26 November, 2020

Mud From That Shoe

Why a hurled Reebok is no more than a pinprick to a pachyderm

Tribhuvan Tiwari
Mud From That Shoe
After a shoe flung by journalist Jarnail Singh at home minister P. Chidambaram revived the ghosts of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Jagdish Tytler’s goose was cooked. Two days later, on April 9, Tytler, who had been given a Congress ticket for North East Delhi, called a press conference and said he was pulling out. He had little choice, for the majority view in the Congress was in favour of "persuading" Tytler—one of the big names linked to the riots—to quit. The other Congress leader charged in the riots, Sajjan Kumar, has also withdrawn his candidature from the Delhi South constituency. There had been the issue of the two being safe candidates, but were two seats more important than the larger message from the party?

The episode had posed an awkward problem for the ruling party. As a senior minister put it, "It embarrassed all of us and revived memories of the darkest chapter after Mrs Gandhi’s assassination, when Congress leaders and workers indulged in the kind of violence we keep accusing the BJP of." For every Maya Kodnani—the...



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