It all started towards the end of 2013, when Narendra Modi-then CM of Gujarat was declared as the Prime Ministerial candidate for BJP. Modi addressed more than 300 rallies to spearhead BJP to a remarkable tally of 282 seats in Lok Sabha 2014 elections- unprecedented for any Non Congress party to achieve that feat. Along with talks of corruption during UPA rule and the promise of development the common point in most, if not all of his 300 plus rallies was a call for ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’ (Congress free India).
Later in his interview to Arnab Goswami, just a few days before the results were announced, Modi once again emphasised the need for ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’ by specifying how Congress’s approach towards governance had hamstrung India’s ambitions.
May 2014, Congress was voted out of power at the centre and lost one state after another in the years that followed, compounded by the fact that public memory is short, many might’ve got deluded into believing that Congress has changed. But with victory 3 state elections at the end of last year, the real face of politics characterized by Congress since independence manifested itself yet again.
Now, perhaps the time is ripe to examine ‘Congress Mukt Bharat’ and see whether it is just a political slogan or is Congress really an impediment to India’s journey towards becoming a superpower. For that we have to carefully examine what Congress embodies.
Since Independence, Congress party has been involved in one scam after another right from INA treasure scandal and Jeep scam immediately after independence to as recent as Commonwealth Games, 2G Spectrum and Coal block allocation scams. Congress was voted out of power in 2014, but skeletons of scams done during their rule still keep tumbling out every now and then, be it Augusta Westland VVIP chopper or Air India Aircraft procurement scam. With years the only thing which has changed about Congress is the magnitude and brazenness of doing scams.
- Feudal mindset with little room for Meritocracy
Congress Party is like a poorly managed family run business, where sycophancy triumphs performance and credentials. In such systems only cronies with close proximity to the family prosper. The famous dialogue from the film Indu Sarkaar ‘Aur Tum Log Zindagi bhar Maa Bete Ki Gulaami Karte Rahoge’ (And you’ll keep prostrating in front of Mother-Son forever for crumbs) sums up Congress culture completely. While it’s their internal matter, it becomes problematic when the same continues in determining their choice of candidates to lead. The representatives chosen are naturally expected to be more loyal to family than to the nation. Look at the conduct of former PM Manmohan Singh and former President Pratibha Patil for example.
When shady land deals done by firms with holdings of Robert Vadra (Sonia Gandhi’s Son in Law), were brought under scrutiny in 2013, Foreign Affairs Minister of that time Salman Khurshid came to his defence by saying “Main Sonia Ji ke liye apni jaan bhi de sakta hoon” (I can give my life for Sonia Gandhi), sad that a minister who had taken oath to serve India’s interest alluded that his party president was bigger than the country.
To anyone who thinks that problem with Congress is only due to people heading the party and not with the mindset, I would advise a quick check, just see the behaviour of Himanta Biswa Sarma when he was with Congress and now when he is in BJP and same way check it for Navjot Singh Sidhu before and after joining Congress and the difference would be evident. The problem lies well beyond the leadership, it impacts the entire rank and file.
- Attitude that India is their fiefdom
Naming national assets and prominent government schemes after the members of the family, showering themselves with the highest civilian honour, are all symptoms of megalomania-a disorder dictators and monarchs suffer from. Whenever Congress is in the power, this attitude determines the way they govern. Development of Infrastructure for benefit of public, encouragement to entrepreneurship and empowerment of people are rarely focused on and on the contrary culture of freebies is promoted to keep ‘subjects’ forever depend on crumbs thrown at them by powers that be, in return of re-electing them to carry out loot even more shamelessly. Nothing else explains why more than half of Indian population didn’t have bank accounts or access to toilets until Modi government worked on a mission mode to deliver on something that’s most basic and shouldn’t have remain unaddressed.
- Family & Party first, National Interests secondary, National Security last
Before Congress supporters jump on me saying ‘Congress got India Independence’. Here’s a refresher for them, Congress before independence was a less of a political outfit and more of a freedom movement, where people from all walks of life participated. Closer to independence it began mutating into an organisation run by self-obsessed, opportunists for power and authority, after mysterious death of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent , the transformation was complete.
We’ve seen similar regression very recently, when India against Corruption (IAC) movement where people from all walks of life came forward to free India from corruption, culminated into formation of political party AAP-which has all the attributes that IAC movement sought to change.
So the argument that Congress brought India freedom is as bogus as saying that AAP led anti-corruption movement.
History is replete with examples of how Congress never cared for India, for them India was/is only a territory to be milked for personal gain, following are few examples to explain better.
-How can we forget the ignominy India suffered at the hands of China in 1962, all because of defence unpreparedness under Nehru Government. India lost Aksai Chin to China and PM Nehru in his parliament address downplayed the loss by saying ‘Not even a blade of grass grows there’.
-Congress power play in Kerala led to sabotage of India’s cryogenic program by framing and destroying lives of eminent ISRO scientists like Nambi Narayanan.
-What explains the mysterious deaths of several Indian scientists involved in nuclear research projects during Congress led UPA’s 10 year rule and contrast that with no such casualties when BJP came to power?
-In 2013 Congress with the help of it’s pliant media concocted a fake story of possible Army Coup to impact the credibility and morale of men in uniform? Which ruling party anywhere in the world has ever done that?
-Congress led UPA didn’t finalize the deal for procurement of Rafale fighter jets during their 10 year rule while squadron strength of Air force fighter planes kept depleting and as many as 62 pilots died during UPA rule flying age old MiGs and and Sukhoi planes, who is to be blamed for those deaths? As if to add an insult to injury, former Congress defence minister AK Anthony shamelessly told parliament that they didn’t have money to buy Rafale in 2013, then it remains to be asked what was the urgency for the same government to buy exorbitant VVIP Augusta Choppers 3 years earlier?
Today when Modi government has finalised the deal for Rafale jets and part deliveries will be made this year, even in the opposition Congress is trying every trick in the book to stall the deal, only a party with little concern of National security would ever take such a stand.
- Grab and stay in power at any cost
Former PM AB Vajpayee once quoted “Congress without power is like fish without water”. They will stoop to any level , resort to anything possible to grab power. Today to beat BJP, they have openly allied with separatists, backed urban naxals, created regional, caste based riots and even tried to divide Hindus further by proposing a separate religion for Lingayats, all for their vote bank politics. Congress batted against eviction of illegal Bangladeshis and Rohingyas knowing fully well the threat they pose to national security and the burden they add on our limited resources.
Rahul Gandhi surreptitiously met Chinese delegates at the height of Indian Army and PLA standoff over Doklam, Manishanker Aiyar went to Pakistan and called for their help in removing PM Modi.
It is perfectly fair for the party in opposition to criticise government policies, but to take open or tacit support from the enemies of state to remove the government is completely unthinkable.
- Condescending attitude towards Indians
In 2009 when newly elected Congress MP Shashi Tharoor described the travelers of economy class as ‘Cattle Class’ it wasn’t just a casual remark, but a reflection of disdain Congress has towards Indians.
Right from Nehru rule, it became a norm to portray India as land of poor, destitute millions living in abject poverty. Through education system anything and everything Indian was made to look bad and inferior and as a consequence generations of Indians grew lacking confidence and self-respect, seeking western approval on everything. While West acknowledged and learnt from Indian history and heritage, we were made to look down upon it, be it Yoga or Sanskrit.
This attitude continues till date, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi went to UP and Bihar calling local youths “unemployed who go to other states to beg”. Never applauded the valour of Indian army even questioned the Surgical Strike, it took PM Modi to visit France and pay homage to Indian soldiers who had died in World War 1. Congress looked down upon ancient Indian practices like Yoga, so much so that when UN Declared Yoga day on recommendation of PM Modi, Congress downplayed the significance. Even opposition of Congress to Bullet Train stems from the same mentality (how can Indians have access to high speed world class systems, when there is rampant poverty). How millions of Indians are poor even after 60 years of Congress rule, is something Congress would never answer.
PS- Congress rule of almost 60 years has been more or less an extension of colonial rule of India. Indian interests were always short changed for pursuit of power.
Now, it is incumbent upon voters to make sure that Congress mindset is decimated in 2019, so that we see a better political system emerging where political parties compete to take India further. India will not become a developed country, until Congress is made redundant.