FIR filed on hate speech, Reddy apes PM's sleeping duty

It might have been better for Kiran Reddy to maintain the same stoic silence than to make inane, just-got-up-yet-to-smell-the-coffee comments

shantanu

Shantanu Datta | January 3, 2013


Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi

That Indian authorities wake up late is non-news. That they wake up so late could also be deemed non-news by now. But when men deemed to be leaders wake up late anyway and eject inane words from the body part where their mouth is, it becomes a bit of a news event. Not because of the words per se. But because they are inevitably asked to jot them down, take a printout, roll the paper and, well, put it away.

So, after prime minister Manmohan Singh woke up on the grand eighth day since the gangrape and bestial battering of a young woman in Delhi and asked the nation to maintain its calm in a super-serene televised address, Kiran Kumar, the Andhra Pradesh chief minister has gone one up on his leader. He has woken up on the tenth day since All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi made a hate speech in Adilabad district.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy decided to smell the coffee on a day a Hyderabad city court asked the police to lodge an FIR against Owaisi, not exactly a spring chicken so far as raising passion against the majority community through verbal diatribe is concerned (read the story here). Like a brave general rising on the stirrup to marshal his forces, Reddy assured the media in Hyderabad that "anyone who hurts sentiments will be dealt with as per law”.

That his own police have lodged a case under section 156(3) of CrPC, which empowers the police to investigate cognisable cases, matters little, for Reddy still remains uncertain whether “anyone has hurt sentiments”.

“The police, as per the law of the land and the state, acts (in such cases),” the CM told the media, the PTI reports. “You can be rest assured that any statements which are derogatory, which are provoking or against sentiments of any other community... firm action will be taken.”

It is another matter that he parried all questions about whether any such “firm action” has been taken against either Akbaruddin Owaisi for his earlier speeches, which, according to many are equally aggressive and brazenly provocative, or his brother, the MIM chief and brother Asaduddin Owaisi, also known to make provocative speeches bordering on the other side of being communal.

It might have been better for Reddy to maintain the same stoic silence that he has maintained for the last nine days than to make comments that seem to be handiwork of speechwriters still to wake up after their New Year’s Eve parties.

In his wisdom, Reddy has so much faith in people being generally, at heart, righteous that he would not act, let alone act “firmly”, in such cases if given a choice. “People of this state and this great country are very intelligent, especially the minority community,” he said during the media interaction. “They will not be swayed by such comments, and most (people) of the minority communities are secular and do not like such statements.”

No one is contesting that piousness, Mr Reddy, but if people are so intelligent as to not be swayed by provocation, why run a government in Hyderabad in the first place? Why do you need the police? Only to act when asked to do so by the courts?

Like his leader prime minister Singh, chief minister Reddy also, it seems, needs to get into the practice of regular conversation — even chat sessions with self in front of the mirror would do — if only to retain the said faculty. Otherwise both would end up wounding not only their reputation (which does not matter to the country at large) but also leave areas under their jurisdiction in a mess by the time 2014 comes calling to check the status of their chairs.
 

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