Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Jarnail Singh shouldn't have been let off

Dainik Jagran journalist Jarnail Singh flung a shoe at Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram during a Press Conference at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi. He did this in protest against the Congress’s decision to field Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar — accused in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. Chidambaram had refused to answer a question raised by Jarnail who accused the the Congress of denying justice to the Sikhs.

Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar are accused in the 1984 Sikh riots which happened after the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. CBI had given a clean chit to Tytler in the case recently much to the dismay of the entire Sikh community. They felt the centre had used its power over the CBI ahead of the the crucial elections.

Chidambaram on his part recovered composure and went ahead with the Press Conference. In the heat of the upcoming elections he even went on to pardon Jarnail Singh for his act. He did not want the Congress to be seen as Anti-Sikh and loose vote its share among the community. Among a section of the Sikh community Jarnail is being hailed as a hero and cash rewards are being given to him.

The truth is however this is a highly condemnable act by an individual that too a journalist. In a democracy like ours there are other ways to protest. We do not need to take a leaf out of Iraq and perform the act in India. Do we want India to be another Iraq? Surely not and Jarnail Singh should not have been let off easily after his shameful act.

P Chidambaram letting him off is another example of how politicians see their vote bank ahead of everything else. Would this individual have been let off had this incident happened a year or two ago when there were no elections in sight? Who is Mr Chidambaram to pardon somebody who has hurled a shoe at a cabinet minister and could have posed a serious security threat to many others present during the Press Conference.

We are not a banana republic and letting Jarnail off is a bigger international shame than his act. What do we portray to the world leaders who address the press when they visit India. Should they be prepared to have a shoe flung at them by some other journalist who will be inspired by Jarnail's act more so because he has earned overnight fame without any punishment.

Jarnail Singh's act is highly condemnable but even more is the decision to let him off in spite of hurling a shoe at a cabinet minister.


Ayushman Baruah April 8, 2009 at 3:14 PM  

He was forgiven by PC, so it should be fine.

subhadeepbhattacharjee April 8, 2009 at 3:31 PM  

Well who is PC to forgive someone who has taken the law in his own hands......Priyanka can tomorrow ask the Govt to release Rajiv Gandhi's has to follow its own course and there can be no compromomise

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