By Sushil Kutty
Men and women in black. The women outdoing the men in scaling police barricades. Especially Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The nationwide protests were against price rise; unemployment, and GST on “dahi and dhood” and other food items. Not surprisingly, the presser earlier in the morning made no mention of price rise, unemployment or GST. Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi dwelt on ‘darr’ and how the Congress was not afraid of Modi’s ‘darr’.
It is plain the grand old party is caught in the throes of protecting its leadership from Modi. Salman Khurshid made it clear. “I am not here to save the parivaar. My ‘neta’ is being harassed, I am here to protect my neta.” Khurshid has a streak of straight talk in him. Only he could tell the Hindutva that they were ISIS and Boko Haraam!
But if the Congress couldn’t spell price rise and pronounce inflation, the BJP read it all wrong by pronouncing that the Congress protest was its opposition to the Ram Mandir. Talk of the political parties’ obsession with pet projects. The Congress with the ‘ Gandhi family’; and the BJP with the ‘Ram Mandir.
August 5, 2020 Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation for the Ayodhya Ram Mandir. Let’s not be misled, Modi will not rest till the Ram Mandir is not completed. The same cannot be said of the Congress and the price rise. Too much is happening against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi for the Congress to get diverted by inflation and people’s cul de sac pockets.
The Congress actually took the issue of price rise factor outside Parliament and ensured it will die a natural death in an artificial environment. The Congress party’s obsession with the Gandhi family was always there; but this is, perhaps, for the first time, that every Congress member has been put on the duty roster to save the Gandhi family.
With the black shirts, the black trousers, and the black salwar-kameez for the women Congress activists, the Congress not only spent time and effort but also a tonne of money—the Congress leadership will see to it that India erupts when any precipitate action is taken against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.
At the presser, Rahul Gandhi appeared too ebullient—one-liners dropping off his lips and the ‘dares’ to Modi coming off his tongue like they were planted there. The “I am not afraid of Modi” repetitions were not grammatical errors. Anybody with a degree in psychology would have read between the lines and got it right—the Congress is getting ready for the ‘Big Fight’.
There‘s no denying that the Congress leadership is convinced drastic action is planned against Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Therefore, the party is making the most of the Monsoon Session. The August 5 protests were just rehearsal for the main show.
The party’s plan to “gherao” the Prime Minister’s residence was foiled. And the barricades came in the way of Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Congress activists in the streets failed to provoke the police into coercive action. Behind the slogans and cardboard cutouts in the shape of LPG cylinders was frustration.
The Congress is being held hostage by the Modi Government with its refusal to “take action” against the “accused” in the National Herald case. The ED questioned Rahul Gandhi in June, and Sonia Gandhi in July. Yet nothing drastic has been done so far even as the ED makes life difficult for National Herald!
What is it that the Modi Government and the ED want? What are their plans for Sonia and Rahul Gandhi? The suspense, and the absence of drastic action against the Gandhis, is killing.
The people, and not just the Congress workers and supporters, need a reason to erupt, stand up to defend the Gandhi family. The BJP and the Modi Government should get a taste of democracy in action; witness the popularity of the Gandhis. There never was a better time for revolution than today, in this 75th year of India’s independence.
The BJP is building up an issue to fight general elections 2024. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi is wary of the ‘Hindu-Muslim’ bait that had engulfed all the elections since 2014; he is too far gone in nurturing his image of ‘vishwaguru’ to risk it anymore.
And “corruption” is an issue that’s a winner. It’s a one-fit-for-all plank. Charges of alleged corruption have left their mark on the TMC, on the MVA, on the AAP, and on the once mighty Congress. With the ED Alsatian in its corner, “corruption in high places” is the BJP’s winning card for 2024.(IPA Service)