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Smriti’s big ask from Rahul Gandhi

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Rajnish Tuli and Aditya Rallan

Few days back, BJP MP Smriti Irani accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of supporting anarchic elements to disturb the law and order in the country and deliberately ignoring the injured police officers, who suffered grave injuries while handling violent protests on 26th Jan. In this article, we do not aim to discuss the merits of farm laws and the protests that followed, but how Congress under Rahul has routinely failed to stand with the security forces.

In his last address Rahul stated “The truth is that most farmers do not understand the details of the Bill (the three Farm Laws), because if they did, there would be an agitation all across the country. The country would be on fire”. This was an explicit instigation to the people at large to burn down India. He also asked the protestors sitting on borders of Delhi to not compromise even an inch, despite violent protests in Delhi leaving more than 390 police officers gravely injured and many still in ICUs. It is quite similar to the call made last year from Ram Lila ground by Congress leadership during anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protest, which culminated into Delhi riots in Feb 2020.

A study of Rahul Gandhi’s politics and the evolution of Congress through the decades shows that the political party has repeatedly undermined India’s security apparatus.

We can recall specifically how Congress has endangered security forces in Kashmir and Punjab to usurp power in these states and checkmate their regional opponents. The handling of the Kashmir insurgency by Congress demonstrates how the political party prioritised miscreants in the Valley over armed forces. While the Kashmir problem was a political one to solve, Congress passed on the responsibility to the security forces. In Punjab, Bhindranwale was propelled and backed by the Congress high command in the late 1970s in the hope of splitting the Sikh vote bank and thus weaken the Akali Dal. While in Kashmir, the 1987 elections were rigged to ensure control of Congress regime. This provided fertile ground for emergence of Hizbul Mujahideen and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, whose leaders Sayeed Salahuddin and Yasin Malik declared violence against the armed forces. The latter, held responsible for killing an IAF officer, was even invited for talks with the then PM Manmohan Singh in 2006. Even the defence minister during UPA-2, AK Antony, passed irresponsible statements such as the attack on Indian Army being carried out by armed terrorists dressed in Pakistani Army uniform, which gave an escape route to Pakistan.

Even on LTTE-Sri Lanka crisis, Congress’s political monkey balancing costed security forces immensely. Veteran Congress leader, Natwar Singh has provided grim account in his last book, how Rajiv Gandhi, without any proper deliberation, put Indian forces into difficult situation in Sri Lanka against LTTE. He stated, “The IPKF was not prepared for what they were undertaking in Sri Lanka. There was no coherence in India’s policy. MGR (then Tamil Nadu chief minister MG Ramachandran) had his own Tamil Nadu policy, India had its own policy.” That only cements how forces are deployed on whims and fancy of Congress leadership.

Perhaps the nadir was reached when Congress played an unglorified role after Batla House encounter, when their leaders were working overtime by seeding doubt about the authenticity of an encounter in which we lost our security personnel. These historic actions of Congress have emboldened our enemies to capitalise on internal disturbances to exploit sectarian and religious differences.

In recent years, we have seen multiple incidents where Congress deliberately created law and orders problems to drive political gains, with Rahul Gandhi insulting the security forces on multiple occasions. He has the distinction of standing with left wing student group in JNU which are known to have accused Indian forces of atrocities in Kashmir and demeaned their efforts to restore peace.

Rahul’s utterances post-surgical strike and Balakot air strike shows inbuilt contempt to find ways to belittle their achievement, by bringing in political slugfest when it is least required. Strangely he showed amazing concerns about the soldiers martyred recently while defending incursion in Ladakh, but that too only to use for scoring political point, instead of paying soldiers deserving accolades, especially after they captures strategic heights. In similar context, Rahul could not manage to complement soldiers’ post-surgical strike categorically. While attacking government of using soldiers for political mileage “Khoon ki Dalali” he ended up demeaning the valour of our forces. In a recent event, he even went on to say that India would not need armed forces if we strengthened our farmers.

In Jan 2020, during anti-CAA violent protest in Uttar Pradesh that damaged public property, Rahul and Priyanka went to the NHRC to request for action against police. In case of Delhi riots during anti-CAA protest, he criticised Delhi police, while ignoring martyrdom of police and intelligence officers and failed to make statements on rioters. During Hathras protest, Rahul feigned falling on the ground, just to showcase police offices in poor light.

With Rahul’s blessings many senior Congress leaders have insulted security officers repeatedly. Delhi Congress leader, Sandeep Dixit called the sitting army chief as “Sadak ka Gunda”, for being stringent against terrorists. In 2018, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah wrote letter to police officers to seek withdrawal of cases against minorities. Rahul went on to accuse UP police of killing the dreaded Gangster Vikas Dubey, just to score political points. Such actions not only make country vulnerable on law and order front but also demoralise the security forces.

So, if Rahul Gandhi chooses to ignore the strenuous efforts and noble sacrifices of the security forces, it should not come as a surprise, being quite well entrenched in his party tradition. He has been successfully indoctrinated with Congress’ philosophy and exploiting security apparatus for political gains, ignoring its long-term ramifications for national security.  

By Rajnish Tuli and Aditya Rallan

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