Is there a 'Thappad Brigade' at work?

Many think that publicity-hungry people have found an easy way to come into limelight by attacking famous personalities

"It won't be wrong if we call them a 'Thappad Brigade', a few people mad for cheap publicity. Just like the bikers' gang of Delhi, who enjoy spreading nuisance on Delhi roads through their late-night road shows, members of thappad brigade enjoy cheap publicity by hurling shoes or attempting to slap political leaders or other popular personalities," reacted a senior politician after the Thursday incident.

The latest trend? On October 12, Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena chief
Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga had beaten up Supreme Court lawyer and
Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan. File pic

The leader, who was talking off the record to MiD DAY reporter, accepted that preventing such incidents in future will be a big challenge. He was speaking with regard to the incident wherein a youth, Harvinder Singh, slapped Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar at a public function.

Earlier on October 12, Bhagat Singh Kranti Sena chief Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga had beaten up Supreme Court lawyer and Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan in his chamber at Constitution Club. Interestingly, later in the day, Bagga announced Rs 11,000 as reward to Harvinder Singh.

"Bagga might have had the same intention. The Thursday incident has proved that they are serial offenders. Harvinder is the same person who had assaulted former Telecom Minister Sukh Ram outside Rohini court after he was sentenced in a corruption case," said an eye-witness requesting anonymity.  

Joining hands
Although the ruling Congress and Opposition parties have many differences on various issues, the incident of slapping of the Union Minister brought all the parties together. Even as some Opposition leaders warned the government that such incidents might increase if adequate steps to curb rising prices were not taken, the politicians across the party lines univocally condemned the attack.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said, "It is totally condemnable and I do not know where this country is going. These types of activities are not worth publicising." NDA convener Sharad Yadav said, "I strongly condemn the incident as such acts weaken our fight against corruption and price rise. He is a lumpen man and has acted in the same manner earlier as well. It was all a drama. We, the Opposition parties, are taking up a fight against corruption and price rise."

Samajwadi Party's Mulayam Singh Yadav said, "I condemn the incident and fear if the price rise continues the way it is, such incidents might increase in number."

Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) said, "It is uncivilised and undemocratic. I condemn this squarely. This is no way to protest against price rise. We believe in fighting corruption, but we are against individual terrorism."

Trinamool Congress leaders were also not behind in condemning the incident. Minister of State for Health, Sudeep Bandhopadhyay, said, "People will definitely be pained by the price rise and we will discuss it across the country and Parliament."

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