Playing For A Stake

I was very surprised at reading an article by Kuldip Nayar in an Urdu newspaper. Actually, I was more depressed than surprised. Perhaps the eyesight of the senior most journalist of the country has become very weak. He was always an inspiration for journalists like me. Kuldip Nayar’s article was based on illogical and wrong facts. The most surprising part is that Kuldeep Nayar has written that General (Retd) V.K. Singh is uncultured and rangy. But Kuldip Nayar has forgotten that V.K. Singh was a courageous Army Chief who revealed the existing corruption in the Army Administration. Weapon brokers and the arms lobby turned against him. Journalists like Shekhar Gupta also tried to embarrass him. Shekhar published a false story in the Indian Express newspaper that army troops began a march to capture Delhi ! But the Government quickly dismissed it as false news. It is being said that a Punjabi lobby which has connections with the arms mafia and arms lobby is working against General (Retd) V.K. Singh. Only Kuldip Nayar knows or can say why he has targeted V.K. Singh in his article. A veteran journalist like him cannot be asked whether he is working for any lobby. After reading the level of language used by Kuldip Nayar in his article, people will be inclined to exclaim ‘this cannot be the language written by Kuldip Nayar’.
His article has got many loopholes. Kuldip Nayar has argued that if the culprits of the 1984 Sikh riots had been punished, the Gujarat riots wouldn’t have occurred. He is directly connecting Gujarat with the Sikh riots of Delhi, but he must have forgotten that in between Delhi and Gujarat, the Meerut riots have also occurred showcasing the barbarity of police. Anyway, the background of the Gujarat riots was different, that is why it is incorrect to say that if the culprits of the Sikh riots would have been punished then the Gujarat riots wouldn’t have occurred.
Kuldip Nayar has written in his article “the day when Army will raise questions on the principles of the Parliament supported leaders that will be a ‘Black Day’ for the country. Therefore it reminds me about the dramatic style of General (Retd) V.K. Singh.” It should be understood that neither is V.K. Singh in the Army now nor is he raising questions against any of the principles of the Government. Kuldip Nayar should also remember that it was V.K. Singh who opposed the decision of the UPA Government for sending the Army to the forest areas to finish off the Naxalites in one stroke and he was correct. For those who have faith in democracy, this decision of V.K. Singh is historical because those who have the responsibility of protecting the democracy on their shoulders are trying to wipe out the democracy with the help of military forces and an Army General is advising them to protect the values of democracy. If, like other Generals, he too would have agreed with the Government then questions would have been raised even against democracy. It should be remembered before writing anything against V.K. Singh that he is not amongst those Army Generals who after retirement become Governors to enjoy Government luxuries.
Kuldip Nayar has also written in his article that not even a slight affability is present in V.K. Singh and he is shouting slogans for the gherao of Parliament by coming down to the level of ‘awaragardi’. It seems that even Kuldip Nayar has started believing wrong news that is published in the newspapers. First of all, V.K. Singh didn’t raise any slogans for the enclosure of Parliament. He was only participating in a farmers movement. The farmers who were protesting have kept several demands before the Government and have also decided that if the Government doesn’t pay attention to their demands then they will blockade Parliament on 4 December. When journalists asked General (Retd) V.K. Singh whether he agrees with the demands of the farmers then he said ‘yes.’ After that, when journalists asked whether he supports the idea of blockading Parliament, he said if the situation demands then we will see. Kuldeep Nayar should know that before this V.K. Singh had already demanded dissolution of Parliament along with Anna Hazare in Mumbai.
The point to be understood is that the day when General V.K. Singh retired from the Army, he became a common citizen of the country. Now, when he is fighting against the existing corruption of the country, what is wrong in it? What is the harm in blockading Parliament for a cause? Does Kuldip Nayar not believe that the Government has broken all records of corruption? Does he not know about the suicides committed by farmers? Does he not know about looting by corporate houses? Does he think it is right to give the fertile lands of farmers to private companies by acquiring them? Does he think that it is a correct policy to ruin villages in the name of dams and canals? Does he think that the way in which the Muslims are being cheated is right? Does he think that the quest for water, forest, land and minerals has ended in the country? Does he think that the penurious people of the country are free from difficulties and all the youths of the country have got employment? Does he think the Government is making decisions for the welfare of the people? If Kuldip Nayar thinks all these issues and problems are redundant, then it does not matter. But V.K. Singh thinks that all these problems should be diagnosed and tackled immediately. He thinks that Government is not implementing the soul and instructions of the Constitution. That is why he is ready to fight against it along with the public. This spirit and intentions of V.K. Singh should be welcomed but Kuldip Nayar is saying that General V.K. Singh is itching to come into politics. It is a matter of pride that a General who is so honest and a fighter against corruption is itching to come into politics. Conversely, it can be asked, if such persons should not come into politics then should thieves, robbers, rapists and those who are corrupt come into politics ?
A journalist’s pen has power and if that journalist is a veteran like Kuldip Nayar, then the power multiplies much more. This power should be utilised in favour of the public, not the Government. Who will know better in India than Kuldip Nayar that a journalist’s duty is to expose discrepancies in Governmental activities. He knows and we have also learnt from him that a journalist shouldn’t work as a media manager of the Government. Several journalists of the country are trying to become media managers of the Government and many journalists have taken this upon themselves. We are sure that Kuldip Nayar is not among those. But the times have changed, and people have started accusing Kuldip Nayar of again trying to gain a Rajya Sabha berth by holding the tail of the Congress.

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