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Rahul Gandhi's 'operation clean-up' amidst failure of Congress' chamcha politics

Rahul Gandhi with Kanhaiya Kumar and Jignesh Mevani
By Vidya Bhushan Rawat* 
Most of the mainstream media had declared Rahul Gandhi as Pappu as if it is a crime if somebody is called Pappu. The narrative spread by the Sangh Parivar went unresponded by senior leaders of the Congress, and today when the same Pappu is trying to organise the party, these leaders have started questioning him and Sonia Gandhi.
It is not the fault of Rahul Gandhi but of Congress culture. What we are witnessing in the form of ‘rebellion’ by and absolutely spineless and baseless leaders of the so-called G-23 is a reflection of a situation when you cannot keep ‘chamchas’ (sycophants) out of work for long.
Kanshiram in wrote a book called ‘Chamcha Age’. Baba Saheb Ambedkar warned against hero worship in politics. Punjab’s political crisis has given opportunity to Rahul Gandhi-bashers, many of whom were chamchas’, to target him. Meanwhile, the mainstream (it would be proper to call them Manu-stream) media has strangely become terribly ‘concerned’ about the Congress.
Indeed, all the channels and their C grade anchors have been told to humiliate the Gandhis day in and day out. In their ‘prime times’, they have BJP netas, Sangh Parivaris and their darbaris. There are some others who come in the name of ‘experts’; they just laugh and joke about the Gandhis.
The question is: If the Gandhis have lost everything and are nothing, why are the Sanghis so much concerned about them? Let the Congress go the way it wants to, why those whose perceptions and narratives are well known so much worried about the Gandhis?
Narendra Modi and Amit Shah know it well that as long as Gandhis are there, they will face challenge. Hence their only aim is to humiliate them and berate them. The Congress’ opportunisic’ leaders are the best friends of the Sangh Parivar. In fact, a dirty reality of our political system, which makes Modi stronger, is that disdain and hatred in the political circle for the Gandhi family.
Perhaps each one of the G-23 and some others think they are ‘better’ than the Gandhis. It is the same people who during the heydays of the Congress would utter: “If madam asks us to clean the floor, we would be happily doing it’. The Congress is paying the price for promoting mediocres and rootless leaders whose only ideology has been to protect their business and family interests.
The problem with chamchas is that they cannot remain without work or patronage for long. Chamchas will do everything as long as you are in power. The Congress culture of chamchas was widely prevalent during the time of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. But at that time the party was strong and had brute majority, so the chamchas were ‘created’ as pressure groups within the party. They would be used by the Central leadership against the elected chief ministers if the High Command wanted to remove them.
When the UPA came to power, Sonia Gandhi accommodated the chamachas despite their defeats. Who can ignore that Shivraj Patil was made Home Minister despite his defeat in the Lok Sabha election? Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika Soni, Salman Khursheed, Anand Sharma and others were taken in the Cabinet. They have neither any mass base, nor have they worked to strengthen the party. Most of them emerged from the Rajya Sabha, and due to their ‘legal competence’, they were in great ‘demand’.
In fact, the Congress needs to work on an internal document of the party and assess the work of UPA-II and its ministers. I can vouch that most of those talking about ‘transparency’ would be found guilty. A lot of non-issues became national issues because of the highly personalised forms of work by P Chidambaram and Pranab Mukherjee.
Chidambaram’s policies were responsible for turning UPA into an oppressive regime, centralisation of power and virtual decimation of civil society organisations, while Pranab Mukherjee wanted the government to fail because of his lifelong desire of to become Prime Minister.
The party promoted Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Manish Tiwari, Sanjay Nirupam, Milind Deora and many others. The Delhi media felt that they are the ‘future’ of the Congress. The image of Rahul Gandhi was damaged by those enjoying power, because many of them felt that their own privileges would end if they accepted the working pattern of Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.
When in power, Sonia was surrounded by the old coterie and ‘trusted’ old loyalists. There wasn’t much focus on grassroots leaders but on managers. The Congress completely abandoned its ideology. Power brokers became top party leaders.
It is a well-known fact that Anna Hazare’s movement was RSS-supported. Industrialists sponsored the movement as they were upset with the Congress’ land acquisition bill. Anna neither had honesty nor ideology, and all those surrounding him actually got fully rewarded. Arvind Kejriwal now rules Delhi and eyeing for all those states where the Congress is in direct fight with BJP.
Actually, Anna’s movement created a situation where the Congress became the biggest villain on corruption. Meranwhile, the party’s image was dented by Sangh propaganda. Videos and blogs were released against Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Today, these propagandists crossed all limits of decency. They have reduced debates to gutter level.
The Congress leadership between 2011 and 2014 never tried to defend Sonia Gandhi and other leaders. Even today, when Rahul Gandhi is lampooned and attacked, there is not a single statement by the likes of Ghulam Nabi, Anand Sharma, Manish Tiwari or Shashi Tharoor defending him. The 2014 defeat of the Congress was made to look like a defeat of Rahul Gandhi, and that way the corrupt leaders saved their skin. By the time Rahul Gandhi tried to improve things, it was too late.
These so-called old guards thought that the party might return to power in 2019. But this failed, as the party was in a deep shambles, because those in power since the Indira Gandhi days were not ready to leave their position voluntarily. Rahul Gandhi campaigned, while the G-23 leaders were not speaking on anything except attacking the party leadership.
Today, we all know that BJP and its sponsored media have been let loose against the Gandhis. Each day, the media is waiting for an issue to come up with the Congress so that they have a full day to discuss the ‘future’ of the Congress or the Gandhis. The media does not have time to ask questions to the government as to how the Chinese transgressed our territory in Uttarakhand. It has no time to speak for the rights of the woman who lost her husband in Gorakhapur when the police raided the hotel he was staying in.
Recently, Navika Kumar on Times Now abused Rahul Gandhi, yet we haven't heard Congress leaders, with few exceptions, defending him
The media does not have time to ask questions to the ruling party because the only work it has been asked to do is to target, attack and smear Gandhis, and Congress netas have not been able to defend their leaders. Recently, Navika Kumar on Times Now abused Rahul Gandhi, yet we have not heard Congress leaders, with a few exceptions, in his defence.
It is election season and it is a well-known fact that BJP is poaching Congress leaders. Their aim is to weaken the Congress, and wherever they stand no chance, create other groups are activated to weaken the party.
Punjab’s farmers took the lead against the corporate-sponsored farm laws. Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh is a serious leader, but his ways of governance are deeply feudal. He was never available to party MLAs, and that is why dissent against him grew. The Captain knew what language the ruling BJP and its media love. Hence he began speaking that language.
It is not surprising that many of the Congress leaders, including Manish Tiwari, have raised the bogey of ‘border state’ and impact of Afghanistan and Pakistan. What is disturbing is, we don’t hear any of these leaders speaking on the incursion in Ladakh and Uttarakhand and seek a response from the government.
Navjot Singh Siddhu’s idiotic act provided the opposition a much bigger breather. As chief of the Punjab Congress, Siddhu was responsible for the ouster of the Captain, yet he remained sulking when Charanjeet Singh Channi was made the chief minister. Siddhu wanted everything so fast that he forgot that political acumen is not like the dialogues that he speaks in the Kapil Sharma Show. Siddhu should have the curtsy to work harder.
Amrinder Singh’s open flirtation with BJP has been exposed. During the last elections, he asked people to vote for him as it was his last tenure (he is already 80). But now he does not want to leave. The Congress appointed Charanjeet Singh Channi as chief minister and made the party's agenda clear to the people.
With Kanhaiya Kumar joining and Jignesh Mevani supporting the Congress, Rahul Gandhi seems to be interested in bringing in more people from outside in the Congress to strengthen it ideologically to take on BJP, while least bothering about those who are damaging the party from within.
Perhaps the Gandhis know it well that it is time to clean up the party, as majority of those raising issues are in fact weakening the party from within, as they have rarely spoken to the party workers on issues concerning the party.
As for Kanhaiya Kumar-Jignesh Mewani, Rahul Gandhi appears to have made the right choice at the moment. Both of them may not have mass following, but they show political maturity. The Congress needs to get more such young voices into the party and give them an opportunity to lead.
If these youngsters, who have dynamism, work cohesively and with discipline, the future will be theirs, but if they continue to be in a hurry to grab the ‘opportunity’, not only the party but their own identity will be in crisis, as it has happened with Siddhu.
The Punjab crisis may have been blown out of proportion by the opponents of Gandhis, but it seems that they are now working to clean up the party. They must continue to cleanse the party before it becomes difficult to handle. Despite all the shortcomings and past sins, the Congress needs to survive for the good for democracy and for the people of India.
BJP knows it well that it can handle every other party and regional groups, but only the Congress has the capacity to be its real challenge. No alliance in India will be possible against Hindutva or BJP without the lead position of the Congress. Mamata Banerjee is trying to enter Goa and the North-East, while Arvind Kejriwal is trying his hand in Punjab, Goa, Gujarat and Uttarakhand. This will not help anyone except BJP.
BJP has used the narrative against Gandhis and the Congress in such a way that most of the regional kshatrapas including Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati and now Amarinder Singh feel that Congress is their main ‘opponent’. This is the biggest irony of our democracy.
In the meantime, one can hope that the Congress will be able to put its house in order. It needs a cohesive party under the Gandhis, which can take BJP head on. At a time when the Congress is opening up and taking a correct ideological stand, it needs to be strengthened. The Congress’ ‘operation clean up’ must continue so that the party grows stronger and has leaders who are able to fight on the street and work with the masses, and not through TV channels.
---
*Human rights defender. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vbrawat. Twitter: @freetohumanity

Comments

Anonymous said…
What a beautiful soul searching of dirty politics of India. Finaly induction of Young blood like Kanhya Kumar and others are good for the party. There needs to be take some body head on to Modi, Kanhya Kumar is the best dose. He is great spoke person, highly educated to neutralize nonsense thrown at the public by Modi. Some body needed to wash those kind of dirt and show clear pictures which direction country is going.
Independence is hijacked by about 10% mostly corrupt politicians, where as 90%Indians have not seen the light of Indian indipendence. It is very important to counter BJP as they are taking country in wrong direction.
BJP is a govt made of MP and MLA bought from the market, who will have no interest fir general public.
Vidya Bhushan Rawat, your analysis of politics is worth reading and unbiased.

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