Nothing to do with Sonia

via Dr Vijaya Rajiva published on August 8, 2010

Thus spake Vinod Mehta, editor of one of the leading liberal papers in Bharat called
Outlookindia. He was speaking  at the end of an NDTV program on whether the UPA 2
Government was losing its grip.

Indeed, all the participants (including Mr.Mehta), except the Congress member from the Rajya Sabha expressed bewilderment that the Congress Party had shot itself in the foot, to use Vinod Mehta’s expression. They have made a   mess  of governance in the first year of an overwhelming mandate after last year’s elections. Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad of the BJP spoke in his customary forceful and forthright manner: the Congress is not only a sinking ship but also a stinking one ! This was a reference not only to the corruption of the Commonwealth games but also of the Telecom minister Raja’s mammoth scam, which the Congress has quietly acquiesced in, if not condoned, so it seems. This was the price extracted by the DMK’s Karunanidhi for continuing support of the UPA alliance.

Domestic issues of price rise and the economic downturn for which the Congress rep.tried to offer a glib alibi (the global crisis) are  glaring facts. The aam admi has been had and increasingly also the middle class. The Kashmir problem, Maoism/Naxalism and  insurgency have been badly handled.

While all participants except the Congress rep. expressed surprise at the Prime Minister’s ongoing silence, Shri Prasad concluded that he was truly baffled. He went on to say   that
that the silence may have to do with the fact that the PM had no political legitimacy, since he was nominated by the Congress and not elected by the people of India. That this technicality is allowed  in the Indian parliamentary procedure, does not take away from the fact that the PM is increasingly being seen as the silent figurehead of the Congress Party.

It was at this juncture during the debate that Mr.Mehta who had been quite critical of the
Congress  made  his intervention saying : Nothing to do with Sonia. What did he mean?

Was he being ‘gallant’ ,was he expressing Bharat’s age old tendency to be hospitable
to foreignborn comers to India, was he protecting Sonia from what he perceived to
be the coming storm ?

Indeed, the storm clouds are gathering. The once glorious party of the freedom struggle
is floundering about in an unprecedented fashion. Where the Indian National Congress could boast of hundreds of luminaries in the freedom struggle, the present day Congress is reduced to less than a handful of stalwarts, and reduced ignominously to have to resort to bringing in the widow of Rajeev Gandhi to bolster their fortunes. That act was one of desperation and has brought short term gains. How long will that last ?

She has risen to great power and influence within the Party. 10 Janpath has become synonymous with power, but also lack of transparency. Where once the glorious Congress held large gatherings in huge pandals where even the lowliest of Bharat’s citizens could come and watch, there are closed door meetings at the above address. Politicians emerge only at election time to address audiences who have been told what to do and whom to vote for.

There is the ongoing shadow of the Bofors scandal and many more controversial issues
that surround Sonia. How long can the spin doctors of the Congress protect her ? Legalities notwithstanding, the people of Bharat will not endorse someone whom they see as tainted. Recent reports suggest some confusion in the Congress ranks as to who should succeed Manmohan Singh.

Rahul baba may not accept the mantle. Judging from his confident criticisms of Home Minister Chidambaram, Digvijay Singh might well be the chosen one. It does not seem likely that Congress can sustain itself beyond another 4 years, and even that seems doubtful.

Whatever the outcome, the once glorious party of the freedom struggle will not regain its past prestige and may well go down once and for all from the national stage. Careerists, opportunists, sycophants, corrupt adventurers, all these have proliferated in the party, and they will quickly leave the sinking ship in due time.

And what about the albatross around their neck ?

(The writer taught Political Philosophy at a Canadian university).

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