Update (October 28, 2009): Jagdish Tytler has sent me a couple of letters regarding the events referred to in this post. You can read them here.
I’m glad that the Congress has withdrawn Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar from the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. I think Delhi 1984 was as much of a blot on the nation as Gujarat 2002 was, and it is a travesty that our government has never even attempted to ensure that justice is done. But the manner of their withdrawal raises the following thought.
If the Congress believed that the duo was guilty of being part of the 1984 riots, then they should have never been selected as candidates for the party at all. If the Congress believed the duo to be innocent (or innocent until proven guilty), then their names should not have been withdrawn just because some dude threw a shoe.
The way the Congress has handled this makes it obvious that they do not believe in principles, but in power. They will do whatever it takes to come to power, and right or wrong be damned. In our political marketplace, it is inevitable that all parties and most politicians will be like this, so this is hardly surprising. But it does mean that every time the Congress takes the high moral ground on any issue, I will snigger.
That said, I still prefer the Congress to the BJP. This is because the Congress stands for nothing, while the BJP stands for something pernicious. The BJP has, in its DNA, the politics of divisiveness. It is true that the Congress has also played such politics, but out of convenience, not belief. That makes their acts no less heinous, but, in my eyes at least, it makes them slightly less dangerous because there is less chance of things going wrong, of a repeat of 1984 or 2002.
And ya, it burns me up that I need to decide who I support on the basis of who is less dangerous. That totally sucks, but such it is, so there we go.