Pragya a liability
The BJP’s Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur has become a liability for the party after her praise of Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse. A BJP leader told this newspaper, “If she wins, we will live in fear not knowing what she might say in Parliament.” His colleague added, “We are no longer keen to see her win.” But then Pragya is not the first BJP leader to praise Godse. After the BJP’s massive victory in the 2014 elections, the party MP from Unnao, Sakshi Maharaj, had said: “I believe Nathuram Godse was also a nationalist and Mahatma Gandhiji also did a lot for the nation. Godse was an aggrieved person. He may have done something by mistake but was not an anti-national. He was a patriot.”
Savarkar removed from Rajasthan text books
The Congress government in Rajasthan has decided not to teach Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, “Veer Savarkar”, as a “strong freedom fighter and patriot”. The authorities have changed the text on his life as per the Education Department’s review and recommendations. “The biography prepared and introduced in Class 10 textbooks by previous BJP government had portrayed Savarkar as much stronger than other freedom fighters, solely for ‘political gains’ and to impress upon RSS ideology,” Rajasthan’s Minister of State for School Education Govind Singh Dotasara told The Sunday Guardian.
As per the revision by a review committee appointed by Education Department, Savarkar had put four mercy petitions to British to skip jail term and had supported them during Second World War. Hence, the topic was subjected to revision in Class 10 textbook in the lesson titled “Angreji Samarjya ka pratikar aur sangarsh”, which carried history of many other legendary freedom fighters, Dotasara, said.
Experience as a voter
I want to share my experience last Sunday inside the polling booth near our journalists’ colony in South Delhi, with the readers. An Election Commission-authorised young guide took me inside after knowing that I was a senior citizen. He helped me complete all the formalities and escorted me inside the screened area where two EVMs were kept. I thought he would now leave me alone to cast my vote in secrecy. Instead, he asked me, “Whom do you want to vote for?” I told him, “I will manage myself now.” But he kept on standing. To see how far he would go, I told him that I wanted to vote for a particular party. “Are you sure?” the EC guide asked. “Yes,” I replied. Then he put my middle finger on the symbol of a party whom I did not want to vote for. I told him that it was the wrong symbol. Then I located the symbol of my choice and pressed the button. After a few seconds, the beep came and, thankfully, the attached small screen displayed the right symbol I had voted for. As I stepped out, the guide had lost interest in me and had gone to fetch someone else to help. Later, I was wondering why he was allowed to come inside the restricted area where EVMs were kept.
Manmohan will stay in politics
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (86) has declared that he was not hanging his boots yet. Singh’s Rajya Sabha term ends on 14 June. In an interview to a Punjab newspaper, Singh made it clear that “I have decided not to hang my boots just yet…I am in public life and as long as my health permits I would like to remain active so as to serve the country to the best of my ability and capacity.” It is a clear indication that former PM is ready to go for another Rajya Sabha term.
Sidhu not campaigning in Punjab
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh believes in straight talk. During his busy campaign schedule, when someone asked him why Navjot Singh Sidhu was missing in the state campaigning, the CM said, “It is not my job to call him, nor anybody else’s job to call him. It is his responsibility to campaign for the party here. Does he need a special car to pick him up? He is campaigning in the whole country, what prevents him from coming here?”
Apparently, the only issue Sidhu harps on is that he was not allowed to speak at Rahul Gandhi’s Moga rally on 7 March.