BJP’s Chintan Baithak Everyone in India now knows about BJP‟s Chintan Baithak, not because of the things that the party has discussed there but for the strange decision that it has taken on the first day of the meeting. One of the oldest and most respected partymen, who has been a wholetimer for over 30 years was expelled and the decision was conveyed to him just over the telephone. He was asked not to attend the meeting though he was present in the city where it was arranged. Jaswant Singh, one of the most well known leaders of BJP and an Union minister of the Atal Behari Vajpayee‟s regime as Prime Minister has been expelled from the party for writing a book on India‟s pre-independence and Independence, which according to the BJP leadership has „highlighted‟ Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan and has criticized the role of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel. It is quite natural that good words about a Pakistani, that even the founder of that country from an Indian minister will not be accepted well by a lot of people as a feeling of hatred prevails in their mind about their neighboring country but what BJP has done is the perfect example of extremism. The press conference that he attended just minutes after his expulsion from the party, Mr Singh has expressed his grief not because of his party‟s decision but the way he was conveyed. Expressing his disappointment, he has said none of his party members has read his book. Perhaps that‟s a fact because till now none from the BJP has been able to point out a particular sentence or paragraph from that book which supports their point. They are criticising the book as a whole. But some of the renowned journalists, columnists and news analyst, who have gone through its pages have appreciated Mr Singh‟s research work. At that press conference when he was asked whether he regret his decision to write a book on such a sensitive issue, the former Union minister replied boldly: “Why should I regret my five years of labour?” It is very easy to point out mistakes and make issues on something that somebody speaks or writes but the point is do the BJP members, who are busy in slamming their excolleague, have got anything with them that can prove Mr Singh‟s point of view on Mohammad Ali Jinnah as a lie? Newspapers have quoted some sentences from his book that say Jinnah didn‟t earn as much as Nehru and Patel gifted him. If that‟s the point of controversy then its quite foolish, because by saying that Mr Singh hasn‟t appreciated Jinnah. Independence and splitting of India into two parts is a very sensitive issue for all Indians. Many people are still alive in both India and Pakistan who still feel pain by remembering the day when they simply had to pack up their belongings and shift from one place to another but the question is how many of them know what the truth was? Most of them are common people for whom it is impossible to know what the politicians of that time did, what they decided and how they decided. By saying this I am not supporting Mr Singh for his work but as an Indian citizen it‟s my question to people like Sushma Swaraj, Arun
Jaitley, L K Advani and Rajnath Singh who are saying things in such a way as if they were present on the day when the decision of partition was taken? Where were they at that time? it‟s a 62 year-old incident when perhaps Mr Jaitley was not even born or was a crawling baby and Mr Advani was surely not in active politics. Then how do they claim that Mr Singh, a person who has served the country as an external affairs minister has written rubbish things in his book that focuses on the most sensitive issue for the country and its people? Perhaps the BJP should have thought twice before pulling the trigger. At a time when the party is in a very poor condition, this bullet can prove to be very untimely for them.