Did he go by pro-communists sentiment?
NEW DELHI, JUNE 2: Late comrade Indrajit Gupta was among the few breed of gentlemen communist leaders of old times.
He was firm as an individual and brash but never arrogant. Humility was his inherent quality and he would even call people younger to him by 50 years as ‘Niren babu’ and start the first interaction saying, “A good interview is possible when both can trust each other”.
Once with a TV journo, he lost his cool when she rather arrogantly put a mike in front of him and said: “Sir, aap ka naam bata dijiye (Kindly tell us your name)”. Indrajit lost his cool and gave his piece of mind.
He made news politically for his ‘brash frankness; when he said: “The Congress will be treated with shoes if it withdraws support to the Deve Gowda Government”.
While one talks of the Naga peace parleys having started under two UF Prime Ministers HD Deve Gowda and IK Gujral, we tend to forget that under both PMs, comrade Indrajit Gupta was the Home Minister.
A hardcore communist, so he did not have the administrative pulse in his grip always. Babus were trusted and given ‘extra powers’.
K Padmanabhaiah, as the Home Secretary, was a creature of that period. Of course, he became an Interlocutor in peace parleys under the Vajpayee Government and allegedly even declined to visit Nagaland.
His favourite meeting place(s) used to be Bangkok or even Paris and Zurich in Europe ~ of course at the Government’s expense.
Both PMs Deve Gowda and IK Gujral must have got their hands in so many other challenges hence the Naga peace talks were left to the Home Ministry and some senior officials.
After all, everyone could not be so methodical nor every regime (unlike Modi’s) would be held so accountable!
As the in-charge of Home Ministry (MHA), in retrospect, it is argued that Indrajit Gupta should have done his part well. Or, did he go by his Leftist sentiment?
In 1998-99 when the Vajpayee Government was in power, senior officials used to often say one big demerit of the 1997 Naga ceasefire was that it “lacked clear definition”.
One senior official said: “There were no written terms and conditions and it was merely an understanding”.
At one point even LK Advani as Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Home Minister was stunned to note that unlike his predecessor Deve Gowda, IK Gujral never met the NSCN-IM leaders.
The Vajpayee Government, at the behest of overseas-travel loving Interlocutor Padmanabhaiya, also indulged in a flip-flop in 2001 when ceasefire was extended to all Naga inhabited areas.
Manipuris protested despite the fact that the State was under a brief spell of President’s Rule.
Eighteen people were killed and the NDA Government withdrew.
That was a misadventure and a loss of face too for NDA-1.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi knows for one thing that he is already a punching bag and so has hardly any elbow room to commit mistakes. Hence all precautions and go-slow theory even by
India’s most decisive and ‘gutsy’ Prime Minister.