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Sidhu’s ‘Thoko’ Brand Of Politics Is Playing To The Gallery

The firebrand Navjot Sidhu is on the warpath again. He has seized upon the two incidents of sacrilege and subsequent lynchings as his ticket to dominating the Punjab poll scene. Amid the silence of Punjab’s political faces over the two lynchings, Sidhu is demanding public execution for those accused of desecrating religious texts. Sidhu knows this is a topic on which opposing political parties can tread only softly as they can’t be seen justifying lynching in a civilized country. The space is thus open for the Congress chief Sidhu to exploit the emotions that are attached to anyone playing the fool with religion and attempting sacrilege by attacking the holy text. Sidhu is alleging a “conspiracy against one community” and that fundamentalist forces are trying to disturb peace in Punjab. He had made an issue of the inaction over past attempts at the desecration of the Granth Saheb against which the government had not acted in time with due prosecution. Sidhu made it his plank against the then Congress CM Captain Amarinder Singh and dethroned him and got Charanjit Singh Channi installed. The CM has slammed the alleged sacrilege attempts but, chosen to remain silent on the lynchings. Sidhu has no qualms about it. He is virtually giving a license to the public to go after sacrilege while giving lip service to making laws stringent with a death sentence for sacrilege.