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

New Odia CM's tribal heritage 'sets him apart' from Hindutva Brahminical norms

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Mohan Charan Majhi took the oath as the new Chief Minister of Odisha following the electoral defeat of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik, who served as Chief Minister for twenty-four years. The new Chief Minister is the son of a security guard and a four-time MLA who hails from the remote village of Raikala in the Keonjhar district. He belongs to the Santali tribe and comes from a working-class family. Such achievements and political mobilities are possible only in a democratic society. Majhi’s leadership even in the form of symbolic representation in a democracy deserves celebration.

Pellet gun fire severely injures Dalit worker off Bangladesh border

By Kirity Roy*  This is regarding an incident of firing pellets by the Border Security Force (BSF) personnel attached with Panchadoji Border Outpost of ‘E’ Company of 90 BSF Battalion on a Schedule Caste youth of village Parmananda under Dinhata Police Station of Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. The victim was severely injured and one portion of his face became disfigured due to pellet firing by the BSF.

Sanction to persecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA politically motivated: PUCL

Counterview Network  Top human rights group, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, has demanded that the authorities should immediately withdraw the prosecution against top author Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a Kashmir academic, under the " unconstitutional"  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act  (UAPA), calling the Delhi  Lieutenant-Governor nod for the Delhi police move "politically motivated".

What stops Kavach? Why no time to focus on common trains meant for common people?

By Atanu Roy  A goods train rammed into Kanchenjunga Express on 17th June morning in North Bengal. This could have been averted if the time tested anti-collision system (Kavach) was in place. 

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. 

Lip-service on World Environment Day vs 'watered-down' eco-safeguards

By Shankar Sharma*  Just a few days ago, the world remembered the routinely forgotten global environment on the occasion of World Environment Day, briefly though, maybe just for the day. There were reports of a few high profile ceremonies in different parts of the country, including a few in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly asked the people of our country to plant one tree per each person as a mark of respect/ gratitude for our mothers.

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.