Amarjit Chandan has sent another article on the Varun Gandhi’s saga. My views have been quoted again.

Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service, Chandigarh, March 24
Varun Gandhi is either the saviour of the Hindus or a venom-spewing hate monger, depending upon the blogs you read on the Internet. Active writers on the Internet, or the literati of the blogosphere as they like to be called, are pulling no punches in defending or attacking this outspoken member of the BJP.

Supporters of the more radical form of nationalism have hailed Gandhi for saying that which even the leaders of the RSS, VHP and BJP (LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi having been point out by name) have been afraid to say out aloud. On the other hand, there is a large number of bloggers that has outrightly condemned the hate-speeches.

The big story however is that Varun’s utterances have not sparked off an Indo-Pak cyber war as many would have imagined. hand the deluge of criticism has come from non-Muslim and non-Pakistanis. There is substantial global and non-Muslim censure and scorn that has been heaped on Gandhi and his supporters. They accuse Gandhi of betraying not just the political heritage he had inherited, but of spreading even more hatred in these troubled times.

Blogger Abrams calls it “a desperate political gimmick to please the majority vote bank”. Raza Rumi raises a pertinent question – “If our jihadis or Islamists get inordinate attention then why should a bigoted idiot like the young Gandhi not worry us?”. Moin Ansari blames the Indian media in no small measure either, “The charade of Bharati media with the “We are in shock” is as amazing as the periodic unveiling of similar claptrap from a broad spectrum of political leaders in Bharat.”

Avid blogger Shobhaa De calls Gandhi the “Pamela Anderson of politics” and comments “Babe Varun has been misguided by his handlers. Winning Pilibhit may be comparatively easy. But winning the hearts of Young India will require much more than a baring of teeth.”

Castigating Gandhi, MJ Akbar writes, “Varun claims to be a ‘Gandhi’ but he has forgotten the ideals of his own family, at least of his grandmother. “All my father’s works”, said Indira Gandhi in 1962, “have been written in prison. I recommend prison life not only for aspiring writers but for aspiring politicians too”. Is there any message for Varun? Yes, prison is the only place where he can wear the mantle of political maturity”

One blogger Yasser Latif Hamdani compares Varun Gandhi to the disgraced Pak politician Aamir Liaqat Hussain and writes, “One suspects that both had sheltered upbringing as is obvious from the copious amounts of baby fat on their faces and one also suspects that there might be greater issues psychologically, mentally and indeed self image that are at play.”

Adil Mohd quips, “Varun Gandhi is an idiot. And a confused one at that. He must be wondering how Rajnath Singh or Narendra Modi seem to always get away with it.” Varun’s classmate Shiv Aroor writes, Varun became a “string-puppet” and “was put up to the job by someone far more clever, far sharper and higher up in the saffron establishment.”

While the two sections of the blogerrati may be diagonally opposite in their political views, the “aye” and “nay” sayers are however joint in rejecting the denials made by Varun Gandhi – a political stunt to avoid being disqualified.

Whether Varun Gandhi said all those divisive words or not, he has managed to corner the spotlight, casting into the deep shadows those who were hoping to emerge as the next generation leader of the BJP. “Who after Advani?” was the question being asked. Varun Gandhi has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged all other wannabees.