PUBLIC MEMORY, JOURNALISM students are being told for decades, is phenomenally short
I myself unthinkingly reiterated this in a whole decade as a contributory lecturer in a post-graduate Department of Mass Communications, sometimes adding that the only memory shorter than that, perhaps, was that of sub-editors.
It is no wonder that none of the reports I had seen, both in print and on electronic media, about the controversy over the Congress party President, Rahul Gandhi, adding the honorific ‘ji’ to the name of anti-India terrorist Hafiz Sayeed, recalled how the same terrorist was similarly honoured by the Congress earlier.
In 2013, the Home Minister of the Congress-led UPA government, Susheel Kumar Shinde, used ‘Ji’ and ‘sahib’ while referring to the Pakistan-backed terrorist. A huge furor
was raised about it in the Lok Sabha then, with several Bharatiya Janata Party MPs demanding that Shinde, be sacked.
Many Congress dynasty devotees felt the honorifics could just be the result of the cultured and refined speaking habits of their leaders.
It was not only the reverential reference to Hafiz Sayeed, now repeated by Rahul himself, which irritated the BJP. The Congress had parroted umpteen times that there was nothing called Islamic terrorism and that all terrorists were just criminals. Fine. It was a mere coincidence that almost all the terrorists were Muslims and the acts were done in the name of Islam and the Prophet who preached love and peace.
In the same breath, however, Shinde and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, one of the few ‘think-tanks’ in the Congress (most others have left all thinking to the Gandhi dynasty) talked of Hindu and saffron terrorism. In spite of American intelligence, better equipped in Pakistan, telling that the blasts in the Samjautha Express and a masjid in India were the handiwork of Islamic terrorists, they tried their best to blame RSS and some Hindu leaders for the same – till the courts acquitted them after years of incarceration.
The same Congress leaders, however, called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a low-born (neech) tea-seller (chaiwala), uneducated and uncouth (anpadh, Gavaar), lier and theif (chor).
It is not known where their cultured refinement of speech had done then. Perhaps it was drowned in the loud guffaws (ha ha
ha) of Renuka Choudhary, the one leader who, when she was in Telugu Desam of after defection to Congress, was never known for use of soft or refined words.