Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Difference Between a Politician and a Mere Administrator

I happened to read Sharad Pawar's interview by Shekhar Gupta today. Pawar is probably the most pragmatic and practical politician in India at the moment. And extremely intelligent.
Sharad Pawar, in the interview, admitted to have deliberately misled the people of Mumbai during the 1993 bomb blasts in order to avoid a backlash against the muslims.
[. . .] I recollect on March 12, I was sitting in Mantralaya and at about 12-12.30 pm I heard a big noise, it was the explosion in Air India’s office. Within ten minutes I got a message that explosions had happened in 11 places, more than 365 people had died. I immediately realised that all these places were essentially dominated by Hindus. I guessed there must be some design, and that design must be that Hindus should react against the minority.

[. . .] I realised that basically the design seems to be that there should be riots. So I straight went on television and I misled people, deliberately misled people, instead of 11 bomb explosions I said 12. And one of the places that I mentioned was Masjid Bandar, an area dominated by minorities. So I spread the message that it’s not only in Hindu areas, it’s in a Muslim area also. I also said that I had seen - because I’d immediately visited the Air India building - and I said I’d visited it and the type of material that had been used was used essentially by some of the southern Indian side terrorist organisations. And I tried to (point a) finger at the Sri Lankan side...

[. . .] That was also deliberately fudged, I wanted to divert the attention from the Muslim angle to other areas. Because the design was to create further problem in Mumbai. Ultimately investigations established ki that was the design...
It's decisions and actions like these that show Pawar's political acumen. My respect for this politician has risen a few notches.

This is one of the best interviews given by a politician in some years. Pawar also talks about his views on the dance bar bans in Mumbai, the role of the left in the UPA government, economic reforms, and yes, even the selection system in Indian Cricket.

Do read it for this absorbing interview will give you an insight into the thinking of one of India's better politicians.

1 comment:

Anil P said...

Misleading deliberately can have consequences that might turn out be worse than if he were honest. At the very least such misleading comments will assign blame to sections who are not responsible for these acts, and that is worse than calling murderers for what they are.