She’S said it before, got away with a mild rap from the Prime Minister, secured a huge electoral victory, but BJP’s Bhopal MP Pragya Singh Thakur can’t convince herself enough to think and say otherwise.
She’S said it before, got away with a mild rap from the Prime Minister, secured a huge electoral victory, but BJP’s Bhopal MP Pragya Singh Thakur can’t convince herself enough to think and say otherwise. Nor can her party make her. On Wednesday, she described Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse, as a ‘patriot’ during Lok Sabha proceedings. The remarks were expunged, but her deep bigoted conviction is here to stay. The BJP knew what it was in for while patronising the practitioner of an ideology of hatred, but the temptation of ridding itself of the ‘saffron terror’ stain and sending a blasts case accused as a lawmaker was simply too much to resist.
In a bid to discipline her, Pragya Thakur has been removed from the consultative committee on defence a week after her controversial — and much criticised — appointment and barred from attending BJP parliamentary party meetings during the ongoing Parliament session. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had to reiterate in the House that the Father of the Nation ‘will remain a guide (margdarshak) for the nation’. The embarrassment could not be greater. But will anything change? Very unlikely. Pragya has never hidden where her loyalties lie. The onus is now on the BJP.
Deflating the Opposition’s charge that she is a ‘perfect representative’ of the BJP’s ‘deplorable hate politics’ won’t be too difficult for the ruling party. What it can’t extricate itself from is the hypocrisy and duplicity of its own grand positioning on the Mahatma, Sardar Patel and all the martyrs of the freedom movement. Pragya and the likes of her will not stop. Not because she’s a rabble-rouser or a disrupter, but because she does not know better. Merely a rap from the party won’t do, the Prime Minister will have to expel her. Also, he must speak up and make those who owe allegiance to the BJP shut up. It’s a national embarrassment gone too far.