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Dominated by Brahmanical leaders, Congress shows 'absolute' bankruptcy on Kashmir

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is known to be committed to its ideology on Kashmir. The Sangh Parivar has used Kashmir as a tool to spread the propaganda of Muslim "appeasement" over and over again. Stories of Shayama Prasad Mukherjee's death reverberate  their discussions. So, one shouldn't mind that, when they are in power, they would do everything to please their core voter.
What BJP and the Sangh have done is not about Kashmiri people, particularly Kashmiri Muslims, but Kashmir's resources and 'empowering' Kashmiri Pandits. For them the best days were of the Dogra ruler, who never treated Muslims as equal citizens in the state.
The main problem, however, is with regard to the absolute bankruptcy of the Congress party, which has ruled this country for over 50 years, especially its inability to defend its tall leaders of the Independence movement and explain to the people as how Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) wss an important part of India, how it acceded to India, and why it is essential to have a soothing balm in the Valley.
No doubt, Parliament's supremacy is there, but in terms of values and ethics, it is also important for Parliament to take people into confidence and raise contentious issues in the House.
The question is, if the Government of India wants to do what it wishes, why are Kashmir leaders in jail, why is there communication blockade? Why is it that the Union home minister told Parliament that Dr Farookh Abdullah was not detained or arrested, while he actually was? Isn't it breach of privilege and hiding facts from Parliament?
But then no questions will be raised, as this is how the Congress has worked in the past, with BJP just taking a leaf out of that.
The Congress is unable to clean itself completely. Its leaders are ready to embarrass the party and take a line which is against its official position. They have shown their opportunism. The sycophants who kept quiet all these years on important issues are showing their 'spine' now.
The Congress enjoyed such sycophancy, but this kind of behaviour can't work now, when the party is not in power. Sycophants can't really tolerate being kept silent; they would shout when it "means" to them something.
The 'upper' caste dominant Congress is, in fact, no different from BJP. Its leaders are unable to take the Hindutva head on. Their condition is increasingly becoming pathetic. The absence of a sound and strong ideological ground of the average Congress person is responsible for this crisis.
Politicians have 'proved' that they want to remain in power by hook or by crook, and you can't expect vision and principles from them. It is because of this lack of vision that average Congress workers look more like the B team of BJP. They can't defend Muslims. They can't speak ideologically against the imposition of Vedic cultural values. They can't speak against the current dispensation on nationalism.
The Congress would not like to give Muslims even representation in the party structure. Its leaders won't speak on assault against reservation or the privatisation of jobs, or in favour of issue of adivasis and other backward classes (OBCs). For all this, the Congress will need a new dynamic leadership which can only emerge from these segments.
But then, the Congress has nurtured people like Janardan Dwivedi, who show their true Brahmanical colours. After enjoying all fruits of power without accountability, they claim how he is committed to Rammanohar Lohia. May be this is nothing but a future strategy for Uttar Pradesh.
Persons like Jyotiraditya Scindia, Manish Tewari and Milind Deora might look great to some journalists like Barkha Dutt but they can't do anything to rejuvenate the party. The position taken by Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on various issues is much better than any other political leader. Perhaps it is people like him who can take this group head on, but then his acceptability is not much beyond Punjab.
The question is not just about who is going to be the Congress leader, but also playing an effective role well in Parliament. The Congress so far has failed to play even the role of opposition in Parliament. With its leaders speaking in 20 different directions, the headless Congress appears to be proving once again -- that it can only get united under the Gandhi family.
In the absence of a Gandhi, the Congress is bound to not only fail but split. The Congress will have to develop democratic culture and new leadership in states to survive, otherwise it will not merely fail itself, as it is happening today, but also make itself politically irrelevant in the current context if it unable to raise issues of common concerns of the people.
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*Human rights defender. Source: Author's Facebook timeline

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