Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, who has been in the news for his strong views against the current leaders at the helm of the party, has hit his blog again — this time lauding the virtues of reconciliation and truth.
The latest blog entry citing the British government agreeing to compensate thousands of Kenyans with $4,000 each for the torture and trauma they had gone through during detention in the Mau Mau rebellion of the 1950s is bound to be perceived by some as an oblique reference to the horrendous 2002 riots in Gujarat during the Narendra Modi regime. Mr. Advani considers the elevation of Mr. Modi in the BJP hierarchy as a big gamble, which the party could ill-afford as coalition is the order of the day. This makes it imperative for the BJP to project itself as a political entity which can take everyone on board.
The veteran leader is a proponent of the ‘NDA-plus’ formula which allows like-minded people under the same platform with a strong message to minorities and SCs/STs that they are stakeholders in the political grouping.
Mr. Advani begins his post with a recent article in International Herald Tribune by David M. Anderson, professor of African history at the University of Warwick, titled “Atoning for the sins of empire.” Interestingly, the senior BJP leader has also raised the issue of the infamous Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
“One of the principal colonies of the British Empire used to be India. And the sins committed here were myriads. One of the most horrendous of the crimes committed by the then Government was the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. The massacre took place at Amritsar on Baisakhi Day, Sunday 13 April, 1919. The shooting was ordered by Brigadier-General E.H. Dyer. Dyer was convinced that a major insurrection was about to take place,” Mr. Advani wrote.
He quotes from the professor’s article on how till recently the British believed they did not torture people and it changed after a ‘historic decision’ taken by the U.K. government. To everybody’s amazement, the British agreed to compensate thousands of Kenyans with $4,000 each for the torture and trauma. He says this is the first historical claim for compensation that the British government has ever accepted and conceded committing torture in any region of its former ruthless reign.
Then he talks about how Udham Singh, a courageous Indian freedom fighter, shot dead Michael O’Dwyer at Caxton Hall in London.
Mr. Advani refers to the February visit of David Cameron to Amritsar and how he became the first British Prime Minister to visit the massacre site of Jallianwala Bagh where he placed a wreath on the martyrs’ memorial and described the incident as a deeply shameful event in British history.