If you ever want proof that we choose the vilest individuals as our representatives, all you need to see is the reaction of politicians after any tragedy befalls the nation. No matter what happens, you can count on them to make the most sexist, racist, ugliest and least sensitive statements possible to alienate the victim and the citizens of the country.It doesn’t even matter what has happened or which party the politician belongs to, you can count on them to do this as much as you can count on Modi to not tweet about non-Patel issues. It’s almost as if every Indian politician is part of an unsaid “Let us say the stupidest thing possible” contest. So, recently, when a mob attacked some Tanzanian students for simply belonging to the same ethnicity as a Sudanese man who was involved in a hit-and-run case, it was a matter of time before politicians and other authority followed suit.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On a day when CM Siddaramaiah was wooing investors, Congress leader BL Shankar appeared on TV channel News X, trying to claim that incident wasn’t racist and seemingly justified the mob violence, a comment reminiscent of the time Mahesh Sharma called the Dadri attack an ‘accident’.Next up was Karnataka’s Home Minister G Parmeshwara who kicked it out of the park by refuting allegations that this was a racist attack and instead said that the woman wasn’t stripped and paraded naked. He did not stop there. He went on to reveal the victim’s name, a clear violation of Supreme Court regulations when dealing with sexual assault victims. G Parmeshwara said: “According to prima facie reports, the Tanzanian student was not stripped and paraded naked. The attack was not a racist attack; it was just a response to an accident. Bengaluru doesn’t have such kind of attitude”Then he added this killer line: “If the Sudanese man had not killed someone in an accident maybe this incident wouldn’t have happened”. So what we have is denial that this was a racist attack—despite the fact that the lady attacked had nothing to do with the incident except sharing the perpetrator’s skin tone and ethnicity—as well as justification for the mob’s violence, stating that this wouldn’t have happened if ‘the Sudanese man hadn’t killed someone’.For starters, this shouldn’t have happened even if she was the one driving the car. In a civilised democracy, we don’t lynch individuals. There’s a reason the nation has a legal system, warts and all, and as long as that exists, it’s not the mob’s job to seek justice. One thought that the BJP, which has often been in the eye of the storm for their rather crass comments, appeared to put a sensible foot forward with Sushma Swaraj’s dignified comment on the issue. She said: “We are deeply pained over the shameful incident with a Tanzanian girl in Bengaluru. I spoke to the Chief Minister Karnataka. He informed me that a criminal case has been registered and four accused have been arrested.”Just as one was beginning to think that perhaps they had become more humane and media-savvy, Union Law and Justice Minister DV Sadananda Gowda destroyed that short-lived illusion when he went on to talk about ‘illegal activities’ and ‘expired visas’.”This is not only an embarrassment for the Bengalurians. It is an issue wherein some international relationships are also attached. Law and order is a state subject. It is the responsibility of the state government to see that such things do not happen. We have seen since the last two years that despite several complaints of this nature being brought before the state police, they have not acted on it,” Gowda told the media. He added: “We are seeing each and every day either in the print media or electronic media, that students who have come from abroad for studying, are also doing many illegal activities here. It is intolerable.”“The former Karnataka chief minister also said that there are several foreign students in Bengaluru whose visas have expired. It is learnt that the state government has itself said that more than one thousand foreign students, whose visas have expired are still in Bengaluru. What are they doing? Is it not the responsibility to find out those people and intimate the Central Government or the External Affairs Ministry to send them out of the country?” he said.Why politicians have to behave like first-rate jerks is beyond comprehension. How hard is it to not say anything at all? This case, to be fair, has little political mileage, but that doesn’t mean you defend the indefensible.There have been several harrowing accounts about how the victims were being asked to stay quiet. This Hindustan Times report states that the woman in question was asked “Why do you want a lawyer? This is not good for your case madam. Are we not doing our job?”The woman, who was forcibly stripped by the mob, told to NewsMinute: “Many ask me why I delayed filing a complaint. That night we were too scared to do anything. On Monday, when we tried to file a complaint, a policeman told us to take rest and not run around to file a complaint. We tried again on Tuesday and then they said they did not have time to take down the complaint as the mob was still on the roads. It was after the news was reported on Wednesday that my complaint was finally recorded.”At a time like this, the last thing anyone wants to hear is talk of expired visas, stereotypical fears about Africans or justifications for mob violence. If you can’t give a humane response, then follow the PM’s lead. Don’t speak about anything, whether it’s about an incident like Dadri or the Pathankot terror attack (just avoid tweeting about yoga when a live terror attack is on). Frankly, the silence is better than to opening your mouth and confirming that you’re an idiot.
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