A village just lost its idiot

Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite

18th century Lawyer and philosopher Joseph de Maistre figured out, way back then, that “Every nation gets the government it deserves”. The corollary goes unstated — that each nation also gets the Opposition it deserves.

Vide Anand Sharma, who in the Rajya Sabha today kicked up a ruckus over Smriti Irani’s Durga distraction, called it blasphemy (in which he was joined by the TMC), and demanded an apology.

And a village somewhere went, ‘Ah, there’s the idiot we lost’.

It did not seem to occur to Sharma and his fellow-travellers that what JNU is fighting for is precisely its right to free speech (that is to say, the right to discuss and debate without having “sedition”, “blasphemy” et al used as weapons against that right). Thus, when Sharma goes on a tear about “blasphemy”, he plays the BJP’s card for it — now the party can channel its inner Irfan Khan (vide the recent Filmfare Awards) and ask, “Kya

Thus, when Sharma goes on a tear about “blasphemy”, he plays the BJP’s card for it — now the party can channel its inner Irfan Khan (vide the recent Filmfare Awards) and ask, “Kya hamara blasphemy, blasphemy aur tumhara blasphemy vada-pao?

Smriti Irani can be — and should be — countered on fact. But Sharma and company end up playing her game for her. The debate in Parliament was about Rohit Vemula and tangentially, the application of the sedition law against Kanhaiya Kumar and others. Irani dragged in the red herring of a poster that is at least a couple of days old; the Opposition fell for the ploy, and jumped on this promising new toy instead of holding her feet to the fire about the inconsistencies in her speech of a day earlier.

Seriously, how do such idiots actually succeed in politics?

PS: Slow blogging day today, on account of external meetings. Back late in the evening with a reading list.

 

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