June 12, 2006

BJP's Yayati syndrome

SAndhya Jain
The Daily Pioneer

Some time after the arrest of the Kanchi Acharyas, the BJP think-tank hosted a talk where an ideologue defended the greatest civilisational insult Hindu India has suffered since the assassination of Guru Tegh Bahadur by a rabid Islamist ruler. The speaker diminished the seers and insinuated that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa would prove the charges against them in court. This caused grave disquiet among the audience and many bemoaned the low calibre of the BJP leadership that abysmally failed the Hindu community.

I remember telling those who sought my views on the appalling state of the party that, having shed the Hindu cause under coalition compulsions, the aged leadership was reluctant to resume the Hindu burden. Like king Yayati, however, it was so intoxicated with office that it would not see the exit signs Fate was beaming so insistently. Like the king, it swallowed the youth of its children (Generation Next), for public good, of course. In the Mahabharata story, wisdom finally dawned and the old king sought to return his son's youth. But that great renunciate refused to take back his gift, so father and son renounced the world together, after placing the grandson on the throne. Sadly, the BJP's Geriatric Club thirsts for the youth of its grandchildren also (Generation Next to Next).

Nothing illustrates this more vividly than the attitude towards the double tragedy that has hit the Mahajan family. The murderous assault on Pramod Mahajan was little more than a photo-op for some leaders, and a perfect excuse to cancel a flop yatra. BJP leaders maligning the late leader are oblivious of the possible political ramifications of the murder. If reports that assassin-brother Pravin had joined the Congress party a month before the crime are true, the case acquires a new dimension.

Strangely, BJP has left the probe entirely to the police, who have taken Pravin's anger that his brother did not make him richer, at face value. We know nothing about the persons Pravin was in touch with in the days and hours prior to and after the incident. After all, he took an unusually long time to reach Pramod's place, and later, the police station. Pravin's telephone records are being kept secret.

A month later, Pramod's secretary Bibek Maitra dies mysteriously and his only son, Rahul, barely survives. The conspiracy angle is obvious, but after the impromptu concern of president Rajnath Singh, a powerful force reins in party sympathisers. Sushma Swaraj (who dismissed the Ram Janmabhoomi as an encashed cheque) twice emerges from LK Advani's residence to declaim that BJP has no truck with the tragedy. This approach suits a rival political entity admirably. Interestingly, amidst this baffling tragedy, NCP leader Sharad Pawar breaks ranks with Congress to field nationalist tycoon Rahul Bajaj for the Rajya Sabha. BJP supremos, who once preferred Sanjay Gandhi acolyte Lalit Suri and Congresswoman Najma Heptullah to Mr Bajaj, have to concur.

There is more to the Rahul Mahajan episode than meets the eye. On June 1, Sahil Zaroo takes Rahul Malhotra and Karan Ahuja to the house; on hindsight, it seems he needs witnesses to something likely to unfold there. They arrive at 11.30 pm and after a private talk with Maitra (recently changed to Rahul), Sahil claims receiving Rs 15,000 to buy cocaine. Sahil and Karan buy five grams of cocaine from Vasant Vihar, and Karan decides to go home. Sahil returns alone; he and Maitra snort the stuff, but the latter says it is not genuine and demands a replacement. We do not know what Rahul Malhotra does all this time.

Police say Maitra sent his driver Anil with Sahil and Rahul Malhotra to change the material, but now Rahul also opts out. Sahil is physically well at this point; he gets Trishay Khanna to accompany him to the Mahajan residence around 2 am. As Sahil, Anil and Trishay enter the room, they find Maitra frothing at the mouth and Rahul's body cold. Sahil calls the servants while the driver telephones former aide Harish Sharma for guidance.

If Sahil went to change the dubious powder, what did Maitra and Rahul consume that caused such deterioration in their condition, and how? Did Sahil return merely to check their condition? What did Sahil imbibe that caused delayed illness, not serious enough to prevent him from flying to Srinagar? Sahil and Trishay had the presence of mind to remove Sahil's car from the scene and get him an injection at Spring Meadows clinic; this suggests he got a specific antidote.

Sahil's lawyer claims his client met Maitra to get an air ticket to Srinagar released from the VIP quota. This is easy to verify, but it does not explain why Sahil went to the residence twice with 'witnesses'. Police say Abdullah gave cocaine to Sahil, but Maitra died of heroin overdose, and servants say Sahil switched a packet of white powder in Maitra's pocket. A television channel reveals that on the night of the crime Sahil made 18 calls to Abdullah, one to a film producer, and numerous calls to the daughter of a Mumbai police officer. For someone intending to spend the night doing cocaine, it sounds strange.

Something is rotten. Rahul Malhotra, Trishay Khanna and Karan Ahuja consider their moves, find a reputed narcotics lawyer, speak to a news channel, and then surrender to the police. Although it may have been too late to find alcohol in their blood, it is surprising they were not medically examined for consumption of drugs. If the police makes them approvers, the entire case will appear fraudulent and contrived. It is pertinent that after making a huge splash about Rahul using a five hundred rupee note to chase the cocaine (now heroin), the police have not told us if they recovered the remains of any such note; they have changed the quantity of drugs involved.

The determination to prove that Rahul consumed and distributed drugs smacks of political vendetta. Defamatory stories are being planted against Maitra and Rahul. However, some observers point out that if Rahul really was a drug addict, he would have displayed the classic 'withdrawal' symptoms in custody. Yet Rahul has not asked jail authorities for a 'fix'; such self-control is not possible for a 'regular' on the drug circuit.


Anonymous said...

Sequence of Events:
1. Pramod Mahajan is officially declared as Vajapyee's successor.
2. Pramod Mahajan is shot in cold blood by his own brother.
3. Pramod Mahajan's secretary is killed a month after that..

See the connection..
A certain political party is well-known for setting up a brother against brother in the same family, for instance..Mukesh against Anil..Narayan Rane against Uddhav..Raj against Uddhav..and so on..Pravin against Pramod ..the story continues..So, the determination to finish off Pramod Mahajan is planned..weaknesses in the family are probed, capitalized on..
Flight to Srinagar
Did Sahil deliberately fly to Srinagar (the very next day after Moitra was murdered) so that he could destroy the drug packets that Rahul Mahajan had ordered for the second time?

Bibek Moitra was many things to many people but to people who've seen him grow: He was a big-looking guy who was a kid at heart and whose knowledge and love of world history and politics was legendary. Regardless of what the media says, our affection and respect for this " baby elephant" remains intact.

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