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

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.

Online education 'driving' digital divide: $1.97 bn industry's paid users grow at 6x rate

Counterview Desk
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Maharashtra, in a new report in the series on Lockdown on Civil Liberties focusing on education has said that there is a huge “push-out” children due during the pandemic, with deepening digital-divide playing a major role.