By Aditya Aamir
Congress President Rahul Gandhi has an objective-type question for the people of India. It is regarding China and its desire to occupy Doklam. Reports are that China is opening up a new route to reach south Doklam and put India and Bhutan in jeopardy. The Congress President, who everybody knows lacks a funny bone, has attempted to inject humour in an issue that is very serious and of considerable national strategic interest.
Asking how Prime Minister Narendra Modi will react after this latest Chinese move, which comes on the heel of Chinese President Xi Jinping warning of “bloody battles” to keep China’s boundaries intact and that China will not “cede an inch of its territory”, is a legitimate and valid question. But when the Congress President uses the development to mock at Modi it takes the seriousness of intent out of the question.
By turning Doklam into a joke, Rahul Gandhi comes out as childish. He trivializes the issue and, worse of all, doesn’t expect a serious answer, a measured response to the Chinese infarction, which is what the Congress should be asking PM Modi.
“In Doklam, it’s China season again. How will Modi Ji react this time?
- Blame RM.
- Cry in public.
- All of the above”
In language that will explain the tweet, Rahul Gandhi – the just installed President of the Indian National Congress, the 132-year-old Grand Old Party of India that delivered India out of 200 years of foreign subjugation – was being ‘clever by half’. Misplaced humour can be the death of serious intention on a serious subject. It is bound to make ‘nationalism’ an election issue and the Congress will not able to fight on that issue, not after this tweet.
The Nehru-Gandhi Congress President should know that Chinese incursions into India cuts deep into the Indian psyche. The 1962 Indo-China War is not something that the Indian Army has forgotten. The defeat at the Chinese PLA was humiliating and the Army has waited long to avenge the defeat which has been largely blamed on the poor handling of the war by Rahul’s grandfather, the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
By turning Doklam into a joke Rahul is opening up his family and particularly Jawaharlal Nehru to another bout of 1962-attacks. The great-great grandson is being very unfair to his great-great grandpa. Not expected. Unacceptable. May be it is all his social media head Divya Spandana’s handiwork and not Rahul Gandhi’s fertile brain at work. But it will be laid at his door.
Of course, Rahul was referring to PM Modi’s penchant for hugging world leaders, which the Congress ridicules and calls “hugplomacy”. He also tagged a news report with the tweet that claimed China was quietly and cleverly finding a new route to South Doklam, seven months after India stopped Chinese construction activities in the area lying between Tibet’s Chumbi Valley to the north, Bhutan’s Ha Valley to the east and the Indian state of Sikkim to the west. Rahul and the Congress have been persistently attacking Modi on the issue, giving the impression that he is enjoying the Chinese belligerence.
According to reports, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops are trying to outflank the Indian Doklam military outpost by constructing a new 1.3-km long road and communication trenches around 4-km away from the spot. This alternative road could allow China access to the Jampheri Ridge in south Doklam, as the PLA had earlier wanted, before the 73-day troop stand-off last year.
At the height of the Doklam standoff last year, Rahul Gandhi had made a secret visit to the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi, which when reported the party first refuted and then when pictures of his meeting with the Chinese ambassador surfaced dismissed it as just another courtesy call.
This morning (Thursday, March 22, 2018), the Chinese Government gave full powers to the Chinese PLA to deal with China’s border issues with India. It must not be a decision taken today and was probably for Xi Jinping to declare himself ‘President for Life’ but it does give fodder for the BJP to hit out at Rahul Gandhi for being “childish”.
Instead of tweeting ‘objective choice questions” of 1,2,3,4 and “All the above”, Rahul Gandhi should set for himself the one objective: No More Dokla Jokes. Period. (IPA Service)