The Defence Minister of India is not exactly known for being polite and gentle. She has established a reputation amongst the bureaucracy, and now the military, for not being particularly brilliant and yet domineering and rude regardless of the seniority of those dealing with her. For the public her grimaces as she attacks opponents with inspired fervour send out varied messages, and not exactly all for the good. In short, the Sitharaman who was seen at the onset of her political career not so long ago as a mature, stabilising voice in the BJP has dissolved into this sneering, rude, and now as several commentators noted, venomous personality who speaks with a constant threat in her voice.

Sitharaman is now spearheading on the Congress of course, but actually on the Muslims. Why her many may ask? Well it has little to do with her being a BJP pliable, and more to do with the fact that she is the Defence Minister of India. And in diplomatic and global parlance when the Defence Minister of a country speaks it is looked upon from the security paradigm, and noted as a threat---external or internal---to the country in concern. And Sitharaman has been speaking on the issue of Muslims in her capacity as a Defence Minister and not a BJP spokesperson.

Sitharaman’s comments are significant. One she sets the background to her comments by attacking the Congress and Rahul Gandhi. "You can't be Janeu-dhari (a Hindu who wears the sacred thread) at one point... Muslim-dhari at another... This is playing with the people's trust.” The reference to Muslim-dhaari was clear and categorical underlining her and her party and governments “suspicions” about those who are dealing with minorities. The ‘enemy’ thus is established.

Then the Defence Minister of India moves into the ‘strategic’ domain. And by virtue of her post brings noticeable seriousness to what would have been at best allegations if voiced by a party spokesperson. She accuses India’s leading Opposition party, the Congress of playing a “dangerous game.” And for trying to divide the country on religious lines that she added “resembles” 1947 when the country was partitioned.

"It closely resembles what happen in 1947 when the country was divided on religious lines. The Congress party is playing a dangerous game, playing the communal division, playing up the card of religion," she said.

And then she moves to an even more dangerous theme, issuing a warning of similar communal disturbance from now till the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. "If the objective is to fight the 2019 election on religious grounds, we fear that there could be a conspiracy for riots in communal sensitive areas... If there is communal tension, the responsibility lies with Congress. Because in this interaction, he has announced that the Congress is a Muslim party," the Defence Minister said.

And thereby put her official stamp on what can be expected to follow. A warning based one would expect on not just a Congress meeting or a purported statement but on information she as the defence minister brings to bear. And in the process re-works the BJP equation of the Muslim+Partition+ Communalism+ Terrorism= Second Partition. Engineered now not just by the Muslims but also by the Congress party.

This irresponsible statement and allegation is then noted and noticed by the Indian armed forces, the strategic establishment and the world. And spells out policy coming from one of the top three Ministers in government. Home Minister Rajnath Singh might not fall in line and has his own established way of speaking his mind that is in marked variance with the Sitharaman style; External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj too will not join the cacophony of orchestrated noise besides being on the receiving end herself; and of the two Finance Minister one, Arun Jaitley is bedridden or so we presume as no one has said, and the other Piyush Goyal on his own will not have the same resonance as the defence minister sitting atop the armed forces of the country.