Monday, 24 February 2020

Sonia And Her Sepoys

Updated: December 13, 2014 8:15 am

The Family still continues, to squeeze out as much as possible from the legacy of Jawaharlal Nehru to somehow be in power and if not at least have relevance in Indian policy. It was Nehru’s 125th Birthday Anniversary and what better opportunity the Gandhis could get to raise the cry of Nehruvian legacy (stress largely on his interpretation—or misinterpretation)—be in danger of Modified policies. In a desperate state and not seeing any light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, she reverted to the old ploy of the opposition parties getting together, unite and jointly fight the common enemy. In her frustration she has forgotten that the attempts at unity since late 80s have invariably failed.

Her advisers possibly believe in try and try again and some day success will come. This time all the opposition leaders were in reality invited with the secular rhetoric to revive the fading fortune of the party but on the pretext of participating in the Nehru International Conference in New Delhi on November 17. Sonia Gandhi blew the bugle warning that secularism, a legacy of Nehru (how funny), was in danger. “There can be no India without secularism… secularism was and remains more than an ideal. It is a compelling necessity for a country as diverse as India.” Her refrain, save secularism, means save India from Modi, is her latest salvo. “Bharat ki aatma ki raksha ke liye bahadur secular sipahi bano (Be a brave secular soldier and protect the soul of India.),” she told party workers at a meeting to celebrate Nehru’s 125th Birth Anniversary. The fact is that for Sonia Gandhi and her Congress, secularism starts with and ends at vote bank politics. Not to forget that in the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the Congress president had met Syed Ahmed Bukhari—the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid—and made a special appeal to Muslims to vote in a way to prevent split of ‘secular votes’.

In 2006, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that Muslims have first claim on country’s resources.

The Congress’ politics and communalism have always gone hand in hand and history is witness to it.

Her efforts to stir up fear for secularism has so far ended only in polarisation and more determination among Hindu voters to elect BJP nominees. But she should not be faulted. The cracks in the community relations appeared decades ago, as Nehru’s interpretation of being secular started to have its effects. An insider said that Sonia somehow upset Mamata Bannerjee who too had flown in for the save—Nehru-legacy jamboree. What was the reason for her pique could not be known.

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