August 22
06:48 2018

“The self-styled patriots shout judgments against others ignoring the noise of skeletons dancing in their own attics.”

Recall that song “ Sab Kare Toh Raasleela, Hum Kare Toh Character Dheela” (when everyone does it, it is divine rendition, but if I do it, it is devil’s exposition”) from Salman Khan’s Bollywood movie.

This song was what Navjot Singh Siddu might be humming these days, following the controversy over his act of “Hugging” Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, during his visit to Pakistan to attend the swearing-in ceremony of former cricketer Imran Khan as the prime minister of Pakistan.

In the great intergalactic sense his ‘huglomacy’ is of no great consequence.

But, as an act of political optics, it sucks big time to act tough on the question of Patriotism, in the only way jingoists could act.

Well, in times of tensions between the two nations, and in the light of no indication emanating from Pakistan side of any grand change in its policies to India, his presence in Pakistan was both, perhaps, indiscreet and unnecessary.

To be fair, having accepted the invitation and being the only Indian to do so, he should have known the occasion would be rife with awkward moments.

And indeed, he is facing some awkward moments, with our “crime-time warriors”, (read prime-time warriors), waging a war against him. The ‘patriotic jawans’ of the troll army of “Saffron WhatsApp University” opening fire at him.

Siddu, who loves to engage in controversies(in cricketing terms, fishing out side the off stump), might have overreacted by hugging Pakistan army chief, but not all controversies were of own making.

What do you if a General decides to give you the courtesy hug?

You can hardly withdraw or refuse the gesture so you hug back.

You are in their territory enjoying their hospitality so expect to be back-slapped for being unconventional and fetching up.

After all, as per his clarification, he could not resist to reciprocate the gesture, when he was informed by General Bajwa about a sentimental gesture proposed for the Sikhs to provide free access to Sikh devotees to a historic Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib near Gurdaspur.

Let us now have a look at the other side of the coin or to be more precise our side of being hypocrites.

Sidhu is a politician and a former cricketer and has played cricket with Imran Khan.

How was it wrong on Sidhu’s part to go to Pakistan after getting an invitation from Imran Khan?

And as far as hugging Pakistan Army Chief General Bajwa is concerned, what about the impromptu visit of our Prime Minister, who without prior notice and without any invitation, landed in Lahore only to extend Birthday wish to Nawaz Sharif( who was responsible for Kargil war) with his signature style “hug”.

Was the situation at the border any different then? If not, how is PM’s hug a political diplomacy and Sidhu’s hug anti-national?

All those who are trolling Siddu forgot the fact that he sought the permission from the Union government and that he was duly given that permission to visit Pakistan.

In fact, the permission is also seen as a gesture of willingness of the government to keep channels of communications open with Pakistan and to build bridges.

His detractors might be doing a great service to him, if Pakistan, indeed, reacts positively to the issues such as renovation of historical Sikh shrines in Pakistan, as well as issues related to Sikh pilgrims, etc.

The fact that Sidhu raised the Kartarpur issue which is dear to Sikhs not just in Punjab, but the world over, will also polish his ‘Panthic credentials’, if any.

But, for a moment, if his trolls insists that whatever they does is “Rasa Leela” (Diplomacy) and what Siddu did was “Character Deela” (anti-National), ….

…… then we are, no doubt, a “Nation of Hypocrites”

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