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Eknath Khadse's endeavour to come out unscathed exposes his double standards

There is this sauce for the goose, as they say, which can be served up to the gander as well.

Eknath Khadse has, by his logic, demonstrated that it does not always work that way. In his present endeavour to come out unscathed from a medley of allegation, he has implied that the sauce for the goose is not the sauce for the gander.

While quitting his powerful ministries in Maharashtra, he made out a case for himself, and with comfortable ease. While he was consistent with his stand which was a demand that documentary proof be advanced, not make mere allegations and drive up a media trial, he goofed on one point.

Former Maharashtra revenue minister Eknath Khadse. Sachin Gokhale/Firstpost

Former Maharashtra revenue minister Eknath Khadse. Sachin Gokhale/Firstpost

It was about dipping into Pakistan for information.

And here is how:

He called the ethical hackers, Manish Bhangale and Manish Shah who had hacked into the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited’s database to ferret out, according to them, about four telephone numbers at Dawood Ibrahim’s residence, registered in his wife, Mehjabin Shaikh, “chor”.

‘’Hacking is chori’’, he asserted at the press conference. The duo had hacked into something that was not supposed to be accessible to others. And that to, of computers of a company in Pakistan, which to the by then former minister, was an ‘’anti-national act”. How dare, he implied, Indians stretch out into a country like Pakistan?

Of course, we still are not sure if Pakistan is an enemy country, or a troublesome neighbour, uncooperative on containing terror from within its border. India also holds talks, sometimes goes into a sulk, on occasions calls talks off, and even the prime minister drops in on his counterpart, Nawaz Sharif’s birthday.

He was at once putting them on par with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. The former had revealed sensitive diplomatic and secret military documents to the world to Julius Assange-led Wikileaks, leading to 35 years in his country’s prison. Snowden had copied and shared with public classified stuff from the National Security Agency, and had to seek shelter in Russia, not that Russia is an open society and supported his action.

That is the sauce for the goose.

During what he calls is the media trial, he had served for himself a difference sauce.

Go back to his conversation with the Indian Express published in its May 27 editions. It reported that “he had already given some information dug out by his sources in Pakistan to the Mumbai Police”. Who were the sources? The newspaper said, they were “BJP leader Gurmukh Jagwani’s kin based in Karachi”. Jagwani is a BJP MLC.

Khadse told the Indian Express, and I have not read or heard about him denying the contents or parts of it so far, “Gurmukh Jagwani hails from Karachi… his father and other relatives are still there,” Khadse said. “His father (in fact) was a three-time elected member from Pakistan People’s Party and was elected to Pakistan Parliament twice. He is well connected in the political circles (there). So, I sought his help to get to the facts on calls from Dawood.”

Khadse said he had enough “massive” collection of information which had started pouring in”, to help nail those out to get him. He ascertained the information, obviously, not from direct official channels, buy via the use of politically influential people, a politician in Pakistan.

The question is simple: if ethical hacking was stealing, is getting, if he already has as he claimed, using informal, influential route with the help of people there, any different? Probably this is a question of nuance, but politicians sometimes do show the slip. Their glibness can get them into trouble.

But when it suits them, double standards are alright.


Published Date: Jun 06, 2016 08:57 AM | Updated Date: Jun 06, 2016 16:23 PM

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