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Nikamma Number One

Khushwant Singh, in his inimitable style, provides a damning assessment of LK Advani in the Hindustan Times .

He should have left the political scene in a blaze of glory, but now not many tears will be shed for him. And for good reasons. Did he ever regret the role he played in the demolition of the Babri Masjid? If he did, as he claims, why did he not tender an apology? Did he regret the anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat? If so, why did he protect Narendra Modi from being sacked as Prime Minister Vajpayee evidently wanted to do? Is it possible that as home minister he did not know of Jaswant Singh’s mission to Kandahar to swap three jehadi militants for 150-odd Indians held hostage in hostile territory? There cannot be an iota of truth in his statement that he knew nothing about Jaswant’s mission till it was over.

I have no regret over Advani’s discomfiture and imminent fadeout from national politics. He has done grievous harm to our efforts to create a truly secular India. He described Manmohan Singh as nikamma — useless. It so happens, Manmohan is still much in use, while Advani’s own erstwhile colleagues have pronounced him as of no use any longer. It is as comic a tragedy as any we have witnessed in recent times.

Ironically, Sudheendra Kulkarni, writing in the Indian Express criticizes the spate of obituaries of LK Advani’s political career, and in the process, pens another obituary of the ex-next Prime Minister.

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