The sort of disrepute Shivaraj Patil has brought the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre in four years, V.S. Acharya has brought the BJP government in Karnataka in four months flat. The mumbling, fumbling, blogging home minister has been caught with his pants down so many times in the fledgling days of the B.S. Yediyurappa government, it beggars belief.
When farmers were protesting fertiliser shortages, the god-fearing physician from Udupi was blissfully doing a whirlwind tour of temples and mutts. When BJP MLA Raghupati Bhat‘s wife Padmapriya Bhat was “half-kidnapped”, Acharya was dropping red herrings that she was suffering from”temporary depression” and that “she would be re-united with her family in matter of hours” only to report the young woman’s murky death a few hours later.
The curfew on live music and the disenchantment over the transfers of police officers even among BJP legislators have all shown up Acharya to be a comical Sancho Panza tilting at the windmills of competence while his chief minister promises “good governance” with a scowl.
However, none of those fleeting brushes with infamy come close to Dr Acharya’s mind-numbing performance in the week gone by, when Karnataka’s well-earned reputation as a peaceful, civilised State has been dealt a killer-blow by the Hindutva Hitsquads.
When the State was looking for a statesman when churches and prayer halls were attacked on the West Coast by the Bajrang Dal, Dr Acharya was happy to play partisan politics, linking it to the conversion debate, as if it is not the State’s business (and his job description) to protect the lives, property and freedoms of all citizens, irrespective of their community, even if they are converts from Hinduism. And now, his inability to quell further attacks on churches in Bangalore today, a day after the Centre invoked Article 355.
What is the one question you are dying to ask Dr V.S. Acharya? “Doctor, heal thyself?”
Please keep your queries short, civil and prescriptive. All comments will be moderated; only questions from valid, working and verifiable email IDs will be published.
Also read: How media went overboard in Padmapriya case