[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]O[/dropcap]n 17th Sept, India Today’s Mind Rocks summit hosted a short debate in the capital featuring Dr. Subramanian Swamy and the Hyderabad Member of Parliament (MP) Asaduddin Owaisi. The topic was patriotism and how one defines it.
Dr. Swamy and Owaisi; both gifted orators, located diametrically opposite of the political spectrum and have an ability to stand their ground with conviction. Both have similarities like erudite language, sound legal know-how and armed with historical facts and precedence. There is no doubt; there is ample mutual respect between the two with Owaisi more than one occasion praised Dr. Swamy for his vast knowledge in economics, current affairs and legal opinions.
The debate started with Mr. Rahul Kanwal (the moderator) giving the opening comments to Mr. Owaisi with his controversial remarks that he would not say “Bharat Mata ki jai” as he deems that he is not bound by the constitution to say so. Dr.Swamy retorted strongly and tersely explaining how patriotism is different from being anti-national and laid clear arguments explaining the distinction between the two. He labeled Owaisi not a traitor but an anti-national, as he is not ready to accept the scientifically established fact that all Muslims in India have Hindu ancestry.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap] wide range of topics were discussed and debated in the short time with Mr. Owaisi getting more airtime to explain his views. Mr. Owaisi was clearly cornered when he refused to condemn the “Triple Talaq” and chickened out with his usual escapist statement that the matter was “sub-judice” and he can offer no comment.
Dr. Swamy made very strong statements on India’s Pakistan policy and how only Centre’s rule on the state of J&K with full cover of AFSPA and policing by CRPF can bring back the law & order situation in the valley under control.
Mr. Owaisi took the opportunity to blame the NDA government for everything under the sun and commented that the foreign policy was not handled deftly and raised concern on the effect of inflation on the Indian people. He went to comment that; had Dr. Swamy been the Finance minister; the economic condition would have been much better.
Tagging along on this comment; Mr. Kanwal as if he had well rehearsed for it, dragged Dr.Swamy to comment if he would make a better FM to which Dr. Swamy commented that he is an economist and it is obvious he would be better than a lawyer at the helm of affairs with the Ministry of Finance. It was a frank but a very honest statement, which needs to be looked keeping facts and meritocracy in mind. Both Kanwal and Owaisi were caught off-guard by this frank comment and the capacity crowd thunderously cheered endorsing Swamy’s views completely.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]N[/dropcap]ot surprisingly, Mainstream media (MSM) and some online news portal has pulled this remark and highlighted it in its news articles. It is to be noted that the MSM has tried every trick in the book in the last few months to label Dr.Swamy as some sort of loose cannon and tried belittling his efforts against anti-corruption and stance on other issues.
Responding to a query on censorship on him, Dr. Swamy made it amply clear that no one in India is born yet who can gag him dispelling all fears that he has been asked to keep a low profile. He opined that today’s electorate and public expect politicians to express views as they are and not sugar coat them with diplomacy and niceties that has been the thing of the past.
The debate ended with national anthem being played and Dr. Swamy roaring “Bharat Mata ki Jai” which was echoed back by the packed crowd showing Owaisi how little people bought his arguments with respect to the slogan.
Overall, it was yet another electrifying debate where the two stalwarts locked horns and stuck to their stated positions and though it was brief; such intellectual debates are more welcome any day over the high-decibel newsroom debates.