Funny, I thought iron men were expected to stand up for things they believe in. Not merely mutter about them when it's too late. If he truly did not want Singh expelled, why did Advani allow it to happen? Why did he not make a point of preventing it?
Not that I much care whether Jaswant Singh is or is not part of the BJP.
Advani's remark brought to mind his comment about the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6 1992. That was, he said then and has said many times since, the "saddest day" of his life.
Well, that's fine, but how are we supposed to reconcile that sentiment with Advani doing nothing to prevent the demolition? With the views of others in his party, who refer to it as a day of honour and redemption?
It must be India's tragedy that its leading politicians are blessed with feet of clay, and that they stick in the mud anyway. To mix metaphors a little.
Postscript: I had an idea that there would be comments asking me what my point is. Which is partly why I held back a third example of Advani's reluctance to stand up and take responsibility. I refer, of course, to his contention that he had no idea about Jaswant Singh's trip to Kandahar in 1999. No routine sight-seeing trip, this, of course. Jaswant Singh travelled with terrorists released by India's government in exchange for the lives of hostages held on board a plane in Kandahar.
In that government, Advani was Home Minister: the country's ultimate authority about law and order and security issues. He didn't know?
Not that I much care whether he knew of Jaswant's trip or not. But to claim that, as Home Minister, he was unaware of the goings-on in this serious crisis his government was faced with -- I mean, this not only strains credibility, it is a commentary on that government itself.
I don't understand.
What do you want him to say? Why does it matter? How does it matter? And if at all it did, and in a way you want it to, would you change your judgment? As in, you seem to hold him against what is essentially propaganda material of his party, which no politician ever lives up to. And why is a political movement ever responsible for breakdown of Law & Order and not the government? By this yardstick, you should absolve most governments of inefficiency and blame the wrong-doers of each instance for everything in all societies. Which, will only result in a Stalinist State.
In short, what's your point?
Sapathan, here's my idea of what makes a statesman/leader: that they stand for what they believe in. They have the courage of their convictions. They are true to themselves.
Of course there are hardly any political leaders who measure up to that, and that's the point. Still, it doesn't stop us from searching for one who will try to get close. It should never stop us from reminding our leaders of the standards we expect from them.
By no means do I absolve the govt (at the time, PVNR's govt) for a breakdown of law and order. There's plenty that shames PVNR in my mind, this being top of the heap. But so what? If a political movement causes such a breakdown, should its leaders escape responsibility too?
Or, if we see such a movement causing mayhem, should we nod our heads and look the other way, saying hey, it's just a political movement, let them do the vandalism they want to do?
Heh! In that case, go ahead and write blog posts against every single common criminal. Or, pick any at random. Or, pick one against whom you have an agenda, which in this case maybe political. And be subject to ridicule -- simply because you make no non-trivial case for anything.
And when you do that, please stick to first person singular. I am scared of your use of "us" -- others might actually think you speak for me.
And who ever called Advani a Statesman or a leader? Yes, reason expects you to cite a source which is not partisan propaganda.
Secondly, why should standing up mean a public posture? In what is essentially an internal issue of a political party of which neither I nor, one presumes, you, are a member?
Yes, you could extend my analogy and ask me what my point is. I agree, nothing more than amusement and bafflement that you have none.
go ahead and write blog posts against every single common criminal.
I don't know about every single one, but I've written about plenty of criminals. Ridicule, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder; the chance of copping some is not something I particularly take into account when writing about criminals.
You mean standing up, in the cases I cited, does not imply a public posture? Why on earth not? For one thing, the failing to stand up is done in public; by your logic, should that have been done in private too? For another, it's the public posture of my leaders that lets me form opinions about them. You have some other way of forming your opinions about them?
Public posture in matters of national import -- yes. In matters of an internal struggle in a political party: no.
Not because the essence of the debate -- which may be construed as free speech limits -- but because a reasonable person expects a reasonable party politician to be subject to whatever silly internal rules/ equations the party has. It has no bearing on me in terms of judging that individual. Just as you are not personally answerable if the Govt of India carries out a policy which you do not approve of. That you think so is merely amusing and besides the point here.
I cited three examples: LKA did not want JS expelled, LKA thought Dec 6
92 was the "saddest day" of his life, and LKA did not know about JS travelling to Kandahar.
Which of these three, can you tell me, constitutes "an internal struggle in a political party"?
At least for me, these are all public political positions LKA has taken that help me form an opinion of the man.
This, is internal.
"The Times of India reports that LK Advani did not want Jaswant Singh expelled from the BJP. But it happened anyway.
Funny, I thought iron men were expected to stand up for things they believe in. Not merely mutter about them when it's too late."
Not so internal, if he makes his opinion known in public.
Still, I'll grant you that there must have been internal goings-on we are not party to.
What about the other two examples?
The two other examples are irrelevant to this discussion [as indefensible as they may be in themselves]. You don't seem to read any of my comment in full. Or, not understand.
I will give you the benefit of the doubt and think you are being merely dismissive of me and not totally incapable of comprehension.
They are "irrelevant"? I write a post citing three examples of a politician's behaviour, and you tell me two of those are irrelevant?
Besides, one of those examples figures in your first comment on this page, in your mention of the breakdown of law and order. How come you didn't dismiss it as irrelevant right then, instead of discussing it?
Please do not give evidence to rule out my supposition that you are merely contemptuous.
I'm losing track here. Contemptuous of LKA? Certainly. Of you? Not at all, or I would hardly have gone on answering these in this apparent echo chamber, would I have?
But baffled at your sudden pronouncement of irrelevancy of the issue you yourself took up for discussion, certainly.
Of me, of course. You are obsessed with LKA from the evidence of your blog posts.
The irrelevancy of the two issues and my first comment are not contradictory. That has been dealt with already. In case you don't think so, assume the latter part of that comment does not exist. It really makes no difference.
Advani is a lier and chiken when it comes to responsibility. The party is bound to fail when you have leaders who lie on simple facts and give up responsibility.
Sapathan, what truly baffles me is what we are arguing about. OK, if you want it so: your law and order mention is irrelevant to the discussion of public vs private.
But about LKA's opinion on JS's explusion, I already said this earlier on the page: "Not so internal, if he makes his opinion known in public. Still, I'll grant you that there must have been internal goings-on we are not party to."
Well, now what?
I am not arguing anything -- if you are, good luck.
And short of calling your last question silly, I'd ask you to re-read the comment thread which you don't seem to have. I have nothing to add.
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