Shinde’s double-standard: Probe for Modi, ignorance for Tejpal?

The home minister rues central-state relation over Tehelka sexual harassment case while he happily oversteps Gujarat government for alleged snooping sandal.

When it comes to the modesty of woman, it is a thin veil which demands anonymity in any case. But the Congress government seems to have forgotten that in its pursuit of electoral gain and mudslinging on its rivals.

When the Tehelka assault story came into public view, the country was outraged. All sort of statements were flying from every quarter over protecting the victim who was in Delhi. He accused, Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal, was in Delhi. Under the sexual harassment at workplace law, the central government was empowered to take suo motu cognizance of the case. But it chose to remain silent until Goa government came forward and filed an FIR.

Soon there were insinuations from opposition and the media that a central government minister – a relative of Tejpal – was protecting him. These allegations came riding on the accused statement that the statement of the victim was politically motivated and that he was being framed by a political party.

When asked about these charges, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde issued a startling statement: “Centre cannot interfere in the case.”

We do understand the centre-state relation paradigm, but why not act in the first place? The lame attitude with which Mr. Shinde issued this statement, perhaps he needs to be reminded of the other case where his government is overstepping.

The Gujarat “snooping” case – as named by central government itself – is being probed by a panel constituted by Gujarat government. The panel is probing the alleged misuse of state machinery for illegal private surveillance.

But the central government is more interested in covering Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in mud. That could have been the possible reason when the same Mr. Shinde in the same press conference said that “an inquiry by the central government will be conducted in the case and decision will be taken”.

It should also be noted that the Congress leaders have been openly issuing statements which put character of the women central to this ‘snooping case’ questionable. Some leaders have been demanding her to come out in public and issue a statement.

The hypocritical country that we are, these leaders have been alleging Modi of disregarding the privacy of a woman. Bringing the woman in media attention will do no good. And these statements have come even after the father of the said woman issued statements twice saying that they had full knowledge of surveillance being put on them as it was demanded by the father only.

In that case, the allegation on the central government over Tehelka case seems deepening. Because when was modesty of a women a matter of choice?

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