Prime Minister Narendra Modi is justifiably angry over the “arrogance” and “misbehaviour” of a young BJP MLA in Madhya Pradesh, Akash Vijayvargiya, taking the law into his own hands and assaulting a municipal official of his constituency, Indore, with a cricket bat a few days ago.
Mr Modi took up this matter while addressing the BJP parliamentary party on Tuesday and was apparently so annoyed that he said action ought to be taken “no matter whose son he may be”. This is an important aspect in this tale. The first-time legislator is unlikely to have assaulted an official on duty if he weren’t the son of a high-profile BJP general secretary, Kailash Vijayvargiya, whose stock has risen since his party’s impressive result in the Lok Sabha election in West Bengal, which was in the senior Vijayvargiya’s charge.
The PM sought action against all those who had welcomed the MLA back when he emerged after a couple of days in prison. Will this include the guilty MLA's father who, along with others, garlanded him? What will such a step, if taken, do to equations at the top of the BJP organisation?
In the past, the PM, after the count got intolerable, spoke against cow vigilantism and called for action against the accused persons. Not much came of any of this, giving the impression that those working on the Hindutva agenda can engage in criminality with impunity.
Since the Vijayvargiya issue is not linked to Hindutva, we may perhaps see some action. Why be cynical from the start? Perhaps public expectations can be met at least some of the time....