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   There are several things that I do not understand... (January 10, 1990)

There are several things that I do not understand in the present political scenario. I will point them out, one by one.

First of all, how does the BJP expect to strengthen secularism by demolishing a Muslim mosque and building a Hindu temple in its place? Secularism, I thought, was based on tolerance, respecting one another's faith and beliefs, the majority protecting the minority.

Though I do not think the Muslims are a minority, there are millions of them in India; the Sikhs are a minority, the Christians are, the Parsis ceratinly are, they are less than a minority, they are dying.

Next, what is Mr. L.K. Advani, a respectable and respected gentleman, the most likely and desired candidate for the post of the next prime minister of India, doing by going about the country in a chariot, like NTR or Devi Lal on their election campaigns? If he wants to create emotional integration in the country, he should go on a padayatra like Chandra Shekhar or Sunit Dutt.

And what are these Delhi students fighting and dying over? Have they not realised by now that there are no jobs to give away, whether to reserved people or unreserved people? And if they are educated and going to be university graduates (even if it is only the Delhi University or the Jawaharlal Nehru Universicy), why should they worry about jobs as gvernement clerks, which are the only ones reserved, when they can get more interesting and rewarding jobs in the private sector? Besides, when has the governemnt ever effectively implemented ever effectively implemented anything that it is going to implement the Mandal Commission recommendations.

Next, I do not understand all the politicians of all the various political parties. Either they are for the Mandal commission or they are against it. They cannot all be for the Mandal commission and at the same time against it.

And I did not understand the prime minister. One minute he wants to deal with every issue through consensus and compromise, and to do so he is prepared to go to the ends of the earth, or to Punjab and Kashmir, and meet anybody, and the next minute he is not prepared to compromise with students.

And finally, Mr. Devi Lal. When he should have resigned, he did not resgin, when he need not have resigned, he has resigned. Though I would not be surprised if he is persuaded to withdraw his resignation and is reinducted into the cabinet as home minister.

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