Two leaders, two reactions, I want to throw up.
First, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. Asked about violence in Nandigram, he says: "[The victims] have been paid back in the same coin."
Really? When, for just one example, CPM cadres fired on two rallies in Nandigram some days ago, killing three Indians and injuring dozens, what was that particular coin they were paying back? Had those particular three dead Indians, or those particular injured dozens, or those particular rallying people, shot dead some CPM cadres in the past?
What we have here, of course, is one more in an ever-lengthening list of nauseating Indian justifications of killing: Rajiv Gandhi telling us in 1984 that when a big tree falls, the earth shakes; Madhukar Sarpotdar telling the Srikrishna Commission in 1996 that because some Muslims burned a Hindu family to death, the Shiv Sena was justified in slaughtering Muslims across Bombay; Narendra Modi telling us in 2002 that every action must have a reaction; any number of people who ask "Yeah, but who STARTED it?"; and now a glib Budhhadeb Bhattacharjee.
There is no justification for killing like we've seen in Nandigram. That's it. People who give us platitudes about coins don't know the first thing about justice.
Second, BJP man LK Advani. After a visit to Nandigram "where he met fear-struck villagers and a disconsolate boy whose mother was killed before his eyes", he said this: "I’ve never come across this kind of terror." (this report).
Really? Did Advani not visit, for example, Gujarat in 2002? Did he not meet fear-struck villagers and disconsolate children whose parents and relatives were killed before their eyes, there? (I did, when I visited, and not just one).
He did. Did he pronounce, at that time, that he had "never come across this kind of terror"?
What we have here is one more leader -- like Rajiv Gandhi, Narendra Modi and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee -- who winks at terror when it is caused by his comrades, but is outraged when it is caused by others. Thus proving that he, too, doesn't know the first thing about justice.
When will we find the statesmen who, regardless of political leanings, call things as they are? When we ourselves, regardless of political leanings, find the substance to call things as they are.