Mental shift

Manage your mind and you can manage your life

Is this Karnataka?

Posted by jytmkh on September 17, 2008

The Indian Express

There are times when the ability and willingness to call a spade a spade matter more than anything else. It is imperative for an elected Government to distinguish fact from speculation and act accordingly. Above all, it is mandated to protect the citizens it is responsible for. The attacks on churches across Karnataka would have been mitigated and even stopped had the B.S. Yeddyurappa government treated the issue first and foremost as a law and order problem. Of course, the CM has promised action and the maintenance of peace and harmony. Vacuous as those terms are, we all have a rough idea as to what they signify and why they are so vital to the continuance of civilised life. But the “iron hand” that the CM has promised hasn’t quite been manifest as policemen deployed couldn’t prevent the Bajrang Dal and VHP activists from running amok, targeting churches. It is an axiom that police personnel act when there is the political will.

Attacks on citizens abiding by the law of the land cannot be obfuscated by ideology and argument. And the government doesn’t have the luxury to waste time and words. There are wild people causing havoc and they must be stopped before they do more damage. But Yeddyurappa had initially chosen to preface his comments by stating that forced conversions are inappropriate. The CM doesn’t, and should not, hold any brief for a particular community. His job is to ensure that ordinary people attending a prayer meeting do not face violence of any kind. The government’s self-congratulatory message on concluding 100 days in office significantly failed to account for the attacks on Christians in Karnataka.

There may or may not be economic reasons behind the attacks. But we do not yet know enough about that. While Orissa’s (another state that has witnessed attacks against Christians recently) development story is usually ignored, Karnataka has been treated by the media as a great success. What is happening in the state now is a serious reversal of image, something that no constituent territory of the Indian Union can afford.

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