Sudenly there is this talk of the Taliban taking over Pakistan and the problems that this is likely to pose to India. The Government of India (‘secular’ government at that) seeks to ‘express concern’ ( note : ‘expressing concern’ does not amount to condemnation, you see) at the peace pact between the Taliban and the Pak govt in not so harsh words, the reason being that an opposition to the ‘sharia’ law’s implementation in the ‘Swat’ valley would probably ‘alienate’ the minority community. Same holds good for the ‘elite’ news papers too.
While the threat from the Taliban is a reality, let us look at what that would translate to in terms of the threat perception for the different states in the cradle of India.
The governments of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi, West Bengal, Kerala and Jammu need not worry much. In any case either there is arson in these states or a government in place, one being the synonym of the other.
Let us look at the ‘Rationalist Republic of Tamil Nadu’ as this state with in the state of India needs special consideration, considering the current political discourse and governance in the state.
What would the Taliban want to be seen in Tamil Nadu that would proclaim to the external world that they have gained control over a state / country ? They would want lawlessness, nepotism, ugly display of power, brandishing of arms in public spaces, disrespect to democratic processes, opposition to natural justice, a general feeling of insecurity and hopelessness in the minds of the people and an utter disregard for the welfare of the citizens.
But, wait a minute. Are these attributes not part of the state of Tamil Nadu already ?
Was there not utter disregard shown to the law of the land when the so called custodians of law, the lawyers, themselves took sought to prevent justice and hold the High Court of the State for ransom, attacking litigants and the police ? More than disregard, what is seen is utter contempt for law that too from the people who are supposed to enable justice for the common man.
Was the issue that they were protesting for, in any way, concerned with the welfare of the fellow citizens of the land ? Was it in any way related to the upliftment of the millions of people who don’t even get one square meal a day ? The pity is the fight was for the euphemistic ‘ethnic’ brethren of a different country while, in actuality, the agitation was for the welfare of a murderous group that has been hell bent on massacring its own brethren.
Then there was this by-election for a constituency in the state. A state minister who also happened to be the son of the chief minister was caught on tape, handing over wads of currency to voters, on the eve of the elections. An union minister was seen handing over the wads of currency to the money-giver. And what followed that was a list of all possible reasons for the money giving ritual. Such rampant corruption espoused by the ruling group has not been seen anywhere.
The violence perpetrated on Sun TV and ‘Dinakaran’ news paper, killing of employees of the news paper by the other son of the chief minister and the hush-up operations after that and what not ! If at all there has been a state government in India that can be compared with the current one in TN, then that could have been the first government of Jayalalitha between 1991 and 1996.The current one has every attribute to surpass the former.
Coming back to Taliban. We know that the Taliban demolished the statue of the Bamiyan Buddha that was standing since the last millennium. That was their way of demonstrating that idolatry was an sub-optimal level of realizing ones’ divine consciousness. Did not the DMK government try and establish the statue of EVR in front of the Srtirangam temple as if EVR was the substitute of the guarding deity Iyyanar of the hindu pantheon ?
The Taliban attacked and continues to attack people who dare to speak ill of or attempt to commit what they call ‘blasphemy’. Similarly the DMK ministers along with the Mayor of Chennai attacked the BJP headquarters in Chennai, confining even lady members of the BJP inside the premises and pelted stones at them, causing considerable damage to the premises. Hence the moot question is: Do we need another Taliban ?
Then we have this unique case of the formation of human chains by students from schools and colleges unmindful of pouring rains ostensibly for the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils. It is learnt that the students were forced to participate in this form of protest by the college authorities when the parents of the children had sent them to schools and colleges for education purposes.
On top of all that comes the much too frequent ‘Valedictory Functions’ to the Chief Minister and his kin. They are being felicitated for one thing or the other. If it is for talking in Tamil in the Lok Sabha on one day, it is for talking in English to the media on another day. It has become so customary for the people to expect some form of felicitation for the chief minister’s family daily and advertisements placed in leading news papers ( full page ones at that ) reminding the people of the felicitation function .
When it comes to ridiculing and making fun of the majority community as also meddling with the new year dates ( Tamil New Year has been “changed” from April 14 to January 14 ), indulging in laughable declarations even in the Assembly like asking the Central government to intervene in Sri Lanka or asking for re-writing the Constitution of India, indulging in wasteful expenditure like the distribution of colored television sets for free to the electorate, the current government appears to be more like the Taliban with its backward ideologies and thought processes that are not inclined towards taking the state forward.
Though it is a fact that the Taliban would feel more at home in the streets of Chennai than even in Afghanistan as the streets of both these places look alike with equal number of pot holes, I would very much doubt if they would really want to come to Chennai. That is because they would not want to be redundant in Chennai while their peers appear to be running the government in the state.
Yet another similarity that the Taliban would find between Afghanistan and Chennai in particular and TN in general is the general darkness everywhere due to the frequent power cuts. The state’s electricity minister should be handed over the Nobel Prize for Electrical Engineering for his innovative invention of the state’s electrical power cables that don’t create a short circuit even if you touch them !
Due to the above reasons, I don’t think that the Taliban would attack their own ilk.
Hence I congratulate the current government in Tamil Nadu for fending off the attack from the Taliban.