Mixed response in Bhopal to Pragya’s defence panel nomination

Bhopal: The nomination of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur to the consultative committee of the Defence Ministry may have expectedly set social media on fire but the general response through public statements has been mild, to say the least. Bhopal from where she has been elected to the Lok Sabha shows a sense of resignation.

People have stopped being surprised by brazen attempts of the Modi government to embrace rabid elements to please the RSS and endorse its agenda of violent brand of Hindutva, says Achintya Billorey who claims to have voted NOTA during the Lok Sabha elections.

There were some straight comments criticising the government but state Minister Govind Singh who has known Thakur since her childhood reserved some witty remarks for the development. “May be the government would want to use her brains to finish off Pakistan completely,” Singh said, apparently referring to one of her earlier statements when she had claimed senior police officer Hemant Karkare had died during the 26/11 Mumbai attack because of her curse.

She will work to their plans, said Singh who is an MLA from Lahar, Thakur’s home town.

“I know Pragya Singh since her birth. I know her entire family. Her house is just 100 metres from mine. Her father was my friend. Now, you all know her too,” he with a wry smile.

Congress termed Sadhvi Pragya’s inclusion in the committee as unfortunate. P.C. Sharma, a senior minister in the Kamal Nath government, said that another instance of the gaping difference between the BJP’s words and actions has come into open. He said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been threatening action against her, but it did not happen.

Madhav Dohre, a post-graduation student from the city, says: “If she can be elected and sworn in as a member of the august House she can as well be nominated to the panel. Hard to see what is more ironic: the Prime Minister’s claim that he would not be able to forgive her all his life, or the Defence Minister’s reward to her during Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th anniversary. Sadhvi Pragya was the only one of the 28 BJP MPs from Madhya Pradesh who ignored the party call to go on a yatra to spread Gandhi’s message. She was the one who stirred up the controversy by calling Nathuram Godse, a patriot.”

Rajeshwar Sinha says: “Modi could not forgive her, but his government could. Modi hai to mumkin hai. The BJP government has redefined nationalism by insulting the defence forces.”

There was plenty of sarcasm on the social media. Sameer said with her knowledge on terrorism and explosives she should be a key consultant in the committee.

“Wait for Neerav (sic) Modi to be the new governor of the RBI and Asaram Bapu to be women’s welfare minister,” says Vishal.

“Do we have the moral right to question the Pakistani government for supporting Hafiz Sayeed and other Pakistani terrorists,” says Navin Tomar.

Thakur has her defenders too. “What kind of charges have been proved against her to suggest that she can’t be on any parliamentary committee despite being an MP,” asks Pratigya Soham, a student of political science in a local college.

Perminder Lalli, an automobile dealer, says if Madhya Pradesh can make an accused in the 1984 riots case of Delhi a Chief Minister, why can’t Thakur be given a position in the committee that is purely for consultation.”