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Get Kumaraswamy


England’s King Henry II had asked in exasperation, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?” His chamchas went and assassinated Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, believing that is what he desired. The words of the powerful, even if spoken casually or in jest, can have a powerful impact. In fact, such persons have to mind their words because things may happen that they forget even having ordered.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has been caught on video ordering a police officer to shoot those believed to have killed a member of his party. He has come up with several excuses to explain his outburst – an emotional response to a tragedy that ‘he had not meant’; he was actually saying ‘smoke them out’; etc., but none of these justify his response. He could well have not meant what he said, but what if the cop had taken it as an order? He could have carried out the instructions, as some are known to have done over the years. How is he to know whether the CM meant what he said or not? For these reasons and more, the Chief Minister is not only morally culpable, but has also violated half a dozen sections of the IPC. He cannot, as he is trying now, brazen it out. If nothing else, the courts should take suo moto notice of what he has said and institute a case against him.
Unfortunately, things do not work that way in India. One’s criminality is decided by one’s status and the political stable one belongs to. MJ Akbar had to relinquish his ministerial post on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations concerning events decades past. After he did, nothing has been heard of the matter, since the objective had been achieved. On the other hand, a Sajjan Kumar was required to resign from the Congress only after he was convicted of murder. Those who decide on such matters in much of the media and intelligentsia look at the two existing political eco-systems from different perspectives. The standards applied are established on separate baselines.
Since political ideologies decide such matters, it would behove the BJP not to let go of this plum that has fallen in its lap. It should not rest till such time Kumaraswamy pays for his mistake. This is not just a cooked up, fake news allegation. It is real and visible to all. There is no way that the law can be bent to accommodate such a mistake.