VK Singh's 'stoning dogs' remark after Dalit killings is crass. Is this the man who led our Army?

Indian politicians have long been known for putting their foot in the mouth. Joining these illustrious people is the former Chief of the Army and present Union Minister VK Singh

Bikram Vohra October 22, 2015 17:32:26 IST
VK Singh's 'stoning dogs' remark after Dalit killings is crass. Is this the man who led our Army?

Indian politicians have long been known for putting their feet in the mouths. Joining these illustrious people is the former Chief of the Army and present Union Minister VK Singh.

While absolving the Central government of so much as a sliver of responsibility in the death of two Dalit children in Haryana, Singh added a parallel to ensure that the slow-witted amongst us got the point. "If someone throws stones at a dog, the government is not responsible," he said breezily, hoping this illustration would underscore his sensitivity to the situation. You can dredge all day for some virtue, but you will not find it.

It is not so much what they say on matters as diverse as rape, caste war, corruption and the other moles on Indian society, but why they say it and what stops them thinking for a second before opening their mouths and shoving both feet into them.

VK Singhs stoning dogs remark after Dalit killings is crass Is this the man who led our Army

File image of General VK Singh. PTI

Talk about dogged stupidity.

Is it possible that men of such stature and this four-star officer, who commanded a million men in uniform, is a victim of his own thoughts. He could come up with no other analogies to the gory crime than the beaten dog. In his mind’s eye the children had suffered a similar fate to dogs from the actions of wanton children.

In Singh’s mind at that precise moment there was no more graphic description than making this analogy. Beaten cur, beaten children. Mewling canine, mewling children. Scabbed puppy, scabbed children. It’s a dog’s life, isn’t it, Sir?

Metaphorically, Singh thought he had a zinger of an arrow in his quiver. This add-on, he likely imagined, would generate an incandescent burst of illumination in us uneducated slobs.

What it actually came off as was a thoughtless, foolish, totally inappropriate comparison that should leave him scarlet in the face.

In his wisdom, he probably saw the dog as a victim and hence, equated that with the condition of the children. And that’s me being sarcastic.

Now, ask yourself this. Here is a man who has touched the stars. Not one of your run of the mill officers but a four-star general. Did he not learn caution? Did he not have an inner voice that said, 'This is stupid. Stop. This is hot water. Don’t say it'?

Clearly not. The only charitable explanation one can give for such a rank insult is that when these people reach rarefied levels, they learn contempt for the great unwashed. They see us as mangy dogs. They actually believe in their might and their power as they are convinced that they rain pearls of wisdom upon us. Did the general hear distant applause for his analogy?

There is no other way you could come up with the dog being stoned as the proper imagery for the brutal death of two children, who hadn’t even started their lives. Simply no way.

What a dog day afternoon. This boo-boo (bow-wow maybe?) should dog him for a very long time. Sit, General VK Singh, and say sorry.

Of course, then comes the apology in this dog and pony show. It is always after the fact. That is a given.

VK Singh now says he did not mean to make the remark as analogy. We should think not. Then in what context was the remark made? Oh, yes, it was to indicate that cosmic events happen and you cannot blame the government if a comet falls or there is an earthquake, that we can understand, but where did the stoning of the dog come from?

The General cannot even get his own remark into context. Either he should clarify distinctly exactly what he meant and not sidetrack the issue with threats of taking the channel that reported it to court. By the same token, this kind of concealing your blunder behind the camaraderie of the armed forces and all that flimflam about ‘espirit de corps’ which he is doing now is not acceptable. You cannot do that, don’t bring the armed forces into it. You are no longer their leader.

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