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The curious case of Navjot Singh Siddhu
Navjot Singh Siddhu, the cricketer-turned-politician, is creating breaking news for all the wrong reasons. There was a time when he was adored by cricket fans for his batting, particularly lofting the ball over the spinner's head for a six earning the sobriquet 'Sixer Sidhu'. But now he is the laughing stock of India for his pro-Pakistan attitude at the cost of our nation's interests.

After his retirement from all forms of cricket in 1999, he started as a commentator and TV personality, particularly comedy shows. Later, he joined the BJP and represented the party from Amritsar LS constituency from 2004 to 2014. But when Arun Jaitley was given a BJP ticket to contest from Amritsar in 2014, only to lose, Siddhu, preferred not to contest from anywhere else.

In 2016, he became a Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab but did not continue for long and resigned from the post and party in the same year. He joined the Congress in 2017 and was elected from Amritsar East to the Punjab Legislative Assembly. At present, he is the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Museums in Capt. Amarinder Singh's cabinet in Punjab government.

So, why is he in the centre of controversy? Why most people ridicule him?

Reason 1

People did not mind when he left the BJP and joined the Congress as politicians usually switch sides. But when he touched the feet of Sonia Gandhi during a Congress session and declared that Rahul Gandhi was mature enough to be India's PM in 2019, people were aghast.

Rahul Gandhi is usually known as 'Pappu' on social media and it may come as a surprise to many that Siddhu had coined the term 'Pappu' for him. Talking about the Congress party, he had once famously said, "Congress Munni se jyada badnam hai" (Congress is more infamous than Munni). Now all the statements of Siddhu given against the Congress party and its leaders are used to ridicule him whenever he does a sycophantic gesture for the Congress.

Reason 2

He went to Pakistan to attend Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony as PM of Pakistan. No one had any issue with it. But when he hugged and praised Pakistan's Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, waves of anger spread across the nation. Pakistan Army is actively involved in cross-border terrorism by giving shelter and training to terrorists who attack India. A minister of an Indian state showcasing love and affection for enemy's army is shameful, to say the least. Our Army is fighting a daily battle against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir and soldiers are being martyred, but it did not deter Siddhu? His agenda is for himself first followed by Pakistan and then the Congress.

Reason 3

The Kartarpur Corridor between the borders of India and Pakistan connecting the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib (located in Punjab, India) and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur (located in Punjab, Pakistan) has been a long standing demand from religious devotees of both the countries. Finally, the Modi government and Imran Kahn's government agreed to go ahead with it, purely for and limited to religious reasons.

Siddhu, despite no permission from the Punjab CM Capt. Amarinder Singh, went to Kartarpur in Pakistan in individual capacity to attend Imran Khan's inauguration of the corridor. He bestowed a lot of praises on Imran Khan giving him credit for the proposed corridor while demeaning PM Modi. Imran returned the favour by asking for removal of Modi and making Siddhu as new PM of India and quipping that Siddhu could win elections in Pakistan as he was very popular there. Quid Pro Quo, as it is called.

No hugging Bajwa this time, but Siddhu was photographed with Gopal Singh Chawla, a pro-Khalistan activist. This created a rumpus across the nation. A few days ago, on 18th November 2018, Khalistan supporters hurled grenades on Nirankari Bhawan in Amritsar while a ceremony was going on, killing three and injuring ten people. Siddhu's photograph with a Khalistan activist is self-evident. One can easily add two with two and get the answer as four.

Earlier, Mani Shankar Aiyer and Salman Khursid were doing "Pakistan Love Show" for the Congress. Now Siddhu has replaced them and is doing better than both combined.

Siddhu can go to any extent to serve the Congress particularly after his acquittal from a road rage case of 1988. The trial court had acquitted Sidhu, whereas the Punjab and Haryana High Court reversed his acquittal, convicting him under Section 304 Part II, IPC, for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Siddhu and his accomplice moved the Apex Court who initially suspended the conviction to allow him to contest for elections. In May 2018, the top court acquitted Siddhu's accomplice, but slapped a meagre Rs 1000 fine for Siddhu under section 323 of IPC.

Section 323 says that a person shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to one year or with fine that can extend to Rs 1000 or both. The Apex court bench of Justice J Chelameshwar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul decided to impose just the fine of Rs 1000 and Siddhu walked away despite being the reason of a person's death in road rage case way back on 27 December 1988.

It may be noted that Justice Chelameshwar was one of the four judges who revolted against former CJI Dipak Misra and held an unprecedented, unwanted and distasteful press conference to allege that established traditions in the court were being bypassed in assigning cases to benches.

What would have happened if the case was heard by anyone else is open to speculation. But Siddhu is feeling grateful taking the acquittal for a blessing from the Congress party which runs its ecosystem in almost all democratic institutions of India including judiciary, when in power and also when without.

I am surprised to note that even educated people of celebrity status forget patriotism or belongingness to the nation for petty selfishness. In the company of Congress, Siddhu has already done things he should never have done and he would regret later. He will continue to do worse things in future in line with Congress culture, but then a time will come when he will face his "Karmafala" with no one to sympathize with him.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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