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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Vacuousness and drunken stupor

Last week a Dutch court held that country's government responsible for 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which Muslin men and boys were murdered in cold blood after the declared safe-haven protected by Dutch peace-keepers was run over by Serb forces under the command of Ratko MladićRatko Mladic was the chief of the staff of the Srpska Republic army and Radovan Karadžić was the president. Both of them have been indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for their crimes against humanity and are waiting their trials at the international court. Two of them are refered to as butchers of Bosnia as they led their Serbian army with a single intent of ethnic cleansing at the very end of twentieth century in a part of Europe. Both Karadžić and Mladić remained elusive for long time until the unrelenting arm of international criminal justice penetrated their covers. The task of their capture was made easy by changed times in Serbia itself, with the ultimate thug, Milosovic having long been disposed and handed over to the war tribunal in The Hague. He died during his trial and cruelly escaped justice for his crimes that included the persecution of Kosovars that ended only through NATO bombardment. 

Pertinently, someone remarked on social media that elevation of Amit Shah as president of ruling party in India has an echo of Karadžić and Mladić returning to the corridors of power. Both Modi and his henchman indulged in no less an ethnic cleansing of their own. Judiciary might have been ambivalent in the case Modi, but there were never ambiguities concerning the culpability of Amit Shah. The ambivalence in the case of the former was nothing more than technical and has more to do with the pliability of the system than any doubts about actual intent of the crimes committed under his watch. Instead of waiting for their trial, they are now the most powerful people in the country. If one leaves their crimes aside for moment and assess as to how the the new government with massive majority is going about the bussiness of running the country.

I think no body could sum that better than Jawed Naqvi, who in a column in The Dawn described functioning of the saffron government as vacuous. He went on describe an anecdote, which is reproduced here,


"NARENDRA Modi’s instant prescriptions to cure India’s chronic troubles are vacuous or easy or both.The conclusions are reminiscent of the full moon night when Majaaz, Lucknow’s guru of wit and poetry, returned home punch drunk. The house was in a shambles. Policemen were shining torches into the ransacked cupboards. The ladies of the house were huddled in a corner, anxiety writ on their noble faces.
Spotting Majaaz in his unbuttoned sherwani and dishevelled hair, one of the sisters cried out in anguish. Whoever had broken into their house had taken away everything, she sobbed. Majaaz, we are told, watched the proceedings silently, shifting his weight from dizzy toes to tipsier heels and back.
Using the palm of his hand as a hood over his eyes he took as good a view as he could get of puzzled cops gaping at emptied out teakwood almirahs. Then, with an air of insight he muttered what seemed like a considered opinion: “Ye to kisi chor ki harkat maaloom hoti hai.” (This looks like the work of a thief.)"
Well Majaaz was drunk at the time, but Modi and his government with their limited discerning intellects are bound to indulge in absurdism more often than would be normal. Their approach to governance couldn't have been anything else because their and their supporters world-views are nothing but vacuous. That vacuousness combined with sinister communal intent is shaping their agenda. Instead of approaching Kashmir issue with a broader outlook, the saffron government has entered it through a communal fissure and at the same time started making noises of of much misunderstood article 370. 

Whatever, they understand or may even do about it, the article 370 of the constitution cannot be abrogated. Because, that is the article that defines the relationship between Jammu and Kashmir state and the union throught article 1 of the Indian constitution. Were they to abrogate the said article, the state will cease to be the part of the Indian union. And any change in the article has to be agreed by the state constituent assembly that had dissolved itself in late 1950s. The true implication is that all Indian laws extended to the state after dissolution of the constituent assembly are ipso facto illegitimate. Even if, were the government able to abrogate the article, would that solve any of the issues and undo the criminality committed by the Indian occupation of the place. 

The real absurdity lies not only in what this government does, rather in what it has meticulously avoided to do. Avoidance of discussion on ongoing human tragedy in the parliament was absurdly comical. But then like Majaaz in drunken stupor, both Modi and Sushma Sawaraj, in this case, can clearly see that Palestinians and Israelis are bombing each other. Anyway with a hard core ideological fanatic as the head of Indian Council Historical Research, they soon will have a new history, so why to take sides now.
-Rajiv Kumar