Each time you think Indian secularism has hit its lowest point, it manages to jump off another cliff and go hurtling further downwards. Right now, Indian secular discourse is trending lower so quickly that even secular politicians cannot keep up with it. It was not long ago that Shri Arvind Kejriwal tweeted this:
Of course, this was a mischievous attempt by the media savvy Chief Minister to take credit for this change. But, the language of the tweet was quite cunning…you can’t accuse him of lying because he never said that his government took the decision…he can claim he was only “informing” people about something NDMC did 🙂 Of course, he was counting on the vast majority of people not to know the fact that NDMC is under the Center and not under Kejriwal… But hey…this is Politics 101 and Kejriwal was being clever….you can’t really hold that against him.
The key to today’s post is that back in August of 2015 when Kejriwal tweeted this, surely Kejriwal believed that there was credit to be had in removing the name of the hated despot from the streets of Delhi. That’s why he tried to steal it, right?
Cut to April 2016. About 8 months later, this happened:
Here is what Kejriwal said:
“जमाअत इस्लामी हिन्द के प्रतिनिधिमंडल ने शनिवार को मुख्यमंत्री अरविंद केजरीवाल से मुलाकात की।… जमाअत के अमीर ने मुख्यमंत्री से कहा कि औरंगजेब रोड का नाम परिवर्तन करना सही नहीं था। इससे अच्छा संदेश नहीं गया। इस पर मुख्यमंत्री ने कहा कि ‘वैसे तो यह फैसला एनडीएमसी ने लिया है, लेकिन अज्ञानतावश हमने बिना जाने बूझे समर्थन दे दिया था इसका हमें अहसास है।”
In 8 months, Kejriwal tells the Jamaat -e-Islami Hind that:
- The decision to rename Aurangzeb Road was taken by NDMC and not by us.
- We supported NDMC’s decision because of our ignorance.
- We apologize for supporting NDMC’s decision.
Beautiful, isn’t it? In 8 months, Kejriwal has gone from trying to steal credit from the NDMC to trying to pass the blame to the NDMC! And he has gone ahead and apologized to the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind for supporting the NDMC’s decision…
So, what does this mean? It means that in Aug 2015, as secular as he was, Shri Kejriwal still believed that one could at least despise Aurangzeb without being accused of being communal. But he was wrong. Clearly, even Kejriwal underestimated what the cheerleaders of Indian secularism and the thekedars of India’s Muslim vote were capable of.
Little did Kejriwal realize in Aug 2015 that India’s secular intellectuals were capable of rehabilitating even Aurangzeb. Indeed, starting Sept 2015, a huge battery of “thinkers” was unleashed upon us to prove the greatness of Aurangzeb!
On top of the that, the road had been renamed after Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, who commands universal respect in India. In August 2015, Kejriwal thought he was making a safe bet : Dr. Kalam may be the most loved man in India and Aurangzeb is perhaps the most hated emperor. Kalam over Aurangzeb seemed like a good bet to him back then… Ha! The torrent of Indian secularism has taken Kejriwal by surprise. 8 months later, Kejriwal is a stunned man…regretting and apologizing for making that bet…
Actually it is Indian secularists and people like Kejriwal who make it too easy for the BJP to be lazy. If you think about it, renaming Aurangzeb road may be the only overtly pro-Hindu decision taken by the Modi government till now. 8 months ago, the Delhi CM was fighting them for the credit. Now, he has vacated the space completely! When the rest of the polity is so actively anti-Hindu, the BJP feels absolutely no pressure to actually act on a pro-Hindu agenda. I have been making this point for months now…
By the way, in talking about this story, we cannot leave out one final aspect. As of now, it seems only NDTV has reported this news. Which creates the possibility that it might be a planted news item… after all, Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded by Aurangzeb and the Congress is fighting the AAP in Punjab. In case Kejriwal didn’t actually say this, it is time for the Delhi CM to learn an important lesson. He might think he has the media in his pocket, but the media will always support Madam’s biological son over him.
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