“The Congress Party presented itself for propaganda purposes as the Gandhi Party but it completely neglected his teachings.” – Jayaprakash Narayan as quoted by Louis Fischer (Mahatma Gandhi 100 Years, 1968, P 84)
After the unprecedented drubbing in 2014 General Elections, Congress Party and especially the Gandhi scion who claims the leadership of the party only on the basis of birth, is completely in a confused state. The obvious and tested strategy is to create fear psychosis in certain groups through divisive politics. The corollary of this is to attack Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), instead of fighting for the political space on the basis of issues and programmes. It clearly shows the confused and bankrupt state of the grand old party of Bharat. Rahul Gandhi’s statement in the Bhiwandi rally and the series of U-turns and party’s dubious stand on key issues of national interest evidently depict this despicable state of affairs.
The video clippings of Bhiwandi rally are available where the Gandhi heir tried to vitiate the atmosphere by reiterating the lie on Gandhi’s assassination. It is quite possible that in the heat of electioneering he tried to play this card to save the losing battle. Once a common man from Mumbai filed a defamation case for maligning the nationalist organisation, Congress Party and the Prince tried to show a brave face. After realising the outcome of this legal battle, young Gandhi’s legal counsel tried to save the face by saying, “he never blamed RSS as an organisation”. The reality is he has been doing that right from the day he realised his political standing in front of Bharatiya voters. Whether Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination or Odisha temple entry or JNU row; he has been attacking RSS as an organisation as the last resort. This has been the history of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Media and social media immediately gave it a colour of Rahul vs RSS. Court and commissions have already acquitted RSS in the Gandhi assassination case and this time also Court will take the necessary action. The real issue is whether politics of national interest based on issues, policies and programmes with collective decision making should determine the life of billion people or we want to sustain with the politics of division and nepotism by a select few.
The party which claims the legacy of Independence struggle was obviously expected to stand firm on the issue of nationalism and national interests. Unfortunately, as the party became bigger than nation, family more important than the party and individuals protecting that family interest turned out to be the most important players than everybody. In the process, Mahatma Gandhi and his legacy was appropriated. His assassination was also used to divide the society. Language, religion and caste, all became instruments to further the party and family interests. The philosophy of poverty was sold in the name of socialism to nurture corruption. Getting fade-up with this politics of nepotism and corruption, common people showed Congress Party its place and elected the party with nationalist credentials.
Instead of learning from the defeat, if Rahul Gandhi continues to follow the path of self-destruction then Congress do not need anybody to defeat. This will be the most unfortunate part for Bhartiya body politic, as not Nehru-Gnadhi dynasty, but national level party in opposition with nationalist outlook is the need of the hour. Unfortunately, Congress as a party is failing on this test in favour of nepotism.
By Prafulla Ketkar