When will India get rid of a pain called Sushilkumar Shinde? The man, known to be close to the first family of the Congress, was elevated to the position of the country's home minister, an extreme important one, after he failed to save the country from a total black-out as the power minister in July last year.
The black-outs haven't stopped. They have now engulfed Shinde's mind.
The current home minister has perhaps surpassed the 'credibility' of Shivraj Patil, another home minister from his state Maharashtra, who was replaced for inept handling of the 26/11 terror attacks. Shinde has put the entire home in a discomfort in less than a year after he took the office of the home minister. The examples are endless.
Naming rape victims: What was Shinde thinking?
The latest goof-up by Shinde has been his taking the names of the three children who were raped and killed at Bhandara in the Rajya Sabha. The irony is that it is the same UPA government which has been stressing strict punishment for crime against women ever since the death of a young woman was brutally raped and assaulted in a moving bus in New Delhi last December.
The Parliament's standing committee has said that rape resulting in the death of the victim is an unpardonable crime and the government must ensure harshest of punishment. But all quarters were displaying a sense of seriousness on the never-ending social menace in modern-day India, none else but the nation's home minister showed how much casual he is.
And even that was not the end. After the Opposition objected to Shinde's taking the names, RS Deputy Chairman P J Kurien ordered to delete that part from the statement although it was late by then. According to a news report, when the House was abuzz on this blunder, it was seen that the distributed copies of Shinde's statement also featured the victims' names.
Shinde later thanked Opposition leader Arun Jaitley for the "inadvertant" error but the House members were furious over repeated mistakes over an issue which is not only sensitive but also has legal importance. It was learnt that even Congress president Sonia Gandhi was disgusted with Shinde's act.
Blaming the bureaucrats for preparing the speech doesn't hold for how could Shinde, a former police personnel, remain so ignorant about rape-related laws?
Taunting Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan
Shinde had drawn flak last August when he taunted actor-turned-politician Jaya Bachchan during a parliamentary debate on the Assam violence. He was criticised after he told Bachchan that the matter was a serious one and not a subject matter of film. Shinde later apologised to the MP and described her as his sister.
Naming Hafiz Saeed as "Sri Hafiz Saeed"
Shinde had once addressed Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistan-based terrorist who is accused of orchestrating the 26/11 terror attacks, as "Shri Hafiz Saeed' and earned brickbats from various quarters.
Infamous 'Hindu terror' remark
the Union home minister perhaps tried to please his mentors when he launched a scathing attack against the BJP and RSS, saying they were running terror camps. He said he had evidence but the Opposition party boycotted him. The situation proved an embarrassing one for the ruling alliance after Saeed himself congratulated Shinde for his remark from across the border.
Speed post fiasco
Hanging 2001 Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was a political move by the Congress to blunt the Opposition's allegation that it is soft on terror but the ignoring the family of Guru while executing him raised much criticism. The authorities claimed to have dispatched a letter informing Guru's family by speed post on the eve of the hanging but it reached the destination two days after the hanging took place. Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was disappointed by such insensitive handling of the matter.
PM, Sonia Gandhi did not know about Kasab's hanging!
Shinde was proud to announce that the authorities had hanged Ajmal Kasab, the terrorist convicted in the 26/11 terror attack case, in such impeccable confidentiality that even the PM or the Congress chief were unaware about it and came to know about it only through TV news. The remark was more ridiculed than criticised.
Coming back to the Bhandara goof-up by Sinde, we may recall that last year, a woman called Alka Lamba was removed from the probe team of the National Commission for Women for revealing the identity of a molestation victim in Guwahati. Will Shinde get away? His another big fault in connection to the Bhandara case is that he even sided with the police despite the latter's failure to make any progress in the case.
We are under attack. From our own home minister.