shalla was accused of kidnapping & murder of vice chancellor of Kashmir university and General manager of HMT in 1990.
    5. Besides all above mentioned shamefull examples of surrender of congress government in front of demands of terrorists, there are many more examples to Quote. One such shamefull incident is the safe passage been given to 40 terrorists at hazratbal shrine in srinagar 1n 1993 after being served them by delicious cuisine like shahi biryani for many days.
    6. Don’t forget that during may 1991 to may 1996 there was rule of Congress government at centre.jammu and kashnir was under president rule Present prime minister Mr. Manmohan singh and stalwarts of his current cabinate like Arjun singh , Sharad pawar, Pranab Mukherjee were holding strong and powerfull ministerial portfolios in that government during 91-96. MANMOHAN SINGH was finance minister of that government, SHARAD PAWAR was defence minister of that government, PRANAB MUKHERJEE was foreign minister of that government. ARJUN SINGH was HRD minister of that government
    So now the nation wants to know that, will the congressi loud speakers like manmohan singh, sonia Gandhi, kapil sibbal & abhishek singhvi will answer the nation that the lives of brother in law of GHULAM NABI AZAD, daughter of soz & son in law of ghulam rasool kar were more precious and valuable than the lives of 161 passengers of IC 814 ?

  14. I think Kandahar is a big dent in the BJP’s image.

    Of all things, everyone in India in their right mind thinks and expects the BJP to be India’s best answer to Islamic terrorism. Nobody would, in their wildest of dreams, expect the Congress to provide credible leadership in this regard (this is due to their strong Islamic lobby in the Congress and the party’s dependency on Muslim block votes).

    Therefore inspite of a far worse and pussy-footed record on handling terrorism, of the Congress (such as removing POTA), no commentor would even mention about it. Also, this is why it is been said many times over that terrorism is not an issue in the current elections.

    The bar for the BJP is higher mani-fold on terrorism (one bungle by the party costs it millions of berations) and the Congress just doesn’t have it in their DNA a clue on how to handle terrorism, is the verdict.

    I think it is for the BJP to make amends and restore its image – as for the terrorists, there is no doubt that an opportunity will be provided before long.

  15. 1. This is such a stupid question even a child could see through it. Yes, the BJP has thousands of workers across the country, but so does the Congress. The media’s war on the BJP forces the BJP to fight two wars. And remember, when people hear something from a BJP worker, they KNOW the view is biased in favour of BJP and so they filter the statement accordingly. Media POSES as neutral and that is exactly where the danger lies. People in India aren’t yet familiar with how low the media has sunk. If you see the media in the US, everyone in the US knows that news channels have direct political affiliations. People of India have not yet become used to the idea of a news channel being a direct political mouthpiece…that is because manufactured, US style news, blatant and extreme one sided reporting, is a new phenomenon in India. For instance, a top English news channel recently described Nitin Gadkari’s fainting in the Delhi heat as a “controversy”. Another time, I saw the headline: “Not all are welcome at BJP meet” and clicked on the story only to find that BJP had merely asked everyone to bring ID in wake of terror threats.

    2. This question can be turned around in many ways. If Congress cannot fight poverty after ruling India for 54 years, how can we trust them to fight poverty now? If Congress cannot find a single new leader from the grassroots inside its own party, how can we trust them to develop the potential of our millions of youth?

    3. Again… a case of singling out the BJP to make extraordinary demands. Did you ask the Congress similar questions? Or did it so happen that Congress acted quickly and efficiently during every national crisis?

    4. Between 1999 and 2004, the equipment and training of the Indian Army was vastly improved. Currently, India’s military is at its nadir, with hardly any functional planes, hardly any functional submarines, no long distance missiles (yes…behind Pakistan) and we have yielded Pakistan a lead in nuclear stockpiles as well. Congrats Congress! Oh…and did I mention India’s N-tests…or is that something you’d rather forget? Oh…and did I mention operation Sarp Vinash? Remember how J&K used to be super violent? The BJP ran Operation Sarp Vinash and dug out the terrorist snakes from their holes and sent them to Allah’s house. To this day, no one in J&K dares raise a gun. And…please do not forget how the BJP build the solid fence on the border, bringing cross border infiltration to a complete halt.

    Facts are easy to forget…when 24×7 media coverage focusses on how Rahul has done us all a favour by being born.

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