Kulbhushan Jadhav sentenced to death: Robert Vadra should keep petty politics out of this spy vs spy game

It is good to know that India's favourite jamai raja always has a thing or two to say on affairs, both domestic and foreign. If only Robert Vadra's brother-in-law had a similar panache for donating his views, we would have had a deadly jeeja-saala duo tormenting the Narendra Modi government.

A file photo of Robert Vadra. PTI

A file photo of Robert Vadra. PTI

Luckily for the PM, Rahul Gandhi, whenever he speaks,  rarely puts any sense into his words and Vadra routinely puts his foot in his mouth. Perhaps he was right when he famously claimed to be a mango man in a banana republic some years ago. His tongue slips so often that it seems Vadra keeps stepping on the skin of the fruity republic.

For India's good, and his own, Vadra must continue to express his opinion without fear. There is a serious crisis in the country since Kapil Sharma had a tiff with Sunil Grover and, as a result, we may all be headed for collective depression.

So it is imperative he continue to speak as often as possible to keep that depression at bay. There are some people who make us laugh even when they try to say profound, serious things. And there are some who make us roll by their mere presence. Kapil, please take note, Vadra has the knack for both.

Prime facie, his sudden concern for Kulbhushan Jadhav, the man Pakistan wants to hang for some insane reason. Now, Pakistani military courts are the closest thing we have to the rabid Queen in Alice in Wonderland. Give them anything Indian and they would asininely chant, 'off with his head,' even if it is a daft businessman who probably got kidnapped by the Taliban and was gift wrapped for the ISI. If the Pakistan army wants to murder a man on flimsy charges without a proper trial, Vadra's blood, like that of all Indians, should indeed boil.

But could Vadra please not embark on his customary fault-finding mission on this and keep petty politics out of it? Could he please keep those ''is-this-all-you-could-do" darts for practising at a suitable target at home? And could the Congress party please stop taking its cues from its favourite son-in-law's rants?

Here's the thing: Unlike big government decisions, like where solar parks could be set up and how real estate investments close to them could lead to windfall gains, a crisis in international democracy can't be passed on as insider information in advance by crony chief ministers. Like an honest business—a term that may sound like an oxymoron to Vadra—diplomacy is shaped by the unpredictable and the unknown. It is the art of dealing with the unexpected.

So it is farcical to mock the government for not being able to predict Jadhav's fate. In all likelihood, Pakistan is trying to blackmail India and using Jadhav as a pawn to get some trade-off. As The Indian Express wrote on Tuesday, the Pakistani establishment may have summoned its kangaroo court to sentence Jadhav because the Indian intelligence may have captured a top Pakistan operative in Nepal. If that is the case, India can indeed come up with a strong response, belying Vadra's fear of not sending back Pakistani prisoners as "all we could do."

Vadra observed, "I thought with the stop overs and celebrations of our premieres, we would have closer relations." Perhaps like Rip Van Winkle who slept for 20 years, Vadra missed everything that happened since the stop overs.

We were attacked by militants from across the border in Uri. In response, our soldiers carried out surgical strikes deep inside enemy territory. Did the furore over brother-in-law's 'khoon ki dalali' barb not wake Vadra up to the post-stop over turn in the India-Pakistan narrative?

Truth is, "is this all we could do" is a good question. On 11 March, when results of the UP polls were announced, as a senior member of the Gandhi household, Vadra should have sat his brother-in-law down, pointed at the Congress tally of seven seats and popped that question.

Had he done so, we would have taken him seriously for a change, if not as a public figure at least as a concerned son-in-law.


Published Date: Apr 11, 2017 03:02 pm | Updated Date: Apr 11, 2017 03:07 pm

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