— Satish Kumar Dogra
Any attempt to defend what happened in Punjab needs to be criticized by every Indian. The issues are much bigger than the security of a Prime Minister.
If a group of whatever number of people can stop the Prime Minister of the country from going on his route, then that is a model for achieving anything — legal or illegal — in the country.
The Prime Minister is not an individual. He is the highest symbol of authority in a democracy. If he can be forced to go back, then from where will the High Court and Supreme Court judges derive their authority? Those who defend the incident are essentially defending mobocracy over democracy.
Let us not forget that elections are due in Punjab. If a Prime Minister cannot go and attend a rally, how will a common worker of a party — any party, let us not be political — carry out his election work? Does such an incident not strike terror in the mind of everyone who might like to work for free and fair elections? No wonder, the control of political parties is gradually passing into the hands of the mafia and the dons.
The decent and the educated remain silent. Not because they don’t feel hurt, but because they are scared. Let us understand: this incident is not political. It is the worst degradation to which mobocracy can descend. The more such mobocracy grows, the more shall our votes lose value.
This incident was told to me by one of my seniors in Tamil Nadu Police who is now settled in Delhi as a retired officer.
This was a period of Mr. MGR’s chief ministership. Mr. Karunanidhi was coming back to Chennai after a long tour. As he neared Chennai, he said, “I have a house in Porur. I will go there, take tea and then go on to Gopalapuram”.
The senior officer, who was in charge of the Kalaignar’s security, got utterly confused. He knew there was no house in Porur that belonged to Kalaignar or any member of his family.
As Porur came, the Kalaignar gave indication about Mr. MGR’s house. As everyone knows, the two political stalwarts were rivals in politics. But, great leaders do not let their personal relations get overshadowed by politics. The Kaalaignar took tea with Mr. MGR and proceeded.
Once, when I was DC (Crimes and Traffic) in Madurai, Kalaignar came for a visit. In the course of the day, I had arrested one lady leader of the DMK.
When Kalaignar was leaving by Pandiyan, the evening train, this matter was brought to his notice. He called me and asked. I explained to him the circumstances under which she was arrested.
He listened patiently and said, “நல்லா தமிழ் பேசறீங்களே. யார்கிட்டே கத்துக்கினீங்க?” (You speak Tamil so well. From whom did you learn it?).
His smile indicated that he needed no more explanations. When Mr. Modi wound up the incident with “Thank your CM that I have come back safe,” I was reminded of the great leader-statesmen I got a chance to work with.