By Sushil Kutty
Sitting abroad and attacking the government will not help the opposition to rally the people to its side. The ploy will boomerang even before the Leader of the Opposition tightens his belt on the return flight. Likewise, two journalists writing anti-Modi articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post will not win congressional elections.
Rahul Gandhi may think otherwise. Maybe he thinks shooting Narendra Modi from the UK and the US will do to Modi what Joe Biden did to Donald Trump. It is a chimera sold to Congress Chintan shivirs. Rahul Gandhi’s allegation that no one in India is allowed to speak does not hold sway here, simply because Gandhi goes after Modi with impunity and no one has ever arrested him.
In fact, the BJP/RSS ecosystem believes that the more Rahul harangues Modi abroad, the greater the benefit for the BJP. Rahul Gandhi should stop telling foreigners, especially Britons, that Modi “should listen”. Captive national media still presents Rahul Gandhi as the fly in India’s ointment.
The allegation holds. A story of Gandhi that never fails to publish concerns his frequent trips abroad, to Italy, Bangkok or another vacation destination. Like the recent one in Kathmandu, where he was spotted and filmed in a Kathmandu nightclub. What he said there no one heard, but what he must not have said was said and retold with vicarious pleasure.
That said, the things Gandhi pointed out about India and Modi do require some thought. The important thing is not that Modi “listens”, the important thing is that he is brought to answer specific questions, to divulge more than he lets slip in his weekly “Man ki Baat”.
Rahul complaining to foreigners that you ‘can’t have a country that’s not allowed to speak…and a PMO that can’t speak freely’ isn’t going to strike a chord if it’s talked about the stranger. Rahul Gandhi should tell the people at home directly. He should call the national press and speak his mind.
Moreover, since when has attacking the BJP and RSS from foreign climes done wonders for Congressional prospects at home? “We believe that India is a negotiation between its people. BJP and RSS think India is a geography. That it is a ‘Sone Ki Chidiya’ whose benefits should be distributed to a few, according to Karma,” Rahul told his friendly foreign interlocutor.
Statements like these do not resonate with people at home, especially when the BJP is making its ideology and philosophy clear to the electorate sitting at home. According to Rahul Gandhi, “We believe everyone should have equal access whether you are a Dalit or a Brahmin. This is the real conflict” should be said directly to people at home, face to face.
Statements such as “Indian democracy is the central anchor” of planet Earth, and “Democracy in India is a global public good” are all good and beautiful, but they sound like bitter complaints when you consider that they is to a foreign audience that Rahul Gandhi was appealing to!
And this, as the BJP sinks into its core constituency that foreigners (aakranta) have been invading India and plundering India’s resources for hundreds of years. Also, people in India are not about to believe that democracy in India is going to ‘crack’, and why is Rahul Gandhi saying in London that if Indian democracy cracks, it will be a problem for planet Earth.
The problem for Congress and Rahul Gandhi is that even though the Modi government “attacks the Constitution”, the opposition has failed to prove it. Elections are held and the results are announced without “fear or favour”. Additionally, “systematic attacks on the institutions that allow conversations to take place” have not been proven. What is obvious to the eye is that business is business as usual. No one is deterred from taking contentious issues to court.
On the contrary, the Modi government is careful not to go outside the perimeters of the law. It acts through the courts and within the limits set by the Constitution. Like the current case of the Gyanvapi mosque. Gyanvapi and Mathura are ready for 2024. But the only parties on the ground are BJP and Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM. Mamata Banerjee calling Gyanvapi and Mathura “Tughlaqifarman” won’t help. Everything in the race, from hijab to halal, from loudspeaker to bulldozer, were preludes to the mega show – “Kashi-Mathura baaki hai!” (API Service)
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