Rahul’s messianic words don’t match dirty deeds of politics

There’s yawning gap between ‘kathni’ and ‘karni’ everywhere – and people know that

ajay

Ajay Singh | July 19, 2018 | New Delhi


#Narendra Modi   #Religion   #Mahatma Gandhi   #Congress   #Twitter   #Rahul Gandhi   #Politics  


Self-deception is an essential trait of a revolutionary, particularly of the Marxist variety. Rahul Gandhi as the Congress president seems too eager to internalise this trait in his politics.

If you have any doubt, look at his latest tweet which is divinely prophetic in its content.


It says, “I stand with the last person in the line. The exploited, marginalised and the persecuted. Their religion, caste or beliefs matter little to me. I seek out those in pain and embrace them. I erase hatred and fear. I love all living beings. I am the Congress”. Needless to say that the tweet got maximum retweets from party supporters.

He could have as well replaced “I am the Congress” with “I am the Buddha / I am the Geeta / I am the Christ / I am the Prophet”.

There is nothing wrong in this tweet except the fact that it is a patently dishonest exposition from the chief of the country’s oldest party which had steadfastly adopted truth and nonviolence as its guiding light till India’s independence. Mahatma Gandhi, known as apostle of truth, was quite averse to using language to camouflage the intentions.

In this case, nobody can grudge Rahul Gandhi’s entitlement to self-deception. But his efforts to delude the masses by employing saintly rhetoric need to be countered effectively. Given the inclusive personality of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the legacy of other great Congress leaders, the party was indeed beyond caste and communities in those days. Nehru’s political philosophy, largely influenced by Gandhi, truly transcended parochial barriers.

But caste turned out to be a harsh reality in the post-Nehru era. And the Congress since then dabbled into sectarian strife so much that it changed the political contours of the country. The party’s leadership was largely confined to a strong section of upper castes and it contrived benignity towards Dalits and minorities for decades. On the other hand, the Congress’s influence in the OBC’s was effectively challenged Ram Manohar Lohia. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the Congress lost ground to Annadurai and the CPM that attracted marginalised and minorities.

Politics hardly follows linear course. The Congress’s political trajectory since the seventies followed a course that tapped on social fault lines. Take for instance, there is hardly any evidence when either Indira Gandhi or any other Congress leaders stood up against the mob when riots happened across the country in the seventies and eighties quite unlike Gandhi and Nehru who cared two hoot about their lives to challenge murderous mobs in Noakhali (Bengal) and Delhi after the independence.

The first notably communalised elections in India happened after Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984. Rahul Gandhi’s father, Rajiv Gandhi, reaped maximum benefits from it. This was followed by another experiment of opening up the Ram Janma Bhoomi temple in Ayodhya in 1987. The obvious intention was to consolidate Hindus with a fond belief that Muslims could not go anywhere else. That the expectations were belied does not undermine the party leadership’s cynical pursuit of power by dividing the society on caste and communal lines.

In today’s context the Congress is outmaneuvered in this pursuit of power by other political parties, particularly regional outfits, which believed in eminent social scientist Rajni Kothari’s theorisation on caste, that politics of caste would lead to politicalisation of caste. In regional parties of north India, politics of caste also led to extreme lumpenised empowerment of castes and communities. And there is hardly any party that has insulated itself from this political infection. Even Hindutva politics thrived on successful coalition of castes. Of course, emergence of prominent leaders like Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar is related to assertion of Dalits and OBCs.

Similarly, the BJP besides banking on Hindutva has doggedly pursued the caste groups as they found OBC faces as leaders as a powerful means to coalesce Hindu society. This is the precise reason why Modi’s “chaiwala” antecedents were always used to the hilt to drive home the point that the BJP belonged as much to OBCs as to the upper castes. Without saying it openly, the BJP found exclusion of Muslims as a given in the present political context. But they realised it rather too soon that caste cannot be ignored in Indian politics.

This harsh reality has prompted the Congress to attempt to forge a coalition with outright casteist groups in North India. Rahul’s love for Mayawati, Akhilesh and Lalu is driven more by the fact that they command influence over caste groups than mere abstraction. In the Gujarat and Karnataka elections, he peddled soft Hindutva by running around temples and tried to maintain caste balance by keeping Jignesh Mevani and Hardik Patel in good humour. This is the context behind his Twitter post – even if it sounds like god-ordained words from a messiah. Perhaps it would be better if he responds politically without messianic pretence. Even if he does not know it, people know it too well that politics is not a pious game.

[This is comment has appeared on FirstPost.com]
 

 

Comments

 

Other News

`Bad Bank`: All you wanted to know about NARCL

The cabinet has cleared the formation of ‘National Asset Reconstruction Company Limited’ (NARCL) which will acquire “stressed assets” of about Rs. 2 Lakh crore in phases within RBI regulations in order to address the problem of humongous amounts of bad loans in public sector banks.

Citizens Charter: How this less-known law empowers us

When consumer rights and RTI activist Mohammad Afzal was shifting to a new residence in a different area, he required changes in various documents. He decided to take the help of the Citizens Charter along with other friends who also required similar work with authorities. The Citizens Chart

Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways emphasises on setting up of National Transport Facilitation Committees

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal has underlined the importance of cross-border connectivity among India and developing nations of South-East Asia. Addressing the ASEAN summit on Future of India-ASEAN Connectivity Partnerships virt

Ministry of Finance organises advance training programme in PPP for states

The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance and the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore has organised a virtual advance level training programme on Public-Private Partnership. Additional Secretary DEA, K Rajaraman, Joint Secretary, DEA, Baldeo Purushartha

Ministry of Agriculture signs MoUs for Digital Agriculture

Modernisation of the Agriculture sector will continue by infusing new technologies so that farmers can increase their income, states Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. The Ministry of Agriculture and farmer welfare has signed MOUs for pilot projects with Cisco, Ninjacar

An enabling ecosystem for R&D is a must: Vice President

The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu has stressed the need to create an enabling ecosystem for R&D for India to become a developed nation. He urged educational institutions to have an incr

Visionary Talk: GVL Narasimha Rao, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha on Upcoming UP Elections


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter