Friday, January 27th, 2023 03:13:11


Updated: January 16, 2023 8:10 am

S ycophancy and Hypocrisy reign supreme in politics. It would not be wrong to say that these traits are some of the great contributions made by the country’s oldest political party, the Congress, to the politics in India. One such a great instance took place in 1974 when the then Congress President, Dev Kant Barua, went to declare that “Indira is India and India is Indira”. It looks, Mrs. Indira Gandhi took his words literally and very seriously. In 1975 she imposed a state of Emergency in the country. About 18 months later in 1977, the monolith of Mrs. Gandhi’s arrogance and the myth of Congress and its leadership’s invincibility in elections was smashed to pieces, first, in elections to Parliament and, later, to many States which soon followed. Mrs. Gandhi herself and her Congress were defeated for the first time. India defeated Indira. The strength and wisdom of the people and their democracy proved decisively that Indira was not India when they threw her out of power.  The country continues to live without her, even after her death in 1984. India did not die with her and continues to live without her today and will live forever.

India enjoys the freedom of faith and expression. A stone lying on a road may be a pebble worth a kick of his foot for one person but the same may be a god incarnate for the other. No one can sit on judgement on their diverse beliefs.  Both are right in their own faith.

The same is true of the latest example of the UP Congress leader and former union minister Salman Khurshid who likened Rahul Gandhi to “Lord Ram”. He has the right to his opinion and belief. At the same time, he has no right to impose his opinion and belief on others. Others, too, have their inalienable right to agree or disagree with his opinion and belief.

How poor Khurshid’s knowledge of Lord Ram and Ramayana is proved when he says that Lord Ram’s brother Bharat “takes the ‘Khadau’ (sandals made of wood) and goes to places”! He doesn’t know that Bharat went to Lord Ram to request him to come back and occupy the Ayodhya throne as their father Dashrath had died after He went to the jungles. But Lord Ram refused to accede to his prayers saying he will obey his late father’s directions. At this Bharat sought Lord Ram’s ‘khadaus’ saying that he himself too would lead the life of a sanyasi as Lord Ram was doing and will place his khadaus on the throne as a symbol of his authority”. Lord Ram returned to Ayodhya after completing 14 years of exile in jungles and was crowned the King of Ayodhya. It is wrong on Khurshid’s part to say that “Lord Ram’s ‘khadau’ is not able to reach places, his brother Bharat takes the ‘khadau and goes to places.”

Further, he places himself in the role of Bharat saying “Like that. We have carried the ‘khadau’ in Uttar Pradesh. Now that ‘khadau’ has reached Uttar Pradesh. Ramji will also come”. His ‘Ramji’ can certainly come as any Indian citizen can, but cannot occupy the throne to rule over UP. This can neither be done by Khurshid nor by Congress, but only by the people of UP. In the 2019 elections, the people of UP (Amethi) had shown the door to Khurshid’s ‘Ram’ and he had to take shelter on the shores of Kerala to survive politically.

How childish is all this! Lord Ram did not follow his ‘khadau’. He returned only after completing his 14 years in the jungle as ordered by his father. When did the kingdom of Uttar Pradesh belong to Rahul’s father so that he can claim it as his ancestral property? “Like that”, Khurshid continues, “we have carried the ‘khadau’ in (meaning to) Uttar Pradesh. Now that ‘khadau’ has reached Uttar Pradesh, Ram ji will also come”.  Khurshid means that Lord Ram was just following his ‘khadau’.

Rahul Gandhi has already spent more than 100 days in his yatra and claims that he has traversed more than eight States. Why does Salman not claim that Rahul has already conquered these States through which his yatra has already passed? Moreover, the ill-informed Khurshid doesn’t know that in the Treta Yug of Lord Ram kings performed Ashwamedha Yagya which meant that the states or rajya through which the sacred horse of the Yagya passed and the raja worshipped it meant that he accepted the suzerainty of the King who performed the Ashwamedha Yagya. But here not the horse of Ashwamedh yagya of the real Lord Ram but of Khurshid’s “Ram” of the present-day Kaliyug who had to do without success what Lord Ram’s horse did accomplish for him with people’s love and support.

Treta yug’s Lord Ram won the hand of Sitaji in a swayamber after a display of his rare warfare prowess which many other rajas present failed to perform. But Khurshid’s Ram is roaming in search of political power and not a consort which makes a person perfect.

Lord Ram’s family lineage is as clear as unclear is Khurshid’s Ram’s. Rahul claims himself to be a janeudhari Hindu Kaul Brahmin with Datattrey as his gotra. These peculiarities flow from one’s father and mother. How did he inherit these roots is not known. His grandmother and his father are not reported to have made such claims.  His ‘Ram’ is incomplete without Devi Sita and ideal brothers Lakshman, Bharat, and Shatrughan as also the ideal mothers.

It is also relevant here to recall an incident.  Long ago, it is said that a man lost his five-rupee coin in the mud on a road. He started his search by invoking the help of a religious icon saying that if he gets back his coin, he will offer ₹ 1 at his temple. Seeing this, a passer-by who knew him, asked him, why are you invoking some other’s god, when you do not belong to this religion? Smilingly, he replied: Do you want me to put my god in this mud for ₹5?

How do we react to this anecdote in the present context?                                                                                                       ***

The writer is a political analyst and commentator. The views are personal.



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