Lok Sabha speaker, Sumitra Mahajan suspended 25 Congress MPs for five sessions for unruly behavior on August 3, 2015. Congress President, Sonia Gandhi called it a “Black Day.”
No Sonia Ji, Black Day was:
- When Congress party decided to support Khilafat movement in 1920
- When Congress party remained silent when thousands of Hindus were massacred, converted, their women raped and thrown in wells with children by Moplah Muslims of Malabar in 1921, thanks to Gandhiji *
- When Gandhiji tried half heartedly with viceroy Irwin for commutation of Bhagat singh’s sentence who was sentenced to death 1931
- When Congress decided to consider only first two stanzas of Vande Mataram as the national Song to appease Muslims who opposed stanzas comparing Bharatmata with Goddess Durga 1937
- When Gandhiji tried to have Subhas Chandra Bose defeated in election for Congress President (and failed) 1938
- When Gandhiji forced out Subhas Chandra Bose from Indian national Congress 1939
- When Gandhiji offered Mohmmad Ali Jinha Prime Ministership of Free Bharat with a fee hand to choose his cabinet (i.e., Muslims) 1946
- When Congress decided not to make Vande Mataram the national anthem 1947
- When Nehru tried to prevent Sardar Patel from leading the project to rebuild Somanath Mandir, as he considered it a communal act 1947
- When Congress allowed partition in 1948
- When Gandhiji foisted Jawaharlal Nehru as the Prime Minster, even though out of 14 votes in AICC, Sardar Patel had 12 votes and Nehru one. 1948
- When Nehru stopped Sardar Patel from completing operation to free occupied Kashmir from Pakistan’s attack and took the case to UNO 1948
- When your party agreed to include article 370 to give special status to Jammu & Kashmir
- When Nehru didn’t want the President, Rajendra Prasad to inaugurate restored Somanath Mandir 1951
- When Nehru made a statement in Pakistan that “not a blade of grass grows there” in a debate about Bharatiya territory occupied by China 1962
- When Nehru lost the war to China 1962
- When Nehru asked President Radhakrishnan not to attend funeral of ex President Rajendra Prasad because he was miffed with independence of Rajendrababu and his clear stand on Hindu issues 1963
- When Congress government signed Tashkent agreement and gave away the conquered region in Pakistan occupied national boundary of India and the 1949 ceasefire line in Kashmir. January 1966
- When Indira Gandhi nationalized all banks 1967
- When Indira Gandhi signed Simla agreement accepting LOC as de facto International border July 1972
- When Indira Gandhi declared Emergency and imprisoned more than 100,000 people including political leaders of all opposition parties (June 26, 1975)
- When Sanjay Gandhi forcibly sterilized several thousand villagers and slum dwellers 1976
- When Sanjay Gandhi bulldozed slums around Turkman Gate in Delhi leaving those people out in open without any means of survival 1976
- When Indira Gandhi inserted the words “Socialist Republic” and “Secular” in preamble of the constitution of Bharat 1975-1976
- When Congress packed all education and research institutes with leftist and communist people and distorted history
- When Congress decided to name every entity, be it an airport or a park, a dam or a building, a government scheme or a road, to name after one of Nehru Gandhi family members
- When Congress government awarded Bharat Ratna to biggest fraud, converting thousands of Hindus to Christianity, “Mother” Teresa 1980
- When you became a director of Maruti Cars and an Insurance company while not being a citizen of Bharat in contravention of law
- When your name appeared in voters list of New Delhi even when you were not a citizen of Bharat (1980-1982)
- When Rajiv Gandhi was appointed Prime Minister in haste, superseding experienced home minister, Pranab Mukherjee 1984
- When Congress goons mercilessly murdered thousands of Sikhs after Indira Gandhi was assassinated 1984
- When Rajiv Gandhi said about massacre of Sikhs When a mighty tree falls, the whole ground shakes 1984
- When Rajiv Gandhi’ government nulled Supreme Court’s judgement in Shah Bano’s alimony case by amending the constitution to appease Mullahs 1986
- When Mulayam Singh’s government fired on Karsevaks in Ayodhya and killed several dozens of them 1989
- When your favorite sons, the Muslims of Kashmir killed thousands of Hindus, dishonored Hindu women, and forced close to 400,000 Hindus out of Kashmir
- When you made a request to not hang your husband’s killers
- When Muslims, pampered by your party since 1920, burned to death 59 innocent passengers of Sabarmati Express at Godhra station in Gujarat 2002
- When you called a sitting Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, “Maut Ka Sodagar” 2007
- When your government awarded Padma Shri to Teesta Setalvad, who should have been in jail longtime ago
- When your party went to bat for a known terrorist, Shahbuddin
- When your party defended terrorist, Isharat Jahan
- When your party coined the word “Hindu Terrorism”
- When Rahul Gandhi said that Hindu terrorism was more worrisome than the Jehadi one
- When you thrust a puppet Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh on the nation and ruled from behind for 10 years
- When you formed National advisory Council (NAC) to supersede powers of the parliament and packed it with known Hindu baiters and communists
- When you supported Evangelist in their bid to Christianize Bharat
- When MPs of Congress joined other MPs to write a letter to President of USA, not to grant a visa to Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi
- When Your government turned a blind eye to all the mega scams- Commonwealth games, Coalgate, Telecom Scam, etc.
- When your party man, Mani Shankar Iyer called a sitting Chief Minister and Prime ministerial candidate of a major political party, Narendra Modi, a Chaiwala 2013
- When you didn’t have decency to congratulate Narendra Modi and BJP for their clear victory in 2014 election
- When you and your family ran out of the country to avoid attending International Yoga Day
- When your MPs, under your leadership held up working of Lok Sabha for nine consecutive sessions and refused to debate the points you had raised July 2015
- When office bearers of Congress party glorified an executed terrorist, Yakub Memon July 2015
So, Edvige Antonia Albina Màino, aka Sonia Gandhi, the root cause of all Black Days of Bharat is your Congress party, going back to as far as 1920! If anything, suspension of 25 of your chamchas, is a Golden day in history of Bharat.
“That the conference views with indignation and sorrow the attempts made at various quarters by interested parties to ignore or minimise the crimes committed by the rebels such as: brutally dishonouring women, flaying people alive, wholesale slaughter of men, women and children, burning alive entire families, forcibly converting people in thousands and slaying those who refused to get converted, throwing half dead people into wells and leaving the victims to struggle for escape till finally released from their suffering by death, burning a great many and looting practically all Hindu and Christian houses in the disturbed areas in which even Moplah women and children took part and robbed women of even the garments on their bodies, in short reducing the whole non-Muslim population to abject destitution, cruelly insulting the religious sentiments of the Hindus by desecrating and destroying numerous temples in the disturbed areas, killing cows within the temple precincts putting their entrails on the holy image and hanging skulls on the walls and the roofs.”
June 29, 2012
Defining ‘Secular’: The war rages on
It was Nitish Kumar who lit the fuse on the amorphous word this time. He did that last week by warning that his party, the Janata Dal (United) would accept only a ‘secular’ prime minister. His target was clearly Narendra Modi, said to be the likely choice of the BJP for that post. Why the Bihar CM’s bouncer to his ally BJP should have been bowled at the time it was is a separate subject for debate.
The issue is that Kumar was wrong in not realising that:
Even after 10 years of investigations, Narendra Modi is still innocent of the charge of being personally responsible for the post Godhra riots of 2002. Even Supreme Court judge Ajit Pasayat, (now retired), who orally alluded to ‘Nero fiddling while Rome burnt’ during a hearing on Godhra did not have evidence to put down that remark in his written judgment.
Amidst the decade-old demonisation of Modi unleashing a ‘Genocide’ against Muslims, nobody has explained why, of the total 1044 killed in those riots, 254 were Hindus.
Modi fielded 247 Muslim candidates on the BJP card in Gujarat’s civic elections of October 2010, and, more unbelievably, 118 of them were victorious. Would a ‘communal’ chief minister do that ‘secular’ act?
Even after Indira Gandhi got the word ‘Secular’ into the Preamble of the Constitution of India with the 42nd Constitution Amendment Act, 1976, our nation is not secular. Take a look below
‘Dr Ambedkar made it clear in Parliament that he did not believe our Constitution was secular because it allowed different treatment to various communities and the legislatures could frame separate laws for different communities.’ (‘Reforming The Constitution’ UBS Publishers Distributors Ltd, 1992, edited by Subhash C Kashyap, an eminent Constitutional authority.)
In the above book, Kashyap writes, ‘Where there is discrimination between man and man on the grounds of religions… where the administration of places of worship can be entrusted to Government Officers… where even fundamental rights are demanded and conceded on grounds of communities, it is a cruel joke to talk of secularism.’
The Indian nation as a whole is itself not ‘secular.’ Unknown to almost our entire political class, the Preamble of the separate Jammu and Kashmir State Constitution, November 1956, does not proclaim J&K State as a ‘Secular’ State, courtesy Article 370.
Come now to Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS chief who was provoked by Kumar’s remark to talk of dharmanirpeksh. He too was wrong in not realising that the word dharmanirpeksh does not denote the adjective ‘secular.’ The exact Hindi word for ‘secular’ is panthnirpeksha, coined, at the behest of Indira Gandhi, by Lakshmi Mall Singhvi, (1931-2007), a literary figure and an altogether very versatile personality who was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1998… He said the word ‘secular’ should more appropriately be translated as panthnirpeksh. He argued that dharma, the fundamental duty, is the foundation ethic of the Indian nation and of every walk of life, and the very foundation for the section called Fundamental Duties of Citizens being part of Mrs Gandhi’s Constitutional amendment. Panth, on the other hand, meant religion. That is how the word panthnirpeksh to denote ‘secular’ got into the Hindi version of the Preamble of our Constitution. It is, therefore, a shame that dharm continues to appear in Articles 15, 16 and 25 of our Constitution’s Hindi version with regard to ‘Prohibition of discrimination…,’ ‘Equality of opportunity…’ and ‘Right to freedom of Religion’ respectively in the English version.
Below is another true story.
In 1977, the Janata Party government introduced a Constitution Amendment Bill wherein one clause sought to define the word ‘Secular’ as ‘equal respect for all religions.’ The proposal was passed in the Lok Sabha where the newly elected Janata Party was dominant, but was rejected by the Congress majority in the Rajya Sabha.
The Congress should no longer object to that definition suggested 34 years ago. Why? Because in a lecture delivered on June 9, 2007, at the Nexus Institute, The Hague, Sonia Gandhi herself proclaimed that ‘India is a secular country. The term secularism means equal respect for all religions.’
Let me end with a poser. A political party represented in our Parliament from 1952 till now says in its website that among its aims is ‘To secure and protect the rights and interests of the Muslims and other minorities in the state.’ Which is that party? And can it be labelled as ‘secular?’
Published Date: Jun 29, 2012
EDITS | Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | 2:03:11 AM
A Surya Prakash
The Congress’s fascist reaction to the anti-corruption movement shows the party still remains unchanged. Its misdeeds remind us of the 1975-77 Emergency.
The Congress-led UPA Government is sadly mistaken if it thinks that its ruthless Gaddafi-style midnight operation to evict Baba Ramdev and his supporters from Ramlila Maidan in the early hours of June 5 will crush the movement against corruption in the country. The Government’s action, which is reminiscent of the response of Mrs Indira Gandhi to charges of corruption in the mid-1970s, only goes to show that nothing much has changed within the Congress. It continues to function like a family-owned private limited company whose promoters have fascist tendencies and remain extremely vulnerable to charges of corruption.
Apart from ending the mass satyagraha at the venue in Delhi, the Congress has launched a vituperative attack on Baba Ramdev, calling him a “thug” and a “fraud” and raising questions about the funding of his organisation. There is nothing new in this. These very tactics were deployed against Anna Hazare and his team members in April. An identical operation is now on to paint Baba Ramdev in ugly colours.
The Government is rattled by Baba Ramdev’s movement because it strikes at the root of the problem — money stashed away in Swiss banks by politicians and businessmen. The Anna Hazare movement got confined to the limited issue of establishing a national ombudsman (Lok Pal) to deal with corruption at the highest level. But, the creation of such an institution is just one of the many initiatives that need to be taken. Since corruption is a hydra-headed monster that has affected all aspects of politics, governance and life, what is needed is a comprehensive anti-corruption agenda that seeks to tackle the problem at the root and throw up permanent remedies.
For example, money power has vitiated the entire electoral process since the beginning and the humongous amounts spent by candidates in State Assembly and Lok Sabha elections has made a mockery of the spending limits imposed by the Election Commission. Over the last two decades, the permissible spending in a Lok Sabha constituency in a large State has more than trebled.
Just three monmths ago, the Conduct of Election Rules were amended yet again to enhance the maximum election expenditure in Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies to Rs 40 lakh and Rs 16 lakh respectively. However, those who track election-spending are aware that even this revised limit will be observed more in the breach than than in the observance because in recent years the average spending by serious candidates in Lok Sabha constituencies is between Rs 3 crore and Rs 5 crore.
All of this is black money — some generated within the country and the rest brought back fromSwitzerlandand tax havens likeLiechtenstein. Therefore, any anti-corruption initiative must first deal with the issue of black money vitiating the electoral process and making a mockery of the democratic system. We need to accord high priority to this problem.
The second most important source of corruption is Government contracts. It is long established that those who run the Government and the ruling party get kickbacks on every deal. In the early decades after independence when the licence-permit-quota raj held sway, bribes and commissions were paid in Indian rupees. Later, after Mrs Indira Gandhi returned to power in 1980, the Congress chose a new route for political funding — kickbacks from international deals which are paid into secret accounts in Switzerland and other tax havens.
Those who have worked in Government at senior levels — for instance, Mr BG Deshmukh who was Cabinet Secretary during Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure as Prime Minister — have noted that since the 1980s, the Congress has found it more convenient to take commissions from foreign companies in international deals rather than pass the hat around among Indian businessmen and industrialists to collect party funds. This way, huge sums can be collected to fund the party without any obligation to industrial houses within the country. It was presumed that there would be no whiff of corruption if discreet payments were made to Swiss bank accounts.
This grand plan, however, went for a toss when the Swedish Audit Bureau reported that arms manufacturer AB Bofors had paid ‘commission’ to certain individuals in connection with the sale of field guns to India in 1986. Despite that embarrassment, there is no indication of any change in the attitude of the Congress towards collecting funds. This is also the reason why the party is dragging its feet on the black money issue.
When the pressure from the Supreme Court became unbearable, the Government cleverly announced the setting up of a “high-powered committee” to keep the court at bay. This committee is supposed to examine the problem and outline a plan of action to bring back the loot. The Government offered a similar bait to Baba Ramdev the other day, offering to set up “a committee” to draft a law to bring back black money.
After making this offer, the Government claimed that it had met “all the demands” of Baba Ramdev and wanted him to end his satyagraha. When he failed to oblige, the Government responded with police brutality. The use of brute force to end a peaceful agitation is reminiscent of the Emergency days. This was exactly how Mrs Indira Gandhi responded to Jayaprakash Narayan’s campaign against corruption 36 years ago.
In fact, the parallels between 1974-75 and 2010-11 are striking. Jayaprakash Narayan’s movement began with the campaign against corruption in Gujarat and with the demand that then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi probe the allegations against LN Mishra, a senior Minister in her Cabinet. Mrs Indira Gandhi did none of this. Instead, she used brute force to crush the movement.
Mr Manmohan Singh, too, has resorted to an Emergency-style operation to crush the satyagraha at Ramlila Maidan. Also, in typical Mrs Indira Gandhi fashion, he has defended the midnight police raid and said the Government had no option but to resort to such action. There are other eerie coincidences. It should be remembered that Mrs Indira Gandhi imposed her dreaded Emergency in 1975 after a massive Opposition rally which, incidentally, was held at Ramlila Maidan and in June.
This only shows that more things change, the more the Congress remains the same. The party continues to be extremely vulnerable when corruption is discussed and the party’s fascist tendencies come to the fore whenever its Government is cornered on this issue. That is why all those who believe in democracy need to be on high alert after Mr Singh’s Ramlila Maidan operation. Needless to say, eternal vigilance is the price of democracy.
G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, LensOnNews
In the life cycle of elected governments, a time comes when the public support decisively swings from one of enjoying inherent trust to one in which people have lost implicit trust. In case of some governments, this happens very rapidly and in some others, it takes a very long time as was the case with the Left Front in West Bengal which had an uninterrupted reign of 34 years.
Usually, a major decision or action precipitates this dramatic shift of public perceptions about an elected government. In Left ruled West Bengal, the agitation in Singur provided the stimulus. In the case of the UPA government, the midnight crackdown on Baba Ramdev’s supporters – after meekly acquiescing to him and rolling out the red carpet at Delhi airport – has provided that spark.
I have been keeping tabs on public opinion for several months now and the extensive ground level feedback that we have gathered shows that the midnight crackdown on Baba Ramdev’s fast was the turning point and turned the supporting masses against the Congress led government at the Centre. Admittedly, it has taken many years in office and many scams in its wake to pierce the credibility of the Congress led government at the Centre. And, once the credibility of a regime is eroded, it is impossible to regain it. Rajiv Gandhi government never recovered from the Bofors scandal that broke out just two years after he won a landslide victory in 1984 and faced a humiliating defeat in 1989. Similarly, P.V. Narasimha Rao’s government never recovered from a series of scandals – securities scam, JMM scandal, Sukhram’s telecom scam, Urea scam, etc. –that led to its devastating poll defeat in 1996.
It is instructive to study how the governments in the past tried to recover ground when they were confronted with extremely adverse situations. Indira Gandhi imposed emergency in 1975 following Allahabad High Court’s verdict declaring her election to Lok Sabha as void; Rajiv Gandhi’s associates forged documents purporting to show that his principal challenger V.P. Singh had a secret bank account in a foreign bank in St. Kitts; V.P. Singh himself unleashed the anti-quota stir by implementing the Mandal Commission recommendations in 1990; P.V. Narasimha Rao raked up years old Hawala scandal to fix political rivals in 1995 etc.
Circa 2011, the Congress party facing an unprecedented crisis over corruption charges can be expected to do all that the past governments have done and much more to survive politically. But the UPA presently has a serious problem at hand.
First, it faces a multitude of scams and myriad issues like black money, corruption, price rise etc. With every passing week, new scams are coming out of the closet. Undoubtedly, 2G is one scam that has damaged the UPA government the most. The scale of the loot and its brazen manner has had a devastating impact on the public. Curiously, the 2G scam which has claimed many top leaders of the DMK hasn’t yet reached the Congress’s doorstep. The manner in which the Congress party stymied the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) probe led by the BJP’s Murli Manohar Joshi and the tardy functioning of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probing the 2G scam have aroused suspicions about the Congress party’s motives and involvement.
Second, unlike in the past when governments faced one major scam and a clearly identified political rival, the Congress party is faced with a barrage of attacks from an active judiciary, a demanding civil society led by popular Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev, a rejuvenated opposition, vigilant media and statutory institutions like the CAG. Despite the Sonia Gandhi led Congress party’s best attempts to emasculate high offices of the Prime Minister, President by appointing pliable individuals to these venerable institutions, the Congress party has not been able to avoid public scrutiny as other institutions of the government have turned their heat on the government.
True to its habit, the Congress party will attempt some drastic actions to regain its lost credibility. It will unleash vendetta against opposition leaders and attempt to show that all those arraigned against the Congress are corrupt. It will create and exploit every opportunity to rake up non-issues to divert public attention.
It may even resort to dividing the electorate on caste, communal or some other lines to minimize the electoral damage. This may actually backfire on the Congress party that traditionally has had a wide appeal across various caste and other groups. Yet, a desperate Congress party may make some cynical moves to get out of the corruption rut. Attempts to link activists like Anna Hazare with the RSS are a part of this cynical strategy.
Take my word: nothing will help restore the present government’s credibility. Let me explain this from my experience as a poll analyst for two decades. When a government enjoys public trust, all its actions are generally seen from a positive perspective. And, when a government is seen to be inherently untrustworthy, all its actions become suspect. All actions of the Manmohan Singh government will henceforth be viewed from a negative perspective due to the credibility crisis that envelopes it.
The Manmohan Singh government, despite enjoying a parliamentary majority is a lame duck government. Whether it lasts the full term or dies a premature death will depend on its political survival strategies. For sure, in the public mind, it has already lost its mandate. Its defeat at polls, whenever they are held, is an inevitability that stares it in its face.
GVL Narasimha Rao is a noted poll analyst
Source: Express buzz
22 Dec 2010 11:33:00 PM
The Indian media has begun even doubting Manmohan Singh’s integrity — mental, at least — as he must have been knowing for nearly two years that the Indian exchequer was defrauded of `1.76 lakh crores. But so far, Sonia Gandhi has been spared.
Yet, if you are an observer of Indian politics, as I have been, since I landed back in India in the early ’Sixties, you have to come to the conclusion that most of the funds of scams end up in the coffers of political parties, particularly of the Congress.
Today the DMK is taking the brunt of the blame, but actually political parties have been forced to follow suit after the grand old party of India’s independence, began using percentages allotted by foreign companies on mega deals, military and otherwise, to secretly fund its election campaigns and give freebies to poor villagers. Of course, Bofors was the first one of the big scams to be uncovered.
I remember in the mid-Eighties a Swiss radio colleague of mine from Radio Suisse Romande, telling me that Amitabh Bachchan’s brother, Ajitabh, (when the Bachchan family was still close to the Gandhis), was one of the first safe keepers of the kickbacks of the Swedish canon makers. Exposes of Swedish newspaper, Dagens Nhyeter further confirmed it, though Ajitabh went to court against them.
There is no doubt, further says my Swiss friend, that part of the Bofors money is still in Switzerland. Indeed, we are all waiting for the Swiss banks to reveal (under US pressure) the names of all the dictators, thieves, dishonest rulers of so many countries in the world, who have stashed their ill-gotten money in UBS bank or Credit Suisse.
Meanwhile, all roads seem to lead to Sonia Gandhi: she is the first Lady of India, although she is a simple MP like hundreds of others, the ultimate arbiter, and nothing of importance is decided without her caveat. The immense power she wields within the Congress cannot be only due to her charisma, of her having the Gandhi name or having brought cohesion in the Congress.
It is also, and perhaps mainly, because she holds the purse strings of tremendous amounts of money. These party funds are overt: all the foundations, Rajiv, Indira, Nehru, etc, which store thousands of crores; and covert, starting with the Bofors scam. Where are the secret bank accounts where the scam money is stored? Under whose names are they operated? How is the money brought back to India? Who will answer all these questions?
We know that Quattrochi, the man who could have spilt the beans, was shamelessly let off the hook, not only by the CBI which today is conducting — two years late — the investigation on the 2G scam, but also by the then law minister who is today the governor who pretends to be after corruption in Karnataka! Not only was Quattrochi spared, but was allowed to take the money he had looted from India and which was frozen in British banks, so that he would not talk.
Will Raja talk, if he is arrested, as it is rumoured? Surely he knows a lot of secrets, as some of the 2G, Adarsh CWG money, and other unknown scams, must also have gone into the Congress coffers. That is the question that the Congress leadership should debate instead of going after ‘Hindu terror’, a misnomer if there is one.
If you look at statistics for the last 1,000 years, it is Hindus who have been at the receiving end of terror — millions of them have died, including in Kashmir in the late ’Eighties, when Benazir Bhutto launched her ‘Azad Kashmir’ movement (I was there).
Yet Sonia Gandhi remains a mystery for many of us, even for me who has known her for a long time.
I found her quite likable when she was just Rajiv Gandhi’s (the pilot) spouse, a loving wife, who had adopted the Indian way of life; a good daughter -in-law: Indira Gandhi died on her lap on the way to the hospital, after being shot by her Sikh bodyguards; and more than everything, a good mother, who doted on her children and tried all her life to protect them.
I then knew that she had kept her Italian passport, even after taking the Indian nationality (India does not allow you to hold two passports), but I have met quite a few foreigners in Delhi who also retained their origin passports after having obtained the Indian one.
I myself toyed for some time with the idea of taking the Indian nationality, as I speak Hindi quite fluently, but it is too difficult to travel with an Indian passport. I do not mind also her remaining a Christian: after all, I am still one myself. Indeed, one of my Italian journalist friends told me that he prayed with her, along with Rajiv Gandhi, at a mass in Calicut with the bishop officiating — that is her private business.
But after her husband was blown to pieces by the LTTE, I observed a drastic change in her: she did not seem to trust anybody anymore, became aloof and suspicious. I also watched with dismay how the Congress leaders, some of them men and women of substance, whom I knew personally, applied pressure on her to enter politics for years.
Furthermore, I thought that in her fortress of Janpath, surrounded twenty-four hours by security, she gradually lost touch with the reality of India. Despite the fact that I met her a few times after Rajiv’s death, I thus took discreetly my distances with her. It is then that I came up with my famous phrase on Sonia, for which she never forgave me: “the moribund and leaderless Congress party has latched on to Sonia Gandhi who is Italian by birth and Roman Catholic by baptism”.
Author: Hari Om
7 June 2011
On May 31 this year, The Times of India wrote an editorial on Congress and the BJP, “The lotus eaters.” Commenting on Congress and the Congress-led UPA Government, the editorial said: “The platter of political opportunities before it (read BJP) today is heaven-sent. With record-breaking scams to answer for, UPA-2 has hit rock-bottom in popular standing. Public anger over sky-high prices and never-ending inflation is palpable and growing. The middle class is more politically charged than in decades, evident from the groundswell of support Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption has received. These circumstances could be immensely rewarding for a national-level opposition party making the right moves… Here’s a great opportunity for the party (BJP) to reinvent itself. With major elections coming – Uttar Pradesh in 2012, national balloting in 2014 – the BJP should’ve been out there campaigning against corruption, agitating against inflation, strategising and sloganeering across India.”
On BJP, the editorial said: “Instead, the party’s in a shambles, slugging it out in its own headquarters, rich in accusations, poverty-struck on policy, increasingly defunct in the public’s eyes. The irony’s thick – while the party carps on about the Congress’ dynastic rule, it hasn’t been able to decide a clear leader after Advani, its confusion leading to tense tirades between rivals. By appointing a chief through internal democracy and lending a firm shoulder to major public concerns – corruption and inflation – the BJP could have emerged as a modern, dynamic, fully-engaged party. Instead it’s clawing itself to bits. So much for this Hindu undivided family.”
Obviously, these comments were made by a keen and unbiased Congress and BJP-watcher. These were significant comments and reflected the national mood. The upshot of the whole argument advanced by the writer was that both the Congress and Congress-led UPA Government have become thoroughly unpopular and that BJP could have galvanized public opinion against them and recaptured the government at the centre which lost to Congress in 2004 and 2009 because it compromised its ideology for power and fell from grace. This was the state of affairs just 6 days ago.
Today, Congress and the UPA Government stand totally discredited. They have outraged the nation. BJP has sharpened its attack on the government as the most corrupt India has ever seen, and as a government similar to that of 1975, when an ‘unseated’ Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency, suspended civil liberties, muzzled the Press and threw behind bars all of her critics, including Jay Prakash Narayan, who led a no-holds-barred campaign against corruption: Total Revolution.
BJP says “UPA Government doesn’t know even a b c of statecraft” and accuses Congress and the government of according legitimacy to radical Islamist Syed Ali Shah Geelani and supporter of Maoist terrorists Binayak Sen by allowing the former to preach sedition under the very nose of the authorities in New Delhi and by putting the latter on an official committee when convicted on the charge of sedition only recently.
It may be recalled that on 21 October 2010, Geelani, along with others, including Arundhati Roy, poured venom on India and preached sedition. While Geelani condemned India and demanded separation of Kashmir, Roy denounced India as “bhookha-nanga Hindustan.” She said: “Kashmir should get Azadi from bhookhe-nange Hindustan.”
The Delhi police under the direct control and direction of the Union Home Ministry took action (beat up) the displaced Kashmiri Hindus and other nationalists gathered at the LTG Auditorium, venue of the anti-India seminar, to protest the anti-India slander. The police not only used force against the pro-India protesters but booked some of them as if they had committed a crime against the State. Geelani and Roy were provided foolproof security cover and allowed to castigate India and promote secessionism. Commenting on the attitude of the pro-India protesters, Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir said: “Our democracy is a matured democracy and is capable of absorbing political dissent and diverse view points and so we should provide every individual an opportunity to air his or her opinion in a democratic manner.” Almost identical was the opinion of the national spokespersons and the Union Government.
What motivated the BJP to compare the UPA with the Indira Gandhi Government was the manner in which the police, allegedly at the behest of Congress and the UPA, swung into action against Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev and his followers and supporters (nearly 50,000) assembled at Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi, on June 4, to join the anti-corruption crusade and persuade the government to bring back to India black money stashed in the foreign banks by the corrupt.
According to Baba Ramdev, the corrupt have stashed nearly 400 lakh crores of rupees in foreign banks. Some of the major highlights of the cruel and barbarous action by the police include forcible eviction of Baba Ramdev and thousands of his peaceful unarmed followers from Ramlila Ground; deportation of the Yoga Guru from New Delhi; heavy tear-gassing against the peaceful unarmed protesters, including women and children; lathi charge; destruction of the pandal; imposition of section 144 at and around Ramlila Ground; sudden attack by 5000 paramilitary personnel when Baba Ramdev and his followers were sleeping; and attempt at forcibly evicting media persons covering the event.”
The police action left at least 70 persons, including women injured, with some struggling for life. Leave alone the woeful story of those thousands of followers of Baba who had come from different parts of the country. One estimate says 5000 followers are still missing. It must remain a matter of shame for the Congress and UPA Government that they threw to the winds all democratic norms, imposed wartime restrictions on civil liberties, and used brutal force against Baba Ramdev and his followers, whose only crime was that they had taken up a social issue of national import and demanded action against the corrupt. The police action suggests that Congress and the UPA perhaps wanted to produce a moral effect so that no one again raised his/her voice against the cancer of corruption.
Baba Ramdev has compared, rightly, the Ramlila Ground police attack with the 13 April 1919 Jallianwala Bagh (Amritsar) attack on a peaceful unarmed crowd of villagers who had come for Baisakhi fair. The BJP also compared the incident with Jallianwala Bagh, with president Nitin Gadkari equating Home Minister P Chidambaram with General Dyer, butcher of Jallianwala Bagh. Dyer and his soldiers attacked the crowd in an enclosed ground without the “slightest warning,” killing according to official estimates, 379 innocent persons, including women and children; unofficial figures were higher. Dyer’s only “regrets” before the Commission that looked into this barbarous attack were that “his ammunition ran out, and that the narrow lanes had prevented his bringing in an armoured car – for it was no longer a question of merely dispersing the crowd, but one of producing a moral effect.” Remember, Dyer, in collaboration with Lt Governor of Punjab O’Dwyer, produced the “moral effect through indiscriminate arrests, torture, public flogging and making Indians crawl down Kucha Kauchianwalla lane…”
Delhi Police under instructions from political masters acted in similar fashion. The crowd was not just peaceful and unarmed, but a vast majority was sleeping in an enclosed tent. They were tortured, dragged and brutally beaten up. If one goes by Baba Ramdev’s version, and there are potent reasons to endorse the version, one can also say that the intention of the authorities was to kill the Yoga Guru and some of his followers. His startling revelation that the “police threw water on the electric wires” and that the authorities had planned to “kill him” could be construed as a very significant but highly frightening reflection on what Congress and the UPA Government thought of doing to the Baba and his followers.
The only difference between Jallianwala Bagh and Ramlila Ground was that while General Dyer produced a “moral effect” during the day, the Indian political establishment ordered the police to produce a “moral effect” after midnight so that the nation would learn of the police atrocities only in the morning. A similarity between what Dyer did to innocent Indians during the British rule and what the police did in independent India to innocent citizens was that Indian law-makers like Kapil Sibal, Subodh Kant Sahay, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Digvijay Singh, Janardhan Dwivedi, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Manish Tiwari and so on, like Dyer, defended to the hilt the police brutalities on the peaceful crowd.
Digvijay Singh dismissed Baba with contempt as “thug” (cheat). Sibal, Sahay and Bansal dismissed Baba as “dishonest” and “not a good man.” Yet on June 1, they, along with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and the Cabinet Secretary, went to Delhi airport to receive Baba and accord him a warm welcome. The sudden change in the attitude of the government remains a riddle. Things would become somewhat clear after 15 days when the Union Government and Delhi Government file their replies before the Supreme Court, which has taken suo motu cognizance of the incident and asked both governments to explain the circumstances under which the Yoga Guru and his followers were evicted, as also what made police unleash a reign of senseless brutalities against the peaceful unarmed crowd. Congress had from day one unleashed a no-holds-barred vilification campaign against Baba Ramdev, with Digvijay Singh and Rashid Alvi in the forefront.
Political parties have upped the ante against Congress and the UPA Government. The Janta Dal (United), Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, the Telugu Desam, CPI, CPI-M, Shiv Sena and several others, including Shiromani Akali Dal, have all condemned the police action as an attack on Indian democracy and civil liberties, including the right to peaceful assembly and right of expression. Some political leaders have stated that what Congress and the UPA did to Baba and his supporters was worse as compared to what Indira Gandhi and her coterie did in 1975. The month was the same – June. Indira declared an Emergency on June 26 and UPA murdered democracy on June4-5.
The five members of “civil society” who are members of the joint drafting committee constituted to draft the Lokpal Bill, have condemned the UPA Government and boycotted the June 6 meeting of the committee to protest against the police action against Baba Ramdev and his followers. On June 8, they will sit on hunger strike for a day to express solidarity with the cause of the Yoga Guru. They have also questioned the very stand of the UPA Government on the issue of corruption and Lokpal Bill and hinted that they may withdraw from the joint drafting committee, which anyway is unlikely to yield what they desire.
The reaction of people across the country to the outrageous Ramlila Ground incident has been sharp. Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jaipur, Kolkata, Jammu and several other places witnessed massive protest marches and demonstrations against Congress and UPA, all spontaneous. The Ramlila Ground gory incident will prove a curtain-raiser and create an environment that will culminate in the collapse of the anti-democratic, anti-people and separatist-friendly UPA Government. In other words, Congress is doomed and UPA is also doomed. People will never ever forgive them for the sin they committed during the black night of June 4-5. They will avenge the cruelties perpetrated on the Yoga Guru and his followers by the UPA in the manner they avenged the barbarities perpetrated by Indira Gandhi between 1974 and 1977.
The author is former Chair Professor, Maharaja Gulab Singh Chair, University of Jammu, Jammu, & former member Indian Council of Historical Research
R Jagannathan Jun 6, 2011 When Baba Ramdev was bundled out of Delhi unceremoniously, it was a forceful message from the Congress-led UPA government that it was not going to vacate space for civil society to muscle in on its turf — unless the civil society members happen to be Sonia Gandhi groupies. It is also an indication that orders for the crackdown on the Baba came from the political power centre – Sonia Gandhi herself. It marks a new assertion of party over government in order to seize the political initiative from a bumbling Manmohan Singh. But it is worth understanding what really transpired these last few weeks, when the government first started humouring the Baba, held detailed discussions with him, and then hit him on the head – metaphorically – with a club when he was least expecting it. Who betrayed whom? Was it the government, which came out waving a paper saying the Baba went back on his promise to call off the fast? Or was it the Baba, who found the government closing in on him, and decided to back away from a deal he knew was not good for his future? I believe it was the government which decided to pull the plug on the Baba deal. It flows from the answer to the question: why was the Congress schmoozing with the Baba in the first place when it knew he had deep Sangh Parivar connections? The Congress has a problem in the north, where the BJP is a potent threat everywhere, except Uttar Pradesh. This is where the Baba comes in handy. Reuters The answer: the Congress wined and dined him precisely because he was close to the Sangh Parivar. It was not something they discovered later, when Sadhvi Ritambara turned up at the Baba’s fast-fest. In the Congress book of dirty tricks, this is old hat. Whenever the Congress sees a looming political threat, it backs a rival in the same camp to break away and undercut the original threat. To deal with the Akalis in Punjab, Indira Gandhi backed Bhindranwale. To destroy the Shiv Sena, it backed Raj Thackeray, and won the last elections purely from this vote division. To undercut the National Conference, it broke bread with Mufti Sayeed’s PDP in the last decade before it dumped the PDP again for the National Conference. Of course, the Congress also reaps the whirlwind when it sows the wind (Indira was killed by Sikh extremists, and Rajiv fell to the LTTE’s suicide bomber), but that’s another story. It is also worth recalling that the Congress won the last elections in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu precisely because a third player (Praja Rajyam in Andhra, and Vijayakanth’s DMDK in Tamil Nadu) ate into opposition votes and brought the Congress (or the Congress alliance) victory. But for these spoilers, Chandrababu Naidu and AIADMK would have won in 2009. So who do you need to fix before 2014 in the same way? While there are obviously a whole range of regional and sectarian parties who are local threats to the Congress in various states, the only national threat is the BJP, which, despite being rudderless over the last seven years, is the only party capable of upsetting the Congress’ apple-cart. Within the BJP, the biggest threat is Narendra Modi, who has shown that he can get the measure of the Congress, and has the potential to galvanise the party and the majority community to action — given the right political circumstances, which, admittedly, don’t exist for now. But who knows what will be the scenario in 2014? It explains why the Congress is using activists like Teesta Setalvad and the National Advisory Council (NAC) and other one-dimensional secularists to fix him – whether in court or through a blatantly communal Bill to tackle communal violence. The Bill is specifically targetted at Hindu organisations, and no one else. It will never see the light of day, but that does not stop undemocratic NAC members from trying to force it down our throats. But, at another level, the Congress has a problem in the north, where the BJP is a potent threat everywhere, except Uttar Pradesh. This is where the Baba comes in handy. How? In Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and also in the rest of the Hindi belt, the Baba could cut into BJP votes if he floats a political party. He doesn’t have to win any seats. If he merely takes away 4-5% of the BJP vote, it is enough for the Congress to win. This is the primary reason why the Congress has been humouring the Baba and talking of doing a deal with him on corruption. Unfortunately, the deal fell through, either because the Congress was trying to be too clever with him, or was trying to fix him in other ways – and he balked at the prospect. This is what forced the midnight swoop – something the Congress had not planned for when it began talking with him. The second reason why the Baba was useful to the Congress was his unwillingness to let the Anna Hazare group run off with the anti-corruption agenda. The Baba’s ego would not let him be a supporter of the Hazare camp, which had eminent lawyers well-versed in the art of drafting laws. It also had the support of the middle-class. The Congress egged on Baba with his rural and small-town clout to stymie the Hazare group. The Congress had no reason to let Anna & Co dictate the new Lokpal bill, and the Baba’s political ambitions proved useful to drive a wedge between the two camps. While the midnight action has temporarily allowed the two camps to kiss and make up, the two cannot ultimately work together. Since the Anna group has lost vital momentum, it is now possible for the Congress to impose its own Lokpal Bill with some minor concessions to civil society and reclaim the agenda. A perceptive comment by K Raman on Firstpost shows how the Baba has been neutered, and Anna sidelined: “A man who owns a private island in Scotland, has an annual turnover of Rs 1,000 crore and flies around in a private jet would obviously have a few skeletons in his cupboard… In the next 10 days, one after the other the skeletons will tumble down… The Baba could be fixed in that way..”. As for Anna & Co, Raman says: “..the government has clearly sent out the message that if they mess around, then they too will meet the same fate as the Baba. Shanti Bhushan’s statement that the Prime Minister and the government has to resign is not helpful, to say the least…Now with what face will this team go back and discuss with the same government on Lokpal Bill?” Clearly, the Congress used the Baba and discarded him when he did not toe the line. The BJP need not be too unhappy, too. The Baba was meant to cut it down to size. So while it may fulminate against the government for its midnight “Jallianwala Bagh”, it should be secretly happy that one potential rival for the Hindu vote is out of the way. The Congress has won – for now. While the Baba did not serve its short-term purpose, the party may still hold the high cards when it comes to getting him to float a party to cut into the BJP vote. But just as a week is a long time in politics, such political manoeuvres are not enduring. The only question is whether, when it is politics as usual, the ordinary citizen has lost out. The upsurge of grassroot support when Anna Hazare began his fast has died down. Cynicism rules. Congress gains.
On the intervening night of June 25 and 26, 1975, Indira Gandhi’s police arrested Jai Prakash Narayan (JP) who was sphere-heading a nationwide movement against corruption. While being taken away, JP had used a samskrit aphorism- Vinash kale viprit buddhi meaning when the downfall/destruction/death is near, one behaves/acts with deluded mind. After 21 months, Indira Gandhi and her Congress party were badly routed at the hustings and JP was hailed as Lok Nayak (leader of masses).
History is about to repeat with the midnight arrest of Baba Ramdev because truth is much more powerful than the moneybags and naked power. Congress and Sonia Gandhi, be forwarned!