‘Ex-CBI Chief’s Tweet Against Agnivesh Has Harmed Hinduism & IPS’

“I hope all uniformed officers condemn this act by M Nageswara Rao in unequivocal terms,” (Retd) UP DGP Vikram Singh

Published
Opinion
3 min read
Ex-CBI Chief M Nageswara Rao tweeted derogatory remarks against Swami Agnivesh after the latter’s death on 11 September. This has drawn flak from several quarters.
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I'm absolutely appalled and shocked by ex-interim CBI Chief M Nageswara Rao’s tweet against Swami Agnivesh, after the latter’s death on Friday, 11 September: “GOOD RIDDANCE @swamiagnivesh. You were an Anti-Hindu donning saffron clothes. I am ashamed that you were born as a Telugu Brahmin. మేక వన్నె పులి
गोमुख व्याग्रं. Lion in sheep clothes. My grievance against Yamaraj is why did he wait this long!”

This single tweet has done more damage to the reputation of the uniformed force and to the IPS, than anything else in recent times.

Mr Rao has invoked ‘Hinduism’ which has lofty traditions of respecting the deceased irrespective of their political affiliations and the camps to which the deceased belonged. The Mahabharata is full of stories in which, after a battle was over in the evening, the Kauravas would go over to the Pandavas to condole the deaths on their side, and the Pandavas would go over to the Kauravas to condole their losses.

‘What Training Did Ex-CBI Chief Receive? What Sanskaar Did He Pass On?’

Former (late) President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam wrote that he was privy to the fact that when the Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple in Gujarat was attacked by terrorists, the Swaminarayan Sadhus not only prayed for the deliverance of the Hindus, but they also sprinkled holy water and prayed for the deliverance of the aggressors, the terrorists.

Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah – these are the lofty ideals of Hinduism. Mr Nageswara Rao would do well to understand that ‘ahimsa’ and non-violence are the concepts on which the philosophy of Hinduism flies higher and higher.

I would like to remind Mr Rao, that even when a person is sent to the gallows, he is first asked his last wish.

And when the body is brought down after the hanging, it is given full honours and a salute, even though he's a condemned man and had been handed the death sentence by the legal system.

But to speak ill, and in such derogatory terms, was best avoided.

The larger question is: what about the training that Mr Rao had? What about the dos and don’ts that were instilled, and the sanskaar that he received?

And more importantly, what is the sanskaar that he must have given when he rose to the highest position.

‘I Hope All Uniformed Officers Condemn This Tweet Against Swami Agnivesh’

Indeed, after reading Mr Rao’s tweet, nothing can possibly shock us any longer. Swami Agnivesh – and you may have a 100 differences with him – was an ascetic, an Elder, who passed away because of multiple organ failure due to liver cirrhosis. And to speak ill of such a person is absolutely unpardonable.

I do hope that all uniformed officers condemn this act by M Nageswara Rao in unequivocal terms and without any ambiguity.

There have been cases when our uniformed officers have treated the corpses of our adversaries across the border – both on the Bangladesh border and the Pakistan border – with the greatest respect, and returned them with full honours.

And there are also cases in which conspicuous gallantry was displayed even by the adversary, the citations were written by officers of the other side and sent to the commanding officers and generals for commendation and recognition of their valour, as also to be considered for gallantry medals.

Obviously, these high traditions have been swept under the carpet, and a new tradition is perhaps being built to castigate the so-called ‘adversary’, regardless of his seniority and the difficulty of his circumstances.

“Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee”: John Donne

(Dr Vikram Singh is an Indian educationist and retired Indian Police Service officer. He joined the IPS in 1974, and held the post of Director General of Police in the state of Uttar Pradesh during the period June 2007- September 2009. He tweets at @VikramSingh112. This is an opinion piece, and the views expressed are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for them.)

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