By Bimal Prasad Mohapatra
“Defiant Rahul says his fight will continue”, writes leading English daily in its front page headline two days after a Surat court found Rahul Gandhi’s GE2019 election rally remark in Karnataka against ‘Modi’ surname defamatory and got him convicted. This was followed by Lok Sabha Secretariat disqualification of him from his Parliament membership as per the law of the land which had been applied in several cases before, and validated by the Supreme Court in related cases in the past.
Rahul Gandhi also ruled out the possibility of an apology saying, “My name isn’t Savarkar. My name is Gandhi. I won’t apologize.”
Here, it’s necessary to mention what The Hindustan Times wrote on 10 May, 2020 under headline “Rahul Gandhi’s unconditional apology to SC in Rafale contempt case, requests top court to drop proceedings.” The above reminder clears the assumption that the Grand Old Party first family scion is habituated in making defamatory remarks (for vested interest), and when caught, apologizes. Why did Rahul apology in this case? Is it to save himself from punishment? In the present case too, his apology may not be ruled out.
But who does not know Veer Savarkar was imprisoned for his unparallel valiant fight for nation’s freedom and preferred to apologize to free him from 14 years long inhuman solitary confinement in dreaded Cellular Jail in Andaman -infamously called Kalapani- in a room smaller than a bathroom for nationalist work rather than soiling his life in jail? After Savarkar’s release, top leaders of several national parties including now Gandhi family owned Congress Party invited him to join their parties, and many top leaders including Mahatma Gandhi and the founder of so-called secular vanguard Communist Party of India’s M. N. Roy felicitated him. If Rahul Gandhi has not read the reverences Veer Savarkar had got from above listed icons, he is advised to read at least what his own grandma Indira Gandhi wrote about the revolutionary freedom fighter. In her letter dated May 20, 1980, Indira Gandhi wrote, “Veer Savarkar’s daring defiance of the British Government has its own importance in the annals of our Freedom movement. I wish success to the plans to celebrate the birth centenary of the remarkable son of India.”
And what kind of political credibility Rahul Gandhi has except his birth to a political family responsible for undemocratic hijack of newly independent country’s first PMship from Sardar Patel, for keeping the country backward in every field for several decades post-independence, dislodging largest numbers of elected state governments, spoiling judiciary image which led to now-in-force undemocratic collegiums system, imposition of draconian National Emergency, engineering dreaded Kashmir and Punjab crisis, facilitating 1984 anti-Sikh riots, allowing Union Carbide gas leak accused Anderson leaving country in government helicopter, …………… and hundreds of unprecedented scams starting with Nehru era’s Jeep Scam to now exposed National Herald scam?
But, the mute question is: why Rahul Gandhi indulges in this kind of abusive politics? And again, it is not that he is alone indulging with liberty in this kind of activity in Indian politics. There are many such politicians in almost all political parties, many of them even holding constitutional positions. Certainly, this is not what India as the largest democracy in the world, and which is celebrating Amritkaal of her independence, expects from senior politicians, and certainly not from the leader and party who and which respectively claim all the credits for getting country’s independence -self-interpreted- to justify the dynasty rule.
Post-Surat court conviction, Rahul Gandhi has earned strong supports from opposition parties, including mostly of the regional parties, many of them are also ruling parties in some states and one or two national parties now reduced to occasional visibility in newspaper reports, on the street with red flags and in some varsity campuses which can be safely branded as ‘sign-board parties’, the verbatim invented by former Odisha Chief Minister late Biju Patnaik for Jan Sangh, the present ruling party’s early avatar. There are some common threads among these newly-found Rahul well-wishers, and the Congress Party. During early days of post-independence, all national parties survived sloganeering against Nehru-Gandhi dynasty headed Central Government’s so-called Western tilted economic policies, diplomacies, dynasty politics and corruptions; while the regional parties came to existence mostly in 1980s and 1990s fighting Nehru-Gandhi’s corruption and dynasty politics. But tragedy is: majority of these parties are now found most corrupts and dynasties owned in equal terms with Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Some of these parties’ leaders are now convicted and charge sheeted by the courts for corruptions, and that too when they were in power. And all of them tested electoral rejections because of corruptions and bad governance. It is a different matter that India’s political dynamics have got them elected time and again.
Pre-GE2014, these regional parties and ‘sign-board’ national parties along with BJP were squarely responsible for present miserable state of Congress Party. And many of these regional parties are in direct fight with Congress in their respective regional domains now, which they are not ready to sacrifice although Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted, “The hasty decision to disqualify @RahulGandhi as a member of the Lok Sabha is yet another episode in @BJP4India’s authoritarian rampage against Indian Democracy”, former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav tweeted, “Political challenges do not end with the hijacking of the membership of Parliament. The biggest movements are won on the street, not in Parliament,” WB CM Mamata Banarjee tweeted, “In PM Modi’s New India, opposition leaders have become the prime target of BJP! While BJP leaders with criminal antecedents are inducted into the cabinet, opposition leaders are disqualified for their speeches,” Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “It is not just a fight of the Congress or Rahul Gandhi. It’s a fight of the entire opposition,” Telengana CM K. Chandrasekhar Rao tweeted, “Sri Rahul Gandhi disqualification is an attack on democratic principles and constitutional values of India. It reflects the autocratic and egoistic personality of Sr @narendramodi”, Tamilnadu M. K. Stalin tweeted, “This intimidating tone sends a message that even the leader of national party does not have the right to express his opinion,” NCP leader and Sharad Pawar daughter Supriya Sule tweeted, “Totally disappointing. First P.P.Mohammed Faizal. Now @RahulGandhi,” and former Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray tweeted, “This is the murder of democracy. All agencies are under pressure. This is the beginning of the end of the dictatorship. The battle only needs a direction(now).”
Means all the opposition parties are united to save their undemocratic dynasty politics, and want rationalization of corruption as integral part of Indian politics supporting Rahul Gandhi’s diatribe against Veer Savarkar, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party reveres. Do Indian voters agree with this disdain when they celebrate Amritkaal? Should the great patriot Veer Savarkar valor be humiliated by the people who signed secret MoU with dreaded enemy of the country, and defame country’s democratic governance in the West, which balkanized the country before kicked out of the country they looted, caused unprecedented famines and destroyed the native culture during their two centuries long rules to keep the region ever boiled in order to retain their supremacy in the world politics forever?
(Author is Sr. Research Fellow – DRaS & Faculty of Management Studies in TGI. The views expressed are personal opinion of the author. He can be reached at [email protected])