Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Secular Sipahis – Tired, Retired and Clueless

Sonia Gandhi’s Secular Sipahi – Tired, Retired and Clueless

Sonia Gandhi's Secular Sipahis! Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat and JD (S) supremo HD Deve Gowda at Nehru International Conference in New Delhi.
Sonia Gandhi’s Secular Sipahis! Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, CPM general secretary Prakash Karat and JD (S) supremo HD Deve Gowda at Nehru International Conference in New Delhi.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi is at it again. She has raked up secular rhetoric once again to revive the fading fortune of the party.
Addressing the Nehru International Conference in New Delhi on November 17, the Congress president said:
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.”
Congress is organising the Nehru International Conference to commemorate India’s first Prime Minister’s 125th Birth Anniversary. The conclave aims at reviving the Nehruvian Socialism and while at it keeping alive Nehruvian Secularism it seems.
On November 13, while addressing the party workers in the national capital on the eve of Jawaharlal Nehru’s Birth Anniversary, the Congress president said:
Bharat ki aatma ki raksha ke liye bahadur secular sipahi bano (Be a brave secular soldier and protect the soul of India.)”
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’. It would also be pertinent to remind the readers that way back in 2006, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh went on to say 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. Esepcially the first term of the UPA under Sonia Gandhi’s leadership saw “Communal Socialism” peak with the Congress-led UPA Government appointing the Rajinder Sachar Committee in 2005 and the Ranganath Mishra Commission in 2004. Set up under the pretext of highlighting the social, economic and educational status of Muslims, both the Commissions ended up underscoring how the “secular” politics of the Congress and its allies over the decades have only hurt the Muslim Community far from helping it.

At a time when Sonia Gandhi has faced a series of setbacks and rumblings within the rank and file of her party have started to surface, Sonia Gandhi has resorted to that last refuge of every desperate politician in India – Secularism.

The Congress it seems  has learnt no lessons from the May 2014 general election drubbing nor from the continued mandate to the Narendra Modi to led BJP in the recent state elections as well. The “Secular Sipahi” coalition she cobbled together earlier today in New Delhi is a commentary as much on the Congress as it is on its leadership. With a “retired” Deve Gowda, a barely relevant Karat and a clueless Rahul Gandhi along side out of sight Mamata Banerjee, Sonia Gandhi’s Congress is desperately the Nehruvian Secularism card in a game whose rules have long been re-written by Narendra Modi.

That the Congress Party had to skip three generations to hark back on Nehru’s Political Legacy to revive its sagging fortunes is a sign of the depths to which it has plumbed this year.
Meanwhile its “Secular Sipahi” are all dressed up to battle long after the war has been lost !

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are the author's personal opinions. Information, facts or opinions shared by the Author do not reflect the views of Niti Central and Niti Central is not responsible or liable for the same. The Author is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.


Saswat Panigrahi

Saswat Panigrahi is Senior Editor (News) at NitiCentral. He is a journalist having a natural interest in observing the political jigsaw with a concern for issues affecting the common man’s life. A swayamsevak in his own right, he is an ardent supporter of cultural nationalism. He has worked with The Pioneer and Zee News.

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