Skip to main content

EVM manipulation? Only circumstantial, but no direct evidence exists: Congress leader

Counterview Desk
In an open address to his party colleagues, Congress leader Salman Khurshid, senior Supreme Court advocate and former foreign minister, has said that at a time when “honest views” of the party are being “maligned” by suggesting that the party lacks “patriotism and religious impartiality”, it would be “less than fair” to claim that the party has not been “forced” to retreat from its “outspoken defence of freedom and right to equal protection and concern for every democratic view.”
Saying that there is “strategic adjustments to preserve ideological purity in the face of devious attacks are morally permissible, indeed imperative”, he insists in a Facebook post, “But we cannot allow our collective conscience to be confused. Worse than defeat is surrender. The space that we continue to occupy (12 crore votes) must not be vacated for a less deserving alternative.”

Text:

Our leaders, particularly Shri Rahul Gandhi, have felt deep personal disappointment in the election results. Those of us who owe allegiance and emotional attachment to them (count in lakhs) have additional distress to see them so traumatised. Silence and forbearance is the best attitude in such situations. But many colleagues have chosen to speak. In the circumstances silence can be misjudged. I have therefore chosen to depart from holding my peace.
When things go wrong as they have, there is inevitably something that needs to be done. Reinventing and change sound good and reassuring but we need to be sure we know from what and why before looking at how and where. It is a tricky question but a pertinent one: have we ceased to be the Congress we were or are we too much of the original Congress when the world around us has changed.
Furthermore, we must not make the mistake of becoming something we have opposed all along and indeed considered it to be our raison detre. Put simply let us not endeavour to survive if we have no real reason to live; makes little sense to be a theatre character looking for a script. Congress must live because it has an ideology that must not die.
Our current dilemma seems to be that our unique and wholesome ideology has been viciously attacked and undermined by our adversaries having twisted it and misinterpreted it to the people. Our honest views have been maligned for alleged lack of patriotism and religious impartiality. It will be less than fair to claim that we have not suffered self-consciousness that forced us to retreat from our outspoken defence of freedom and right to equal protection and concern for every democratic view.
The space that we continue to occupy (12 crore votes) must not be vacated for a less deserving alternative
On the other hand, the distinction between ideology and strategy should not be overlooked. Strategic adjustments to preserve ideological purity in the face of devious attacks are morally permissible, indeed imperative. But we cannot allow our collective conscience to be confused. Worse than defeat is surrender. The space that we continue to occupy (12 crore votes) must not be vacated for a less deserving alternative. 
People in the party are proclaiming instant formulae for fixing the damage we have suffered. Pardon my disagreement with instant solutions which seem to be like shooting in the dark. My ground reading does not validate the extent of the mandate although it gives some idea of our appeals having fallen on deaf ears.
Have we all not been puzzled by the universal lack of celebration of the victory in public spaces? Are the people equally puzzled? Dare we look at the EVM doubts with determination to settle the issue one way or other? There is after all much by way of circumstantial evidence, though no direct evidence. If this was the only matter under the shadow of doubt we could have moved on.
But there is so much more nibbling away, nay gorging on our democracy that each barricade of resistance is a matter of life and death for the Idea of India. Without meaning to be arrogant (something we are accused of often) the Congress too is part of that Idea. It matters not which one of us will live to see the Idea prevail but enough will be the honour to have fought for it. Citadels oppression and hate crumble when the warriors of truth and non-violence march to the tune of Mahatma Gandhi.
Let us remain united, together, with faith in ourselves.

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.