Rahul Gandhi should note Ambedkar’s warning to politicians.
In his last speech in the Constituent Assembly of India on November 25, 1949, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar expressed his anxiety about the future of independent India and reminded the politicians how and why India had lost its independence in the past. It would be relevant to recall his memorable words.
“Will she (India) maintain her independence or will she lose it again? …. It is not that India was never an independent country. The point is that she once lost the independence she had. Will she lose it a second time? It is this thought which makes me most anxious for the future. What perturbs me greatly is the fact that not only India has once before lost her independence, but she lost it by the infidelity and treachery of some of her own people. In the invasion of Sind by Mahommed-Bin-Kasim, the military commanders of King Dahar accepted bribes from the agents of Mahommed-Bin-Kasim and refused to fight on the side of their King. It was Jaichand who invited Mahommed Gohri to invade ‘India and fight against Prithvi Raj and promised him the help of himself and the Solanki Kings. When Shivaji was fighting for the liberation of Hindus, the other Maratha noblemen and the Rajput Kings were fighting the battle on the side of Moghul Emperors. When the British were trying to destroy the Sikh Rulers, Gulab Singh, their principal commander sat silent and did not help to save the Sikh Kingdom. In 1857, when a large part of India had declared a war of independence against the British, the Sikhs stood and watched the event as silent spectators.
“Will history repeat itself? It is this thought which fills me with anxiety. This anxiety is deepened by the realization of the fact that in addition to our old enemies in the form of castes and creeds .we are going to have many political parties with diverse and opposing political creeds. Will Indian place the country above their creed or will they place creed above country? I do not know. However, this much is certain that if the parties place creed above country, our independence will be put in jeopardy a second time and probably be lost forever. This eventuality we must all resolutely guard against. We must be determined to defend our independence with the last drop of our blood.”
Ambedkar did not name any political party but had he been alive today, quite a few political parties, the Congress party in particular, would have told him in his face that for them remaining in power was above the country. What is the use of the country to a selfish politician who is deprived of power?
I have named the Congress because today it is ahead of all other parties that are placing their interest above the national interest. It is not the same Congress which it was during the freedom movement. During the freedom movement, in the words of Ambedkar, the Congress was more like a platform on which people with diverse political and economic ideologies assembled for the common cause of India’s independence. During the 1920s, even K. B. Hedgewar, who later founded the RSS, actively participated in Congress in the 1920s; he left after getting disillusioned with Gandhi’s support to the communal Khilafat Movement.
Today it has become a personal property of a family. A semi-literate Italian girl married Rajiv Gandhi and gradually completed the process of converting the party into a family affair and the party’s assets into the family property.
Ever since Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, the only job of the Congress leaders and their cronies is to make baseless allegations against him and defame the country. They are crying that since 2014 India is being ruled by the worst Prime Minister ever in the history of the country, a Prime Minister who is directly responsible for the attack on minorities and Dalits, who has ruined the Indian economy and who is snatching poor’s money and handing over the same to his favourite capitalists. Not satisfied with attack on the Prime Minister, they are shouting that the security forces of the country are killing more innocent persons than terrorists (remember what Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad had said some time back) and that, in the words of the Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit, the Indian Army Chief is a ‘sadak ka goonda’ (‘goon on the street’).
Then there is a Congress leader called Mani Shankar Aiyar who calls Prime Minister Modi a ‘neech aadmi’, goes to Pakistan and requests for help to remove Modi from power and bring Congress back to power. Since in Pakistan the real power is in the hands of the army and the ISI, Aiyar actually invited these two anti-India organisations to intervene in Indian politics in favour of the Congress party.
I have no doubt that these lesser mortals of the Congress are not making such irresponsible statements without instructions from above.
Rahul Gandhi being the leader, he has to be more forceful in presenting the Congress as above the country which he does by attacking the democratically elected Prime Minister and downgrading the country. During a speech at Bucerius Summer School in Hamburg, Germany, on Aug 22, last, he crossed all the limits. Launching a scathing attack on the Modi government, he blamed the latter for joblessness, incidents of lynching and depriving tribals, poor farmers, lower caste people and minorities of the benefits available to the elite.
He said that demonetisation and poor implementation of the GST led to joblessness and destruction of small business and made the people angry. The ruling alliance excluded tribals, Dalits, and minorities from the development narrative, which “could be a dangerous thing”. He compared the Indian situation with what had happened in Iraq a few years back. He said, ‘After the US attacked Iraq in 2003, they brought a law that stopped a particular Iraqi tribe from getting jobs in the government and in the army that resulted in a large number of people joining insurgency to fight the US and cause massive casualties. It did not end there. That insurgence slowly entered the empty space in Iraq and in Syria and then it connected with a horrific idea called ISIS.’
Patting his own back, Rahul said that he responded to Modi’s “hateful remarks” against him by hugging him (Modi) during the recent debate on the No-Confidence motion in Lok Sabha. He lamented, “there is a huge amount of violence against women in India.”
From Germany, Rahul went to England. Today, on August 24, speaking at the Grand Committee Room of the British Parliament, he said that the BJP-RSS people were dividing India and spreading hatred. He further said that the RSS ideology was similar to that of the Muslim Brotherhood in the world.
Not only politicians, even some senior bureaucrats who hate the Modi government are behaving like Congress politicians and maligning the country. Readers may recall that on April 16, 2018, 49 retired civil servants had written a highly objectionable letter to the Prime Minister describing the prevailing environment as “our darkest hour” in post-Independence India and the Sangh Parivar for the culture of majoritarian belligerence and aggression in Kathua. Now, one of the 49 fellows, Dr. E. A. S. Sarma, a retired IAS officer and a former Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and a former Director, Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad, has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court accusing the security forces of “cold-blooded fake encounter killing of two suspected members of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit) faction” on March 30 , 2017 in Assam’s Simalguri village. The PIL is based on a newspaper report and has sought thorough probe into the allegation. (This is in addition to an old PIL filed against the security forces.) The security forces have filed two PILs in the Supreme Court seeking the court’s intervention to allow them to do their duty i.e. defending the country from the internal and external enemies. ( https://devendranarain.com/dont-push-securi…es-into-a-corner/)
The politicians have every right to criticise the Prime Minister and his policies and to highlight the social, economic and political problems of the country. However, when they do so from foreign platforms to win support and sympathy of the foreigners, they are placing their self-interest above the country and demeaning the self-respect of their country.
The readers may argue that criticism of Prime Minister is not a criticism of the country. True, but when the Pprime Ministerial candidate of the second largest party of the country says that the situation in India is as dangerous as in Iraq before the rise of the ISIS, the criticism of the incumbent Prime Minister degenerates into the criticism of the country. When he says that “there is a huge amount of violence against women in India”, he is demeaning the country.
Readers may argue that the attack on BJP and RSS does not amount to attack on India. True, but comparing the RSS with the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organisation that considers the Quran and Sunnah as the “sole reference point for ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community, and the state”, he not only betrays ignorance but also tries to make the non-Islamic worried about India.
The readers may argue that India is not Iraq and no country will ever attack India the way America attacked Iraq. True, India is not Iraq and prima facie, there is no fear of direct military intervention. However, do Rahul Gandhi and his cronies, whether in active politics or working from behind, realise that they are making the country vulnerable to non-military foreign interventions? When the political leadership is called anti-people, the army is neither respected nor allowed to function by powerful sections of the country, a country becomes a hunting ground for foreign intelligence agencies. If politicians continue to present a dismal picture of the country ad nauseam, the Western democratic countries may get suspicious that there is something seriously wrong with the Indian democracy. The self-appointed defenders of democracy in the West, officially as well as unofficial, are ever in search of excuses to give lectures to other countries. The foreign intelligence agencies may try to influence the political process and vital decisions of the country. This has happened in the past and may happen again. Pakistan in particular will become bold if it has sympathisers who are not condemned as terrorists.
This is the real danger today. Ambedkar’s prophetic warning has to be interpreted in the context of what the world is today.
August 24, 2018