SnoopGate: Saheb’s Obsession And Spooky Silence

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Thus goes an old Urdu couplet: “Qareeb hai yaroon roz-e-mahshar, Chupe ga khushton ka khoon kyun kar, jo chup rahe gee zaban-e-khanjar, lahoo pukarega aasteen ka.”

It is not possible to transport the complete spirit in words from Urdu to English. However, it can be loosely translated like this: ‘the Day of Judgment is near, blood of martyrs would spill out even if the dagger remains silent, the blood of the cuff would reveal the act.

As the political drama “Madhuri Untold” unfolds on the national screen, every word, the poet has said, is coming alive. The now infamous Amit Shah tapes are exposing the real face of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi and the extremist Hindutva brigade.

RSS is trying to put up such a shameless defense of an indefensible offence that it has become difficult to decide whether the offence is more reprehensible or its impassioned defense.

It is now known to everyone that the former home minister of Gujarat, Amit Shah, employed all the law enforcement organs of the state to monitor every movement and conversation of a woman. Adding to the cesspool, he issued instructions to a senior police officer, GL Singhal, to throw one of the woman’s associates in jail. This was just like a firman from the Shahenshah and it had to be carried out.

The ugliness or the beauty of this tragic snooping is that the BJP has still not challenged the authenticity of the tapes. There is no question of distancing from Narendra Modi at this juncture. What is happening to the Modi’s acolyte, Shah, and what he has to say in his defense, nobody knows. The smart boy has been left to fend for himself – just like many senior politicians from his party.

The comical part of this serious defense pops up with the fragile argument that the girl’s father asked Modi to do it. After beating about the bush with many contradictory arguments, the BJP is embracing this plank, which is not just illegal, but unjustified and unreasonable, too.

How could the surveillance of a private citizen be justified even if his/her father asked for it? If that is the case, then we don’t have any right to speak against a father in any part of rural India who doesn’t want her girl to marry an individual he doesn’t like? After all, he also feels his girl should get a ‘better deal’ by marrying somebody else.

How could a young mature girl be chased like a shadow by the State with every organ of meticulous surveillance at its disposal? Was she a threat to the State? Was she under threat by enemies of the State?? Was she a Secret Service Double Cross Agent? Did she hold any important, undefined position is government hierarchy?

If answers to all these questions are negative, then why did Amit Shah, under the stern instructions of Saheb, order the monitoring operation of an Indian citizen? Is there any plausible explanation to all this?

Why was she treated like someone’s property at the expense of State? Why were normal procedures of surveillance not followed? After all, India is a democracy with a well-defined rule of law.

What forced Meenakhsi Lekhi, Nirmala Sitaraman and Rajnath Singh to TV studios to defend the act of Gujarat government?

Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime-ministerial candidate, who is being seen at the heart of controversy, has maintained a hangdog silence on the issue. He has been addressing rallies almost every day for weeks now, in which he chooses to throw muck at the Congress party, but not a single word has come out of his mouth to explain the snooping scandal that took place under his nose.

Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil summed it like this: “The chief minister, who talks about everything, makes comments about somebody’s wife, makes derogatory remarks about national leaders’ illness, must come clean on this,” Gohil said. After all, he needs to explain to the people in this country why the State machinery was used to ‘favour’ a friend.

It is said that Madhuri’s father asked Modi to ‘take care of my daughter and to ensure that she does not face any problem’, and Modi assured him ‘as a political head of the state’. Is the anti-terrorism squad a part of Modi’s personal fiefdom that he can employ as a favor?

Pertinently, a few months back, BJP leader Arun Jaitley’s CDR was accessed by some policemen, and in protest, its members stalled the Parliament for three days.

Meenakshi Lekhi blurted that it was a case of legal protection. “When the girl and her father are not complaining, who is the Congress to speak?” she asked.

Lekhi should know that it doesn’t matter whether the woman complains or not, or what explanation her father gives. State has no right or business to intrude upon the privacy of any person without a strong cause. The act undermines the rights of all citizens.

Even an illiterate urchin would laugh if he were told that it is the duty of the ‘political head’ of a state to lend the state’s law enforcement resources to snoop on one private citizen on behalf of another.

That the BJP and its supporters could go to any distance to save their face is understandable. And when they have nothing to say, they will stick to their old trick: character assassination.

According to self-proclaimed feminist, and Modi apologist, Madhu Kishwar, “Madhuri was having affair with criminal & debauch Pradeep Sharma.”

In her famous book ‘Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love’, Professor Helen E Fisher, an American anthropologist and an expert on the subject of love and attraction explains that many of the feelings of intense romantic love begin as the beloved takes on “special meaning”. Then you focus intensely on him or her.

Intense energy, elation, mood swings, emotional dependence, separation anxiety, possessiveness, physical reactions including a pounding heart and shortness of breath, and craving are all central to this feeling. Here the author wants to emphasize on ‘Obsessive Thinking’. You can describe that in nutshell as “Someone is camping in your head.”

‘Madhuri’, the new ‘object of controversies’ may not fill the space in the political crevices of Gujarat. However, the way she was stalked is nothing but a product of demented obsessive thinking of someone with enormous power and clout.

This snooping scandal points towards an intensely perverted obsessive mind that transgresses all limits of privacy and decency.

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