Thursday, August 20, 2009

t’s not what Jaswant Singh said ---- : Aakar Patel _ Mumbai Mirro

It's not what Jaswant Singh said about Jinnah or Patel but his temerity to question the party leadership that got BJP's goat


    Jaswant Singh has not been expelled for his book. He could not have been, because it does not say anything untrue. Very quickly, this is what his book says:

In 1940, Jinnah's Muslim League proposed that Muslims should have self-government 

Between 1940 and 1946, Jinnah gained electoral support and was open for negotiations. However, he was snubbed by Congress leaders whose actions were either illogical (Gandhi) or tactless (Nehru). They wanted to rule India alone; Jinnah wanted a federation 

3On March 8, 1947, as killings began in Punjab, on both sides,Vallabhbhai Patel and Nehru accepted Partition in a resolution they passed in Gandhi's and Azad's absence 

Congress could have done more to prevent Partition Jinnah was modern and secular and would have been appalled by how Pakistan turned out 

None of this is wrong, or new. It is taught in history books. Does Jaswant say Partition was a good thing? No. Does he blame Patel for it? No. If there is one man Jaswant holds most responsible for Partition, it is in fact Jinnah and his "continued rigidity, his fixed stand on an ever increasing charter of demands for the Muslims, an ever larger share of power for them in Independent India (page 504)."
    Patel is mentioned in the book in six places (pages 13, 289, 418, 459, 461 and 488). Not in one place has Jaswant said an unkind word about him. So when Rajnath is angry with Jaswant's views on Patel, he must be hallucinating. But he is not. And that is because Jaswant's punishment is not for his book at all. It is about the elections that the BJP lost under Rajnath's presidency, Advani's candidacy and Jaitley's management.
    After the defeat, Jaswant Singh told the BJP Core Group at a meeting on June 10 that leaders should be held accountable if the party was to progress. Advani initially made a show of quit
ting, but none of the three men left. Rajnath remains president, Advani is leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Jaitley leader in the Rajya Sabha. And so it is Jaswant Singh who must go instead.
    A minor royal from Rajasthan, Jaswant won the election from Darjeeling. Why Darjeeling? Because the Gurkhas would vote for someone who spent nine years with the Central India Horse. For a soldier, raised on black and white certitude, Jaswant Singh has written a remarkable book.
    It is free of prejudice and the BJP should have been proud that one of their own wrote it. Instead they have punished him. Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. But if it is so obvious that Jaswant is right and Rajnath is wrong, then how will Rajnath get away with it? He 
will because he is confident that nobody will actually read Jaswant's book. This includes the media which carried headlines like 'Jaswant blames Patel, Nehru for Partition'. In India we like the idea of controversy, the details bore us.

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