Monday, June 16, 2008

A DOUBLE WHAMMY by Jaswant Singh/Mail Today-June 16,2008

THE MOVING finger writes and having written moves on. Well, not quite. Politician’s pens are traditionally less mightier than their swords and their tongues but when the politician’s moving finger writes, the results can be embarrassing, if not self defeating. Jaswant Singh, the former finance and external affairs minister and friend to Madeline Albright and Condoleezza Rice has just completed atome. It’s all wrapped up, the editing, proofing and everything after the contents were discussed with both Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani, his senior party leaders. Yet the book may not hit the stores until we have a new government in place in New Delhi. Lest you think that the delay is due to fears that the book will trigger another fratricidal war in the BJP because of revelations of Kandahar, Kargil etc, perish the thought. The hefty volume (it is 1000 pages plus) is in fact about Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the man who created Pakistan 60 years ago and almost destroyed Advani three years back. From what Igather, alot of research has gone into it and Jaswant had exclusive access to alot of original material thanks to the company that he is known to keep. The former Army officer meets up with the Qaid- e- Azam’s relatives in India. But for the BJP, Jinnah is ahot potato. Jaswant’s book is not said to show Jinnah as the monster that the RSS and much of the BJP paints him to be. In 2005, Advani nearly singed his career by singing Jinnah’s praise. Earlier this year, Advani again courted controversy with his biography, My Country My Life .Clearly, both books and Jinnah don’t go down well in the BJP. For Jaswant, it’s adouble whammy.

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