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Lakshman Rekha: Because you're mine, I draw the line

Vikram Kilpady
Vikram KilpadyDec 18, 2014 | 12:13

Lakshman Rekha: Because you're mine, I draw the line

Few people are lucky like those whose late intervention saves the day, begging the question why they didn’t intervene in the first place and spare the country the histrionics. It took the inhuman massacre of schoolchildren in Peshawar to eclipse PM Narendra Modi’s admonishing his party MPs to draw the Lakshman Rekha over their sometimes-flippant remarks in Parliament.

In this case, the Lakshman Rekha is broadly an unbroken rule or limit in public life. It was violated when MP Sakshi Maharaj said Mahatma Gandhi’s killer was a patriot leading to outrage and then the conversion or re-conversion subject and the build-up to the now aborted Aligarh show of strength where 4,000 Muslim families and 1,000 Christian families were to be brought back to the Hindu fold. There was no news on what caste these returnees to Hinduism’s bosom will find themselves in. All hush-hush on that front but polarisation, something which most political parties in India including the BJP-Sangh Parivar are quite expert at, continued unfettered until someone blew the whistle and flashed the red card. Everything shifted to silent mode, the Aligarh event was called off. But the date wouldn’t go away, December 25 troubled the BJP more with the Good Governance Day idea which is in the process of dying a stillbirth since the HRD Ministry order means schoolchildren may well end up in school on Christmas, a holiday usually.

The original Lakshman Rekha came into being when Lakshman, the brother of Lord Rama, drew a protective line (imagine a burglar alarm line) when he had to leave Sita alone at the hut in Panchavati to search for Rama who has stepped out to catch a golden deer (the Rakshasa Maricha in shape-shifting mode). The line would allow only Rama, Sita and Lakshman to cross it; anyone else trying to cross it would be burnt by a wall of fire along the line. That’s when Ravan comes as a sanyasi and forces Sita to cross the line, and spirits her away.

The episode from the Ramayana makes it clear that the protective ring/line needs to be drawn first and not later, as an afterthought after all the brouhaha, like the BJP MPs who did say sorry but after considerable anguish on TV, newsprint and social media.

Sources that keep a close eye on the market do say the sales of Lakshman Rekha, the insecticide sold over the counter which is said to be good at keeping cockroaches and ants away, is said to have got a nudge following Modi’s Lakshman Rekha statement.

The BJP MPs should heed what their boss doesn’t want them to do. It’s only fair that they do.

Last updated: December 18, 2014 | 12:13
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