"I understand terrorism... it has killed my father, my grandmother. I am no stranger to it." That’s what Rahul Gandhi stated at Gorakhpur on July 21 as reported by NDTV.
I must admit when Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister I was a big admirer of his. His “clean” image held out a great promise. All that came to nothing when he first killed the SC’s Shah Bano judgement and then Bofors brought him down. Bofors coupled with the Italian connections in the background brought Rajiv down. Rajiv’s Italian connections destroyed him through Bofors. Now the Italian connection is destroying India itself. In contrast Rahul Gandhi, at an older age, neither comes across as “clean” nor half as bright as his father. I do recall the funeral of Rajiv Gandhi and watching Sonia, Priyanka and Rahul, I had nothing but sympathy for them apart from the anger at seeing a former and would-be PM being assassinated by an LTTE suicide bomber. The killing of Indira Gandhi was worse because I saw it as an attack on our nation. She was in office and was killed by people she trusted her life with, her own bodyguards. In both cases these were highly protected individuals unlike the helpless and unprotected innocent ones who are slaughtered in terrorist attacks. Can you tell the difference, RG?
So I can sense Rahul Gandhi’s loss. It’s our nation’s loss too. But does that mean he really understands terrorism? For a start there are certain features to terrorism that are different from pre-meditated murder of a person or targeted assassination of a political leader. Can RG tell the difference? In case of Indira Gandhi the Sikh bodyguards were kept on despite advice to the contrary by security heads. Indira, as a right-thinking PM, didn’t discriminate against the Sikh guards. Rajiv Gandhi, despite advice from his security personnel, allowed the lone suicide bomber to get close and kneel in front of him out of respect. The outcome was a national tragedy. Lately, is Rahul Gandhi not accused of flouting security norms frequently? In both cases the incidents are different from “terrorism” as we know it. Someone should tell Rahul Gandhi that.
Anyway, RG has done a discover India tour but it doesn’t look like he reads too much or understands history. That is why I doubt he really understands anything other than making populist statements or tutored statements, let alone understand something as complex and serious as terrorism.
I wonder if Rahul Gandhi has ever read the Jain Commission report. This commission was set up to inquire into the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. The inquiry was started in 1991 and the report submitted in 1997. Some of its contents reported in November 1997 by India Today, here and here, may help in educating Rahul Gandhi. Here are some excerpts from India Today (in blue):
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and his DMK responsible for abetting Rajiv Gandhi's murderers. Also blamed are two former prime ministers, V.P. Singh and Chandra Shekhar, for their laxity in assessing the threat to Rajiv
The report has made uncharitable remarks about Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, criticising him for supping with the devil in the cause of political expediency.
The report is replete with examples of the DMK's proximity to the leaders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE), whose cadres killed Rajiv…..
"They (LTTE) sent personal emissaries to Karunanidhi for seeking his active support in their battle against the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). These overtures of the LTTE towards the DMK started a chain of events which led to LTTE's survival and growth in Tamil Nadu even after the attitude of the Government of India had changed towards the LTTE after the hostilities between the IPKF and LTTE in Sri Lanka.'' The Jain report also concludes that the LTTE "was getting its supplies, including arms, ammunition, explosives, fuel and other essential items for its war against the IPKF from Tamil Nadu.
The report emphasises the political antagonism between the DMK government in the state and the Rajiv Gandhi government at the Centre. Karunanidhi took over as chief minister in January 1989 after his party's decisive victory over the Congress and the AIADMK. According to the report, 1989 signified "the perpetuation of the general political trend of indulging the Tamil militants on Indian soil and tolerance of their wide-ranging criminal and anti-national activities ... LTTE activities of arms smuggling, abduction of Indian citizens and officials and intimidation of the law enforcement machinery were tolerated". Citing the brutal murder of EPRLF leader K. Padmanabha, along with 15 others in Madras on June 19, 1990, Jain has resurrected memories of "the impunity with which the LTTE could operate in India"
For example, Kasi Anandan, a senior member of the 10-member central committee of the LTTE's political wing, admitted in his deposition on September 11, 1996, that "the LTTE had very friendly relations with Karunanidhi. In the days of Karunanidhi as CM, movement of LTTE was more free. Local administration was also friendly in Tamil Nadu"
The evidence against the Karunanidhi Government appears to be quite damning, particularly since the commission has been rather dismissive of the DMK's protestations of innocence. Deposing before the commission on January 17 this year, Karunanidhi asserted: "I had supported the LTTE along with other parties, but after the murder of Padmanabha, I withdrew my support." Jain is, however, disinclined to accept this denial: "It cannot be found that after June 19, 1990, the DMK government in Tamil Nadu gave no support to the LTTE."
Given Sonia Gandhi's divine status in the party, it is certain Congressmen will delight in competitive DMK-bashing, if only to impress 10 Janpath. There is the possibility that G.K. Moopanar's Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) will see the report as an excuse to detach itself from the DMK. Even so, the TMC will have to suffer the embarrassment of Jain's strictures against Chidambaram.
It may be stated that Chidambaram was there in the government of P.V. Narasimha Rao and besides that, he was also given additional charge relating to matters connected with the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi ... It was expected from P. Chidambaram that he would place all material and adduce all ... evidence with regard to the facts and accusations mentioned and levelled by him in his speech ... on 25.2.1991 ... Why he did not choose to act, is best known to him.
Congress functionaries, including the local Lok Sabha candidate Maragatham Chandrashekhar, had, said Verma, been party to a security lapse. The Congress workers "exhibited a total lack of awareness of their obligation to co-operate with the police force ... and their intransigence created impediments in effective access control, necessary for Rajiv's security". The Congress ignored recommendations to initiate disciplinary action against them.
It’s a pretty damning report against the DMK and also against P. Chidambaram. What is amazing is that the report suggests that the then DMK government had actually supported LTTE against our own forces (IPKF). Now, the same DMK is a coalition partner with Congress. The very same P. Chidambaram is the Home Minister. How do you explain that Rahul Gandhi? Understanding terror also requires a strong principled policy and stand against it. In the case of Rajiv Gandhi, despite the Jain Commission report, not a single person from DMK or any other political LTTE-sympathiser has been prosecuted. Thirteen years later the DMK as Congress partner was rewarded with key ministries. The outcome? Outrageous loot of the nation through various scams, particularly in the telecom sector. Well, shall we say “coalition compulsions” can wipe out even the deadliest sins?
So by all evidence RG not only doesn’t really understand terrorism but the report at NDTV further states: The Congress General Secretary referred to December 1999 when the BJP was in power and freed three terrorists in exchange for 178 passengers who had been taken hostage on flight IC-814 from Kathmandu to Delhi. Among those released from prison was Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Mazood Azhar. "They released the terrorists. With folded hands, they freed the biggest terrorists in our prison……That man then went on to plan 26/11. And these people are trying to teach us about how to tackle terrorism. We don't bow down before anyone." Well, someone has to tell RG that the more he opens his mouth the more ignorance he displays. The 26/11 attacks are attributed to LeT and other individuals and not the ones released in 1999. But never mind that, there is something more important.
I would like to hear from Rahul Gandhi, or any Congress member who keep harping on the Kandahar issue, what exactly he would have done if he were PM and were handling the Kandahar hijack. If RG really comes up with an answer to that question then it would reflect his policy thinking on terrorism and show us how much he really understands terrorism. You never know, given our "intelligence", it could happen all over again. Of course, our friendly-fire media, will never ask RG that question. Till then we will have to contend with the bullshit of “intelligence” by the Home Minister, RG’s crap about “99%” and using Kandahar as a defence and excuse for an absence of policy or action on prevention of terrorism. Innocent men, women and children being killed through acts of terrorism are quite different from targeted political assassinations.
The security personnel around Rajiv Gandhi advised him against allowing that LTTE woman close to garland him. Rajiv’s famous last words were “Don’t worry, relax”! He paid with his life for it. Now his son is saying he “understands” terror almost telling the whole nation don’t worry, relax!