We had almost forgotten that you were the one who made the chaiwala remark, which turned out to be very costly for your party during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections! So, your statement on a Pakistani news channel that Narendra Modi needs to be removed as PM if talks between the two nations are to resume is hardly surprising. You are a leader of a party that fought for the India's freedom. You represent a party that ruled this country for maximum number of years. I still think your party believes in democracy and respects the opinion of the majority. People of India have given Modi a chance to rule the country for five years, as they had given to the Congress, several times in the past. Can you not be patient and allow Modi to commit mistakes so that people will be fed up with him and look towards the Congress as the saviour of the nation? Modi has every right to rule the country till he enjoys the majority in Parliament. It is not ethical to expect the unceremonious removal of the prime minister for resuming talks with a country that has been a thorn in our path, which even the Congress cannot deny. Did your party produce any results with such talks in the last 10 years of its rule? The Congress talks about growing intolerance in the country, while being intolerant towards Modi’s rule. Wait for the voters to give your party a second chance, if they find Modi unacceptable. Such remarks may further spoil your party's chances in the next general elections.
Close on the heels of your illogical linking of anti-Islam phobia to Paris attacks, you not only spew venom at Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a panel discussion on a Pakistani TV channel but also shamed the nation by saying a democratically-elected leader be thrown out if India-Pakistan dialogue is to resume. Instead of fighting politically and dethroning the ruling party, asking Pakistan, which has never seen the strength of democracy so far, to wait for three and half years for the Congress to come to power and resume peace talks, is not only insulting but condemnable in strongest terms. After your jibe at Modi to distribute tea in Parliament instead of dreaming of becoming the prime minister backfired, insulting a duly elected prime minister is totally unacceptable. Knowing very well that you are only a nominated MP and not an elected representative, such unwarranted and uncouth remarks send the wrong message to the world that the nation is not united. One expects a leader to control his tongue and talk sensibly in any forum, in India or abroad, to keep aloft the image and prestige of the nation and the Prime minister in the larger interest of the nation.
Your statement on a Pakistani channel that Narendra Modi needs to be removed as the prime minister if talks between the two nations are to resume is more anti-national than the statement that BJP President Amit Shah made in Bihar that crackers will go off in Pakistan if the BJP lost in Bihar. What a joker you have become ever since your party lost the last general election! You very well knew that you were making such a statement to an audience that is used to seeing democratically-elected rulers being removed at will by generals. You knew well that in India the prime ministers get removed through general elections. Your own party has suffered humiliating defeat at the hustings in this manner and got removed unceremoniously but democratically more than once. That makes me wonder, were you hinting that the Indian military establishment should step in like they do in Pakistan and remove Modi or else how could he be removed when his party enjoys brute majority in Lok Sabha? You seem to be suffering from a disease called "displacement disaster disease". Gone are the days, you could walk freely along the corridors of power, barge into the offices of ministers, chit chat, have coffee and generally go about influence pedalling. Modi does not allow wheelers and dealers anywhere near the ministries. You are unable to come to terms with the fact that you can now only gaze at the various ministries, which you regarded as your personal fiefdom, from the outside as an ordinary citizen like the writer. Mr Aiyar, please get used to the changed situation fast for your own sake. All you can do now is pray and hope Modi messes up thoroughly so that your party that is almost decimated beyond redemption could somehow be resurrected.
Waste of time
Allow me to take the liberty of reminding you of a few 'facts of life', regarding verbal interaction between India and Pakistan. It is not possible that you are unaware of these facts, but it appears that you are choosing to ignore them for the sake of political one-upmanship. There is nothing wrong with India and Pakistan talking to each other. The talks keep people busy and give the rest of the world the impression that we are civilised, rational nations. But this dialogue is actually a waste of time, since Pakistan has only one agenda—'resolution' of the Kashmir issue, that is, India should hand over the Valley to them. That is something that we will never do. Despite outward appearances, the Pakistan Army still calls most of the shots in that country, especially where foreign policy is concerned. It will never allow the Kashmir issue to die down, for two main reasons. Firstly, constantly harping on Kashmir is what allows it to claim a disproportionate share of the national budget and other resources. Secondly, the Pakistan Army has never forgiven India for the humiliating defeat it suffered in 1971, and loss of half the country. It wants to strip us of Kashmir in revenge. Hence, the presence or absence of Modi, or any other individual, from the prime minister's office, will have absolutely no effect on India-Pakistan talks. Anyway, such talks are not likely to produce any results.
Apologise to the public
Of late, I have seen the tendency of courting controversies for getting noticed, particularly by have-beens. But due care has to be taken to ensure that you do not transgress the legal boundaries. Your stating on a Pakistani news channel that Modi needs to be removed as PM to help resume the talks between the two nations is deplorable. Electorate threw your party out and chose Modi as the country's PM. Are you seeking Pakistan's help to remove him, having failed to do so by legal ways, in your own country? Denigrating your PM abroad, in my opinion, is anti-national, even if you do not like him. You have to respect the chair and the electorate. You are alienating both. Your party was in power for the largest duration, almost for 60 years. Why couldn't it resolve the issues between the two countries? By such a statement you are doubting the sincerity and the intention of the Indian government for seeking an amicable solution. You have not only lowered your own prestige but also that of your party, and the least you could do is tender an unconditional apology to the Indian public.
Somesh Chandra Kakar