Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shivraj Patil is a dandy, but that is no reason to hate him


It is alright for the media to notice the fact in the melee of the day of blasts in Delhi on Saturday (September 13, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil changed his dress thrice. It is a flimsy charge being thrown at him that while Delhi was going through a moment of trauma, Patil was playing Nero. It is an interesting criticism but not a substantial one.
There are other reasons to attack Patil. One of them is the fact that he never takes a stand on anything. He sways whichever way the wind blows. He can be a liberal. He can be a conservative. According to the demand of the day. He can criticise POTA. He can argue for a POTA-like law.
But again he is not alone in this. Many Congress leaders belong to the Patil-type. They survive because they dare not think for themselves. Once the party line is given, then they will argue as required.
Patil also has this gift for gaffe. He should not have said on Saturday that it is difficult to know where the terrorists will strike. Of course, he was being truthful. But he was tactless to have said that at that moment. But that is Patil. He is inflexible, self-righteous because he takes himself seriously, which is what all poltiicians do any way.
Patil has been as much of an ineffective home minister as BJP's L.K.Advani was. Advani would not talk when it was most needed. Despite his image of a toughie, Advani is the most confused man, and a softie at that. Patil is actually sailing in the Advani boat.

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