Skip to main content

Jyotiraditya's 'departure' suggests Congress, BJP savarnas have similar leanings

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
Jyotiraditya Scindia's departure from the Congress surely raises a few questions, and the main one is whether the Congress is unable to clean itself from those who have saffron leanings. There are still many leaders in the party who are waiting for the 'right' moment.
Scindia is the 'darling' of the Page-3 circles in Delhi, and many of them wanted the Congress to make him or Shashi Tharoor as the party president, just because they can speak Queen's English, a fascination for this section of journalists.
The point is, when the nation is passing through a difficult phase, when all the institutions are under attack, when the political system and opponents are being charged, a leader, who was projected as the 'modern' face of the party, joins the ranks of those who are responsible for damaging the democratic polity of the country, what disturbs is this: Remaining in power remains the top priority of a big section of politicians.
In fact, they can't live without power. I can understand Congress leaders who are habitual of power. They are now feeling orphaned.
It is not that one is fascinated with Kamal Nath, who surely is not more 'secular' than Jyotiraditya, but it is also a fact that after remaining in the party for so long, when the Congress is in the lowest condition, leaders, particularly in states, are looking for greener pastures, and except for BJP, they can't think of joining any other party.
Clearly, there appears to be no difference between the "savarnas" of the Congress and those of BJP. Except for a few, most of them bear the same feelings and thoughts.
The Congress needs to make its stand clear. This balancing acts will only ruin the party further. If the party really wants that it becomes a platform for all the diverse communities and ethnic groups, it must develop leaders from diverse groups and give them space.
The party needs to be revamped. It can ask those sitting on the fence to leave the party if they wish to. It is amazing to see that Congress leaders only find BJP as the only alternative. This shows how narrow is the choice for the 'powerful' leaders.
Scindia was defeated by his own junior in Madhya Pradesh. He may pose himself as the suave face of politicians. But it is also a fact that the Gwalior-Chambal regions are not the same as they existed during 1970s and 1980s.
Now, people don't consider him maharaja but as a feudal lord, hence the challenge to Scindia will always be there from the marginalised segments. Of course, he has money and resources. Now in BJP, he can also ask his supporters make "sacrifices" for the Ram Mandir. Developmental work can take the back seat.
I am not surprised at such turn of events. The Congress needs to cleanse itself from such leaders. Somewhere, I felt, Rahul Gandhi has been despised by many in the party because he wanted a clean up operation which the veterans don't want. But they need to think that things have changed.
Jyotiraditya's resignation will not make any difference except that the mainstream media will start talking about Congress' relevance and Gandhi family's irrelevance
With savarna castes solidly behind BJP, the Congress, if it wants to remain relevant, must focus on building up leadership from the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes and minorities. Not thatmthe savarnas should not have a place in there, but they already have enough space.
The Indian political system is not ready to give leadership to the young as there is resistance for the youth among all the parties. Yet they would have to be accommodated at different levels.
The Congress leadership can utilise the departure of Jyotiraditya by building up a new generation leadership from different sections. The Congress needs to confirm and reiterate its secular commitment proudly. The party also needs to be clear and unambiguous about issues of social justice, as today's youth want a categorical stand from the party. Any delay in speaking about major issues will only hurt the party.
I don't think Jyotiraditya's resignation from the party is going to make any difference except that the mainstream media will start talking about the Congress' relevance and the Gandhi family's irrelevance.
One can't expect them to ask questions to Jyotiraditya as to why he has betrayed people. Does he not know what is happening in this country right now? He supported BJP on Article 370.
We know that a large number of party leaders are sulking at the moment and there are different camps in the party. This does happen with a big party. But at a time when the party leadership is weak, is unable to create a level playing field, and more than anything else, there is a need for commitment to the rule of law, secularism and social justice, embracing the Sangh Parivar is definitely a hypocritical act.
---
*Human rights defender. Source: Author's Facebook timeline

Comments

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Living standards in 'model' Gujarat worse than major states: Govt of India document

By Rajiv Shah  Amidst raging controversy over whether the latest Government of India’s “Household Consumption Expenditure Survey 2022-23 Fact Sheet: August 2022-July 2023” suggests that India’s poverty levels are actually down to 4.5 to 5%  during the decade-long Narendra Modi rule, a state-wise breakup in the 27-page document shows that “model” Gujarat’s average consumption expenditure is far below most of the so-called developed states.

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.

Not livable in summer, Chitrakut PM-Awas houses 'push' tribals in moneylender trap

By Bharat Dogra*  Those who are in-charge of implementing the PM-Awas scheme of rural housing can rightly take pride in what has been achieved in Dafai hamlet (Karvi block, Chitrakut district, Uttar Pradesh). All the Kol tribal families here are extremely poor and vulnerable. In a rare achievement, almost all of them have received housing assistance under PM Awas. 

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara 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".

Narmada Valley's fossil evidence: Ground for 'nationalists' to argue primates' India roots?

By Saurav Sarkar*  In December 1982, a geologist digging in India’s Central Narmada Valley found something he did not expect. Arun Sonakia, who at the time worked for the Geological Survey of India, unearthed a hominid fossil skullcap from the Pleistocene era. The discovery sent shockwaves through the field of paleoanthropology and put South Asia on the map of human prehistory. Some experts concluded that the skull likely belonged to a member of a predecessor species of ours, Homo heidelbergensis , or perhaps was a hybrid of homo species, while Sonakia himself suggested “ an affinity… to Homo erectus .”

Development? This tribal hamlet in Chitrakut has no toilets, no electricity connections yet

By Bharat Dogra*  As we moved away from the starting point of the Bundelkhand Expressway and a famous pilgrimage site into a side-road, the hills of Chitrakut here appeared to be more and more isolated. Another turn, and we appeared to have reached almost a dead-end. However it is here that over 80 households of the Kol tribal community have been living for a long time.