Thursday, August 18, 2011

pioneer: Congress faces its Kandahar by Ashok Malik

aug 18th, 2011 CE

manmohan singh and p chidambaram, the laughing stock of the world.

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From: sanjeev 

Excellent comparison. Note that Youth Congress workers instigated relatives of Indian hostages to apply pressure on NDA govt. The electronic media contributed to the pressure by showing these scenes live and the Terrorists friends in Mumbai were seeing TV, enjoying the fun and giving feedback to their friends in Kandhar. NDA’s big blunder.
Congress faces its Kandahar
August 18, 2011   11:33:41 PM

Ashok Malik

The ridicule that the Congress has been exposed to following its amateurish response to Anna Hazare's protest will return to haunt it again and again.

It is tempting to look upon the Anna Hazare episode as the UPA Government’s very own Kandahar. Just as that extraordinary surrender on a cold, windswept day in Afghanistan came back to haunt the BJP over and over again, the public ridicule the Manmohan Singh Government has been exposed to will be with it till the end of its term.

The manner in which a single political activist, strengthened by nothing but his cussed moralism and the sense that public sentiment was with him, began 24 hours of bargaining with the Government of India was bewildering. True, it spoke of the empowerment of the Little Man in a democracy, but it also reflected the collapse of the Government’s credibility.

Mr Hazare played hardball. He refused to leave Delhi’s Tihar Jail till the Government more or less conceded his right to fast at a location and for a length of his choosing. One by one, he got the Government to agree to not extern him on release; to agree to a three-day fast; to agree to a seven-day fast; to agree to a 14-day fast. It was slow murder, played out in real time on television.

The UPA Government has shown a fundamental weakness and a lack of political finesse. How long before others exploit it? This doesn’t necessarily mean a series of copycat fasts. It just lays bare the Government’s essential vulnerability.

The Kandahar analogy is both appropriate and yet not so. The NDA Government was not responsible for the original sin in 1999 — the hijacking of the plane once it took off from Kathmandu. It’s only misstep — but a fundamental misstep — was to allow the plane to leave Amritsar, where it landed temporarily.

In the case of Mr Hazare, the Congress and its posse of too-clever-by-half Ministers and spokespersons have faltered at every stage. They created this crisis by seeking to thwart an essentially political agitation with bureaucratic stonewalling and using the expedient of denying permission, citing obscure regulations.

A backlash was inevitable. The Congress’s response to it was further denial. India has seen a genuine middle-class protest in the past few days. The Congress discounts this, alleging it is all BJP-RSS mobilisation.

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seadog4227 said...

The choice of Kandahar is idiotic and ill-informed.

san said...

There is another, more apt comparison:

Let's hope that the final outcome at the ballot box will be the same.

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