By Prof. Abdur Rahim,
Now that the union minister for minorities Mr. AR Antulay has agreed with the Government’s version that there is no need to promote the Hindu terrorist factor behind the killing of Hemant Karkare, the fact remains that his demand was seen with prejudiced glasses.
Here we deal with a senior journalist MJ Akbar’s views making mockery of the senior minister.
The remarks passed by the union minorities minister Mr. AR Antulay have become the talk of the day and a controversy on which the BJP is harping to demand the ouster of the minister. Mr. Antulay said he would be sticking to his stand.
The congress party is still to decide its stand on the issue. The senior congress leader and the AICC general secretary Mr. Digvijay Singh said there was nothing wrong in the remarks and the demand of Mr. Antulay to conduct a deeper probe into the killing of the Maharashtra Anti-terrorism chief Hemanth Karkare and his two colleagues who had for the first time unveiled the ugly face of the Hindu terrorism. While the BJP is demanding not only to sack him but also to arrest him, even the NDA is divided on the row as the JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP Mr. Ejaz Ali said all parties should support the demand of the minister to enquire into the killing of the three police officers.
(Against this background the senior journalist MJ Akbar penned an article which was published in Sunday times as an inside bottom spread with the title “Antulay is the Simi Garewal of Indian politics.” As the title goes, he has simply made a mockery of the remarks of the congress leader. The BJP is opposing the statement of the minister on the floor of the Lok Sabha. He didn’t express a doubt and the theory of looking beyond terrorism. And his doubt that Hindu fundamentalists might be behind the killing of Hemant Karkare who according to them was working under political pressure and was a traitor only because he unearthed Hindu terrorism.
The others who are raising objection have read between the lines and came to the conclusion that Antulay’s demanding the probe into the Pak organisation’s hands in the Mumbai Carnage. We can only express our sympathy who are reading the remarks of the congress leader with this angle. The senior journalist is among this gentry. He tried to make Antulay the butt of jokes and said he is a politician who is craving after votes. Akbar made his case with inverted arguments.
The learned journalist says “Simi Garewal sees Pakistani flag on every Muslim housetop in Mumbai. Antulay sees a vote beyond every Muslim doorstep. Antulay’s primary disease is the cancer of vote-bank.” It is not that Antulay is the first to make the demand into the killing of the three police officers. Many political leaders did, of course, there were not of the stature of the union minister. Many intellectuals are supporting the demand of Antulay and there are not vote seekers. Simi Garewal observation is based on her hatred for the Muslims but Antulay’s remarks are to seek the truth and nothing but the truth. A fair and free administration should not shy from the truth as it is the strength of democracy. It may be remembered that despite demand from many quarters the government denied any probe into the Batla House encounter.
Again Akbar committed an intellectual error when he said the Urdu press was offering conspiracy theories to pump up their circulation. The Urdu press wrote about the possible conspiracy about the killing of the three police officers and not about the Mumbai carnage’s link with Pakistan. It is not a fantasy fodder but a prime right of the healthy journalism. Mr. Akbar is aware of this but while writing with deep-rooted bias and personal prejudice, he is bound to forget this.
He says “Simi Garewal sees Pakistan where there is not. Antulay will not see a Pakistan where there is one.” Antulay sees Pakistan with his naked eyes but wants to see with a probing glass where there is any hand beyond terrorist trouble to kill the police officers. No one, of course BJP should be annoyed about it. The demand of Antulay and the observation of the film artiste are poles apart but the learned journalist with his verbosity which contains less sense and lesser thoughtful revelation as usual put them in the same cynical bracket.