Sunday, September 04, 2011

Soothsaying and the Congress party

If recent events have shown something, it is that the Congress party is a soothsayer’s dream subject. If you want to know what the party’s response will be to any situation, you only need to go back in time a few decades and you’ll get the answer.

Let me explain. In 1977, the Congress party was out of power and the Janata party came into power. But they squabbled amongst themselves, and what did Indira Gandhi do? She encouraged Charan Singh to split away, supported him for a while, and then pulled the rug under his feet, which led to elections. Now move the clock to 1989. Rajiv Gandhi lost power, VP Singh and Chandrashekhar squabbled, and Rajiv Gandhi encouraged Chandrashekar to split, supported his government for a few months, and then withdrew support. And the same repeated in 1996.

Similarly, when faced with an upsurge of public antagonism, Indira Gandhi’s first response was to invoke the “Foreign Hand”. Rajiv Gandhi talked about vicious forces that were out to destabilize India when the Bofors scam hit. And today, Rashid Alvi accused a foreign hand (of course, those in the know, know that it is an Italian one) of trying to destabilize India. Indira Gandhi imposed the emergency and foisted all kinds of cases on the opposition; and while the India of 1985-86 wouldn’t let Rajiv Gandhi impose the emergency, he tried his best to muzzle the media by introducing the “defamation bill”. Lo and behold, today we have the “Group of Morons” who are trying to bring in a bill to regulate the media. (Maybe they’ll serve a privilege notice against me as well?)

And while the faces of the henchmen, the a**lickers and the hangers on have changed, their attitudes and languages haven’t changed one bit. See the abuses showered on team Anna if you want proof.

What I’m trying to outline is that despite its dubious claims of having introduced the green revolution, the IT revolution and globalization in India, the Congress party remains a party stuck in the discourse of the 70s. What is further shameful is that the great white hope of the party doesn’t have a single original thought to offer and his family friends (what a TV channel calls ‘Young Turks’) are no better either.

There is no future for the country as long as the Congress is in power. Sadly there is no viable alternative in sight.

(Postscript: To my regular readers: thank you for your enquiries, and I promise I’ll post more regularly in the coming weeks. )