Congress Mukt Bharat or Gandhi Mukt Bharat: A dilemma

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The disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from his Membership of the Parliament of India raises concern about the greater ramifications of the Bharatiya Janata Party in India’s national politics. From the beginning, the Sangh Parivar has been more sceptical towards the massive expansion of the Indian National Congress through the Gandhi family which probably started from Nehru, the then Prime Minister of independent India. Given the family-led politics, not only Congress Party but almost all the political parties have the zeal to penetrate the family inside the politics, maybe directly or indirectly. The issue of Rahul’s disqualification has more to do with politics rather than Constitutional principles; moreover, such disqualification has not only dragged down the faith in an elected representative but rather paralysed the legal protection for a sitting MP or MLA.

Is a Congress Party Necessary?

We need a Congress Party to protect the real idea of India which was and is still based on tolerance and acceptance. The Congress Party has never betrayed communities and groups for a political goal. For BJP, Congress is not a Party for the protection of Hindus due to the past developments during the protests for Ram Temple in Ayodhya. But, in general, the Ram Temple remained the foundation of BJP’s electoral politics and finally achieved the goal. For Indians, at least for the youths of the 21st century, Ram Temple might not provide employment, good education, better healthcare, and a conducive economy for the poor. Congress Party was the foundation of Modern India through the creation of IITs, IIMs, multi-speciality hospitals and Universities. It is the choice of Indians whether they would stand for IITs or temples.

BJP, as common citizens are unaware of the fact, has been playing with the public’s sentiments by pushing them inside the history of India and making people angry about the invasion of foreigners and religious atrocities. It is a systematic effort of the BJP to revive the pain inside every Hindu or majority community of India through social media, interviews, movies and the election manifesto. Technically, Hindus were never taught to take revenge; therefore, the BJP wants an act of revenge through Hindutva. Apart from that, the concept of secularism has been altered with strong resentment by the people of Sangh Parivar; moreover, since 2014, India’s most lucrative constitutional principle, secularism, has been in danger due to extremism and anti-Muslim sentiments. Moreover, the different amendments and acts, especially regarding citizenship, such as CAA and NRC, have somehow disturbed the nation’s secular fabric.

Indian National Congress, unlike the BJP, has a constitutional tendency to follow the rule of law rather than the rule of the government. Almost all the constitutional institutions are being used to suppress the voices of the opposition; furthermore, the investigating agencies are used to degrade the reputation of sitting political representatives. But, we must not forget the historic judgement of Allahabad High Court which pushed the then Prime Minister of India, Mrs Indira Gandhi, out of office. No High Courts have the courage, even the Supreme Court, to pass a judgement against the ruling government. We need a Congress Party to protect the Constitution of India and its institutions.

How Does Surname Pollute Personality?

As Rahul Gandhi has a blood affiliation with the Congress family, those who were in the realm of the Indian political landscape for years seem to have no role in the manipulation of electoral politics. Even Mrs Indira Gandhi had never interpreted her political position through her father; she maintained an independent political personality throughout her career. So, mere family affiliation only gives a surplus to the calibre of the concerned candidate. The most obvious allegation against Congress Party has recently been sorted out by electing a non-Gandhian leader as the President of INC; but, somehow, the operating key is under the hand of the Gandhi Family. Apart from that, veteran Congress leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal have left the party by fingering out the dictatorship of Gandhis despite having the huge role of intellectuals and senior members. A much more deliberate and consensual Congress Party needs to be formed to counter the loss of intellectuals from the party.

We should never confuse the Congress party with the Gandhi family. A Britisher built up the former to initiate a platform for organised demands and presentations which later converted into a political party. The Gandhi Family, with no affiliation to MK Gandhi, was started by Mrs Indira Gandhi due to her marriage to Feroze Gandhi, an Indian freedom fighter. Making allegations against Gandhis, due to their surname, has no logical basis; however, it is imperative to narrate the wrongdoings of Gandhis which dragged down their images and made the Congress Party a political habitat for Gandhis. Mr Nehru’s reluctance towards military development and excessive ideational foreign policy diverted the genuine progression of India and eventually squeezed after a bloody war with the People’s Republic of China in 1962.

His daughter, Mrs Gandhi overtook the verdict of the Allahabad High Court and imposed an emergency without any constitutional mandate. Like his mother, Mr Rajiv Gandhi altered the historic Shah Bano Case in 1985 and broadcasted the Ramayana serial to appease the Hindu community. After years, now Mr Rahul Gandhi, the son of Mr Rajiv Gandhi, was sentenced to disqualification for his abusive words about the Modi surname. Apart from making legal and judicial interpretations, a veteran Congress leader and an aspiring candidate for Prime Minister’s Office should not have used such cheap words against the Prime Minister of India. Prime Minister of India, despite ideological antagonism and differences, is the Prime Minister of the entire India; even, he is the same as Rahul Gandhi as equal to a common person. In the name of free speech, nobody has the right to abuse the image of the Prime Minister of India; therefore, the disqualification shows not only a perfect revenge for BJP rather a lesson for the people’s representatives to use the words consciously.    

Why did they select Rahul for disqualification?

There might have been a selective agenda to subjugate the Congress Party from an electoral perspective as the 2024 general election is at the door. But, apart from Mr Rahul Gandhi, different political personalities have been targeting Modi through their abusive words. In the light of the recent event, these peoples are equally applicable for judicial examination. From a realistic perspective, the Congress Party leads the entire opposition of the country and has the huge support of different political parties. As a Catch-all-party, Congress tends to accept the parties that do not accept BJP; therefore, the entire Indian Politics has been converted into a Cold War-like situation, without the space for non-alignment.

The disqualification of Mr Gandhi was done through a smooth judicial order; Unlike his grandmother, Mr Gandhi accepted the disqualification without any approach towards available quagmires where he could have altered the order. Another justification would be to break down the ecology of opposition, especially from national politics. It seems to be like “catching a big fish” for the BJP through a demonstrative judicial drive. Despite such narration, India’s opposition would only be imaginable with the Congress Party, especially after the 2014 general election. By pushing Rahul Gandhi outside the track, the whole ambition of the 2024 general election might be under a stable assumption for BJP.   

A Road Ahead

The Congress Party might approach the top court for legal relief for Mr Rahul Gandhi, but the driving idea behind the Gandhi family must be stopped. Instead of occupying the managerial position and decision-making sphere, the Gandhi family should closely observe the newness of Indian politics without grappling with the long electoral history of their family members. For an invisible electoral strategy, the Congress Party needs to revive its party discipline with a genuine space for intellectuals. The future goal of the Congress Party can only be achieved through the engagement of educated and bright political leaders; therefore, it seems imperative to break down the Gandhi culture of the Congress Party. Congress Party must not be diluted with those Gandhis. We have a series of aspirations from the Indian National Congress, despite the overwhelming victory of the BJP. From the side of the BJP, it’s certainly a nightmare to establish a Congress-Mukt Bharat, but yes, there would be a chance for Gandhi-Mukt Bharat. I do not doubt that!

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