Family legacy and the Varun effect

via published on March 27, 2009

By Tarun Vijay


Those who opposed the Ayodhya temple movement, wore silence over the plight of Kashmiri Hindus, damaged the Ram Sethu and denied Lord Rama ever existed, denied the violence at the Godhra railway station, and
embraced the butchers of 1984, are collectively gunning at Varun
Gandhi’s political life.

after column by Padma Shris in the media have created an atmosphere
where supporting Varun has become a sin. Why? The simple reason is that
the farmhouse of Gandhi-Nehru politics has been broken and a scion of
the family chose to speak out as his conscience directed.

than what Varun said or didn’t say, it is the hurt and bewilderment
over the loss of a Gandhi to the saffron brigade that has made the
media and anti-Hindutva politicos react with such venom and acid. He
was not heard, not given a chance to present his case, nor did forensic
experts examine the so-called proof in the form of a CD containing his

Varun has suddenly dwarfed the media-supported Rahul.

has ever heard a dynasty member to say with understandable assertion
that he or she is a Hindu. Rather, they have always tried to look
differently at things. They banned Hindu organisations, imposed the
Emergency, removed basic human rights, never willingly facilitated the
Sikh massacre probe, rewarded hardened criminals, made alliance with
those who were convicted for murder or were facing scandalous charges,
had the Muslim League join the government after Partition. Yet, they
are nice, decent, peace-loving, patriotic democrats who love to tell
others: ‘Go read the Gita.’

Indian soldiers were fighting Pakistani marauders in 1947, we didn’t
have enough jeeps. So orders were placed with the British company and
supply demanded immediately. Our high commissioner in London V K Krishna Menon, Pandit Nehru’s blue-eyed boy, messed it up. The jeeps reached a year late.

That was the first scandal in independent India.

We lost Gilgit, Baltistan and Skardu. We lost Aksai Chin because the government in New Delhi didn’t know the exact boundaries and so no patrolling was being done there.

In all we have lost 125,000 square km to the Pakistanis and Chinese during Congress rule.

Plus we had a bad dream called 1962.

that time our ordnance factories were making coffee machines as Pandit
Nehru openly argued against having a well-equipped large army for
defence. ‘Who is going to attack us?’ he would ask.

people still remember the mysterious death of Dr Syama Prasad
Mookerjee, who simply wanted Kashmir to be a part of India like Bihar
or Bengal and the permit system to enter the valley be abolished.
Kashmir had two rulers then, its ruler was called Sadr e Riyasat or
‘head of state’, and it had a prime minister. Mookerjee’s martyrdom
compelled the Nehru government to remove the permit system and the two
heads of state.

we had the Mundhra scandal, the Nagarwala case, the L N Mishra murder.
The Jana Sangh’s fast-emerging leader Deendayal Upadhyaya was murdered.
A Congress leader canvassed openly against the official Presidential
candidate and supported her own choice as independent nominee. The
original Congress symbol was a pair of oxen. After the official
Congress broke up, they got the hand as a temporary symbol till the
case is finally settled. It would never be.

Opposing Sonia Gandhi’s  sudden rise in politics only on the grounds of her foreign origin were leaders like Sharad Pawar 
and P A Sangma. Old Congressmen still feel sad that they lost dynamic
and promising leaders of substance like Rajesh Pilot, Madhavrao Scindia
and Jitendra Prasada, who could have steered the Congress on an
entirely different and strong nationalist course. And a veteran like
Sitaram Kesri was humiliated no end.

only non-dynasty prime minister to run a Congress government for full
five years successfully was insulted even in his death and his
body-in-state was not allowed to enter the Congress headquarters in New
Delhi. An airport in his home state to be named after him was opposed
to by Congressmen although the proposal was put forth by an Opposition

is how they treat their party leaders not belonging to the family. They
amended, abused and twisted the Constitution, put the entire Opposition
behind bars for an undisclosed period and were harsh on the unyielding

Yet, they are the democrats and secular lighthouse of freedom of expression and liberty.

kept India backward in such a planned manner that even after 62 years
of independence we are yet to have a spacious functional airport in the
national capital, 70,000 farmers committed suicide in one year,
decorated soldiers returned their medals in protest and a movie on our
poverty-stricken ‘slum dogs’ fetches the Oscar. And they loved illegal
infiltrators for the sake of their votes — and still they say they are
the inheritors of a freedom struggle that demanded the ouster of aliens.

electoral reforms, no police reforms or strengthening their morale and
weapons, the administration is still run the way it functioned during
the Sahebs; and despite having won a well-fought war in 1971 we
couldn’t settle the Kashmir issue or control the jihadi tail-wagger in
the neighbourhood.

were so well supported in Congress regimes that in the sixth decade
after independence they felt a need to provide special crutches for
them. Show the ‘M’ card and get the privilege, became the new secular
psalm, further shrinking the space and opportunities for the condemned

than anything else they tried to wreck the morale of the assertive
Hindus who faced the onslaught of invaders for 12 centuries with
unparalleled bravery and with invincible spirit to protect their
culture and the fragrance of the land. They deserved to be comforted
most after a fractured independence and a massacre that was thrust upon
them by a weak Congress leadership. Yet, a large section of Hindus
today feel cheated and anguished.

form governments in 12 states, prove they can run the country
beautifully with a coalition of 25 parties with diametrically opposed
ideologies. And one of their Swayamsewaks unfurled the tricolour six
times from the ramparts of the Red Fort as the prime minister, impressed world leaders and the international
media with a record of infrastructure-building, communication
revolution and women’s empowerment, chose a Muslim to be the President
and conducted Pokhran II by fooling the CIA’s ‘eyes’, and resisted
extraordinary world pressure and sanctions.

they are called anti-development, anti-women, even anti-social. In not
a single so-called mainstream media outlet are their views published,
but every news item is scanned to hurl stones on them through
editorialising on the front-page.

Still, they are the very objective face of our independent media.

choicest abuses used by ‘decent guarantors of the freedom of
expression’ columnists and editorial-writers can be collected as a
bouquet of India’s uncivilised lexicon, yet their films against the
very spirit of Hindu nature get widely supported by a regime that
survives on Hindu money and votes.

love for development and secularism is so deep that they can send
dredgers to destroy a million years of faith and marine life because
that was Ram Sethu, but won’t dare to touch a six feet by six feet
dargah in the middle of the road blocking the highway and causing
accidents, for fear of annoying a vote-bank.

And then they say, they are the future of India.

Tarun Vijay is Director, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi

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