Skip to main content

Allow Nitish to take over Congress: Sonia advised by top historian. Modi "capitulated to Hindutva hardliners"

By Our Representative
Ramachandra Guha, renowned historian and biographer, has said that the Congress does not have the “mantle” to take on the BJP under the leadership of the Gandhi family, insisting, an alternative to the saffron party can only emerge if the party is taken over by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar who has “vision, credibility, integrity and focuses on growth.”
Advising Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi “to invite Nitish to become the President of the Congress”, Guha says, as of today, the party is surrounded by “chamchas” like Mani Shankar Aiyar who are “worshipping Rahul Gandhi.”
According to Guha, “Even the few state leaders like Siddaramiah in Karnataka who came up on their own are now continuously undercut by the Congress High Command, he doesn’t even have the autonomy to appoint his own Rajya Sabha MPs.”
Stating that “the Congress’s role in this cacophony of voices is definitely not a dominant one”, Guha says, “In the present day inside the Congress there’s no credible leader even if you leave the family aside, there’s no one who strikes you like a Kamaraj, a Shastri or even a Narasimha Rao.”
Published in Washington DC’s “India Ink”, Guha, who was in the US to deliver a lecture hosted by the Georgetown University, said, one should remember, just as in the past, when the Congress was dominant system, “the BJP is now dominant.”
The interview acquires importance, as it was published of Nitish’s meeting with Sonia Gandhi on Thursday.
“Even in the Congress’s prime (50s and 60s) the ideals of the Congress were vigorously contested, be it Shyama Prasad Mukherjee from Jana Sangh, Acharya Kripalani or Lohia among Socialists or communists like AK Gopalan”, he says, adding, in the same way, “today the BJP will also be contested” whether it is Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal or Nitish Kumar in Bihar or Communists in Kerala, or intellectuals and civil society.
Calling Narendra Modi “a conflicted person”, Guha says, “One part of Narendra Modi wants to leave a positive legacy, he’s a phenomenally intelligent man. He knows if he’s going to build a Ram Temple, history’s not going to judge him well. But if he can help generate economic growth, reduce poverty, and skill Indian citizens he will leave a positive legacy. ”
Guha advises Modi to “take less advice from Amit Shah, because he has a very ruthless approach to politics”, adding, He needs Amit Shah, who’s a masterful organiser, but Amit Shah’s whole approach to politics is instrumental and vindictive.”
Comparing Modi with Shah, Guha says, Modi’s remark about Shamshan Ghat and Kabristan were not as dangerous as Amit Shah’s “Kasab remark, wherein he tried to be clever and say the opposing parties were like the 26/11 terrorist.”
He adds, “The benchmark for viciousness, vendetta politics and name calling is being set by Amit Shah. This is his style of politics and in my opinion it isn’t good, even people and senior ministers in the party fear him. He inspires respect through fear not through achievement.”
Guha regrets, “It seems Modi has increasingly capitulated to the Hindutva hardliners both intellectually and ideologically. Adityanath’s appointment is recent, but from 2014 if you look at the kind of appointments that were made, people who were sent as university vice-chancellors or the above examples you’ll see a clear trend.”
According to Guha, “On assuming office, Modi may have thought he will strike a deal with them wherein economic policy and foreign policy he would keep to himself but give the RSS a say in education and culture.”
“But”, he says, “Education and culture took over the national headlines, given all the absurd appointments to educational institutions such as Sudershan Rao and Gajendra Chauhan by Smriti Irani. So at the outset that was the kind of bargain he thought he could strike with the RSS.”

Comments

TRENDING

It's now official: Developed Gujarat's regular, casual workers earn less than 19 top states

By Rajiv Shah
Though not as low as state chief minister Vijay Rupani claims it to be (0.9%), Gujarat’s unemployment rate, at least as reflected in a recent report released by the Government of India, is 4.8%, lower than the national average, 6%. Yet, ironically, the same report, released soon after the Lok Sabha polls came to an end in May 2019, brings to light an even grimmer reality: Lower wages in "model" and "developed" Gujarat compared to virtually the whole of India, including the so-called Bimaru states.

Amaravati: World Bank refusing to share public grievances on Land Pooling Scheme

By Our Representative
A new report, prepared by the advocacy group Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), New Delhi, has taken strong exception to the World Bank refusing to share its independent assessment of the Land Pooling Scheme (LPS), floated by the Andhra Pradesh government in order to build the new capital.

Why crib? 4.5% is far better than pre-1980 'Hindu rate of growth': Subramanian replies

By Rajiv Shah
Even as sticking to his original argument that India's gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 has been overestimated by 2.5%, renowned economist Arvind Subramanian has said in a fresh paper that his estimate of post-2011-12 growth rate at around 4.5% is surely not "implausibly low", as some of his critics have been arguing following his controversial June paper.

UP's Sonbhadra killing of 10 tribals highlights 'failure' to implement Forest Rights Act

Counterview Desk
On July 17, as many as 10 people, including three women, were killed and 28 injured when a village head and his supporters opened fire on a group of tribal farmers in Ubha village of Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh. While the firing took place following a clash between over a land ownership dispute, it reportedly highlights failure of officials enforce Forest Rights Acts (FRA) and Survey Settlement in favour of tribals.

Govt of India 'lying': MGNREGA budget reduced by Rs 1,084 crore in 2019-20

Counterview Desk
NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, a well-known advocacy group for the rural jobs guarantee scheme, under implementation since 2005, has said that the statement by the Rural Development Minister has a made a mockery of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) on the floor of Parliament, revealing the ruling BJP’s “anti-worker and anti-poor bias”.

Govt of India seeks to 'subvert' autonomy of adjudicating authorities: RTI amendment

Counterview Desk
India's independent Right to Information watchdog, The National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI), in a statement, has said that the Government of India’s proposed amendments to the RTI Act to empower the Centre to unilaterally decide the tenure, salary, allowances and other terms of service of Information Commissioners at the Centre and States “seriously undermine” the law.

None of India's ministries, departments have mining children on the radar: MPs told

By Our Representative
A delegation of two civil rights groups, Samata and mines, minerals and People (mm&P), has impressed upon several of India's members of Parliament (MPs) to discuss and raise issues relating to illegal mining, the Samata judgment, children in the mining areas and the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) in Parliament, adding, the issue of involvement of gram sabhas in decision making ought to be central for allowing any new projects in forest areas.

Demand to withdraw sedition charge against 30,000 unnamed Adivasis, activists

Counterview Desk
Every 10th Adivasi of Jharkhand’s Pathalgadi area is charged with sedition, Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM), a network of activists and people’s organisations, which organised a protest in Ranchi in front of the Governor's house, has said. In a statement following the protest on Monday, JMM has called for larger support to stand up against violations of Constitutional rights of Adivasis and use of sedition law as tool for repression.

22,000 children risking lives in India's 'illegal' mica mines, 10-20 die each month

By Rajiv Shah
An investigation by a high-profile e-journal run by a top American digital media and entertainment company focused on young women, Refinery 29 (R29), which based in the Financial District, Manhattan neighbourhood of New York City, has raised the alarm that 9,000 miles away, nearly 22,000 children are risking their lives while working for a paltry sum of Rs 20 to 30 per day in mica mines of Jharkhand and Bihar.

Introduced in Lok Sabha, amendment proposals a 'blow' to RTI's federal scheme

By Venkatesh Nayak*
In less than two months of returning to power, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA-III) government has revived its 2018 proposal to curtail the autonomy of the Information Commissions established under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act). A similar attempt was made exactly one year ago but the Bill to assume power to regulate the tenure, salaries and allowances of Information Commissioners across the country was not tabled in Parliament.