Shankar Bidari, IPS (Retd) is a household name in Karnataka ever since he was instrumental in tackling the menace of Veerappan and his gang. Under his leadership, 60 gang members were killed in various encounters and 126 gang members and harbourers were arrested. As DCP Headquarters, Bangalore City, he played a key role in the arrest of LTTE militants Shivarasan and Shuba who were wanted in Rajiv Gandhi murder case. In recognition of the courage and gallantry displayed by him in the operations, he was awarded the First Bar to the police Medal for Gallantry by the President in 2011. Shri Shankar Bidari was the Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG&IGP) of Karnataka when he retired in 2012. On March 31, 2019 Shankar Bidari tweeted ‘In the prevailing situation BJP is the best choice for the Nation’ and urged everyone to ‘forget individual issues and Grievences…support and vote All BJP candidates to victory’. Organiser Bengaluru Bureau Chief Prashanth Vaidyaraj spoke to the distinguished police officer on his tweet, prevalent circumstances in the country and the reasons behind his support for PM Modi.
Sir, You had tweeted that in the prevailing situation Bharatiya Janata Party is the best for the nation. Why do you think so?
I have observed the life and work of Narendra Modi from the beginning. His honesty, dedication to the country, his patriotism, and his exuberance to do good for the country cannot be questioned, cannot be suspected. After so many years we have got a person who is completely dedicated to the country. There is no doubt about it. Furthermore, ours is a democracy and whoever is the best among the 130 crore Indians should head our government and lead India. In the given situation I am of the opinion that among all the active political leaders of the country Narendra Modi is best suited as PM.
Secondly, all other Opposition parties are divided. Some may have formed alliances but they have not stood the test of the time. They are ideologically incompatible with each other. Even in a scenario they form the government, they will not be able to give a stable government. In the interest of the country a stable government is a must at the Centre. Unless we have a stable government we cannot achieve anything economically, will not be able to defend our country ably, and we cannot conduct foreign affairs effectively. Hence a stable government with an able leader and a comfortable majority is essential.
Article 370 should not continue and should be removed. Entire J&K should be fully integrated into India. Any apprehension among the Kashmiris should be addressed and the respect for them should be mutualIn addition to this, there has not been a single case of corruption under Modi Government in the last 5 years. I have also understood through my sources in Delhi that there is no place for middlemen and brokers in any ministry of the government. Groups of middlemen and brokers were active for decades and now they have been rendered jobless. This credit should go to Narendra Modi. No political party is perfect but I am confident that wrong elements will be kept under check by Modi. I am also confident that he will take more measures to improve our industry, agriculture, further alleviating the poverty in our society.
After taking into account all these factors, I am of the opinion that in the given circumstances BJP is the only choice of the country in the interest of the nation.
In your experience you have seen numerous political dispensations at the Centre and the State. What is the difference you see between and the Modi-led government others today? What are your expectations from the government?
Modi-led Government is 100% honest. In my opinion the introduction of electoral bonds was a very good step to fund political activities. Parties should not resort to any illegal activities. Any organisation or business can fund political parties through these bonds and be accountable for the same. This will curb electoral corruption.
Secondly, the BJP Government has been decisive because it is headed by a decisive leader. I am confident that once he returns as PM he will continue to take care of all sections of the society. I also hope that more representation will be given to all sections of the society in the top echelons of the government. Top cabinet ministers should represent all major sections of the society and hence representations from all sections is important in the top ministries. Every section should feel that the government represents them and this can happen only when due representation is given to all communities, including minorities. This will lead to peace and harmony in the country and ensure long term stability and progress of the nation.
Regarding Ram Janmabhoomi dispute, I am sure that PM Modi will enlist the support of all parties as Ram does not belong to one party or organisation but to all 130 Indians irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. Ram represents the ethos and culture of India. It is an issue of national pride and being proud of our National heritage. I am confident that no section of Soceity will object to this issue.
Article 370 should not continue and should be removed. Entire Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) should be fully integrated into India. Any apprehension among the Kashmiris should be addressed and the respect for them should be mutual. All citizens of J&K are Indians and they should treated with trust and affection. They belong to India and India belongs to them. Any misguided citizen of J&K should realise that his happiness, progress, well-being and destiny is in India. Any other thinking will be a serious folly and suicidal for any citizen of J&K.
What is your take on several political leaders making statements that are helping Pakistan to counter India? How do you think it's impacting our national interests?
No one in the country including the Opposition can deny that PM Modi has taken measures to teach Pakistan a lesson in their own language. Pakistan has been attacking us for decades. Government of the day should have responded effectively after the attacks on Mumbai in 2008 and earlier bomb blasts in Mumbai and other places in the country since 1993 . Except routine statements like ‘Muh Tod Jawab’, no action was taken against Pakistan. However PM Modi has acted decisively against Pakistan. But the Opposition should not feel jealous that PM Modi gets the credit because defence of India is the subject under Central Government. So when the defence of India is managed well and handled effectively, the credit must go to the PM. Similarly, Nehru got discredit for the debacle against China in 1962, in 1965 Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi in 1971 and Vajpayee in 1999 got their due credit for winning the wars against Pakistan. Vajpayee had credited Indira Gandhi for her decisive action in creation of Bangladesh. Likewise, PM and Defence Minister should get credit for their actions against Pakistan. Opposition should appreciate the good job done.
How do you see the internal security situation today? What can be done better?
I must say with happiness that during the last 5 years the Modi Government has created a situation where no terrorist attacks have taken place except at Pathankot and Pulwama. A feeling of security prevails in the country today. Even the terrorists know that this government will not tolerate them and if they indulge in mischief they know that they will be punished. This deterrence is the most important achievement of this government.
Finally, your thoughts on patriotism and nationalism. How important are they in the general public discourse today? I ask this because even patriotism is being lampooned by many intellectuals and leaders too. Your take.
Patriotism is not the monopoly of any group, religion or party. In our country 99.99% of the people are patriotic. It is the bounden duty of every citizen to be patriotic and love the country. There are very few misguided and mischievous individuals who are indulging in anti-national activities. Mischievous elements who act against the interests of the country, should be isolated and punished instead of blaming the entire communities they belong to. So far as the misguided students in universities are concerned, their number in the entire country will not exceed a few hundred and they are brain washed. These ‘Tukde Tukde’ gangs should also realise only if Bharat lives, they can live. If Bharat prospers they will also prosper. If Bharat is destroyed they will also be destroyed.
These people should also know that there is no more tolerant and liberal nation than Bharat in the world. In no other nation in the world do people who speak different languages, practicing various religions, propagate different thoughts co-exist happily and in harmony together, subject only to the law of the land. Ours is a country that has accepted all thoughts, ideas and philosophies and has assimilated them within. Those who are propagating thoughts that are alien to Indian culture cannot uproot our basic ethos of of our Nation. Just as the basic structure of the constitution is sacrosanct, the basic structure Indian culture is sacrosanct and nobody can be allowed to tamper with it and violate it. In India everyone should live like an Indian and Indian alone regardless of the language he speaks, region in which he lives and religion he practices. He is and must be Indian First and Indian always. n