Congress' trajectory of subversion
Modi's triumph will eradicate this mentality of subversion which was allowed to go unchecked for decades under Congress
The idea of the motherland is a sacred notion for a majority of Indians. Indians are patriotic people, passionate about the security and safety of their motherland. They wish her to be great; expect her to be protected, to be strengthened and to see her leaders work hard to make her self-reliant, self-sufficient and sturdy. What has caught the imagination of people in the last five years is Narendra Modi's unrelenting action in trying to achieve exactly that. As Arun Jaitley, one of those who has closely seen him since the early days recently argued that "Prime Minister Narendra Modi has demonstrated during the last five years his indefatigability towards making of New India, a power to reckon with. Many India observers across the world have marvelled with India's pace of decision making and implementation."
Modi's mantra of making India great has once again caught the mass imagination. On Modi's part, there has been no slackening of pace in his commitment and in the delivery of his promises. These promises were made across the spectrum from ameliorating and transforming lives at the grassroots to establishing India as a global power confident that she shall play a leading role in directing the agendas of the 21st century.
The latest evidence of Modi's cohesive and organised action to establish India on the world stage was evident when India succeeded in eliciting worldwide condemnation for Pakistan's complicity in carrying out terror attacks on India. India also elicited support in the UN to blacklist and sanction terrorist Masood Azhar. In solidarity with India, the international community felt deeply disappointed at the fact that China once again blocked the move.
The results of the friendships that Modi had globally forged in the last five years, the unprecedented outreach that he had initiated as part of India's foreign policy – his trips abroad– and his creative, as well as tenacious, diplomacy has been most visible since the Pulwama terror attack. While Congress president Rahul Gandhi rejoices at China's success in blocking Masood Azhar's listing, and his minions see and interpret it as a snub to Modi, the people at large stand disappointed by the Chinese hold and continue to further close their ranks in solidarity with Modi, who they see as being uncompromising on terror, and bullish, dogged and unrelenting when it comes to India's national security.
The "original sin" of gifting away – bartering away India's strategic advantages to China – was that of Nehru's; in the last few days, that debate has been conclusively settled against Congress, especially its ruling dynasty. As BJP president Amit Shah points out in a scathing column, both the refusal to take up India's seat in the UNSC and the referring of the Kashmir issue to the UN, were the original sins of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, sins which continue to prove costly to India.
The tears shed at the Batla House encounter to eliminate terrorists, the push for inaction after 26/11 when Sonia Gandhi called the shots – Rahul Gandhi was tangoing in his Delhi farmhouse just after terrorists had carried out the massacre in Mumbai – the support to urban Naxals who set the agenda and create narratives for separatists and extortionists including plotting to assassinate Modi, the support for the "tukde tukde" network across India especially in select universities, the repeated attempts to stall an upgrade of India's defence forces, the repeated questioning of any action that India has taken, in the last five years in response to terrorism, the habit of referring to Jaish terrorists in respectful terms, indicates that Congress under Sonia and Rahul Gandhi has dumped whatever little it possessed of its nationalist orientation and temperament.
For Congress, the last two decades or so has been a trajectory towards subversion. A decade in power saw Congress turn India into a passive absorber of terrorism, it saw the ludicrous formulation by the then Congress Prime Minister that Pakistan too was a victim of terror and therefore had India's sympathies. It saw India function as an appendage, a soft state with an unimaginative, halting and hesitant approach when it came to defending herself against aggression.
The defanging of India's national security was one of the most comprehensive contribution of the Congress mindset, apart from the debilitating insistence that India could only survive as an oligarchy of dynasties, that every national institution had to be compromised, that nepotism was normal and accepted public-behavioural trait, and that Indian democracy lives to serve the 'Dynasty.'
The decade before Modi's advent on the national scene was one long lightless phase in which such attempts were made, and often succeeded. A fall back to the mindset which defined that phase will only push back our collective march and weaken our collective will to see a new India. Modi continues to restore faith, continues to plug the leaks, to heal the cores, to erect new edifices for which he is attacked and abused. His triumph will prove the death of this mentality of subversion that has been allowed to go unchecked for decades.
The social and political formations that stand against this emotion and conviction for the national good and have worked to dilute or weaken these have never succeeded in striking deep roots in India's political soil. Congress, because of its enunciation of anti-Indianness, is now getting increasingly deracinated while the communist parties, who have been at forefront of trying to weaken the nationalist psyche of the Indian masses, continue to wither away. Each has found in the other the support in this destructive game.
Congress resorts to politics of confusion while the shrinking communist parties, in the name of the proletariat, continue to peddle their false line of an India that is in perpetual conflict and clash, in which exploitation and communalism dominate. So thick is the partnership that the CPI(M) general secretary has given up all pretensions of being a Marxist ideologue and has degenerated into a loyal spokesperson of the Congress party. This degradation has consumed the habit of debate, of ideological adherence, and of cadre discipline and commitment in the party.
Neither party has a leader nor a leadership which has a vision of India's future. Can they ever hope to succeed in their negative anti-Modi alliance? They have no acceptance among people, they have no capacity to read new India's mind and the summer of 2019 will only reinforce their irrelevance.
(The author is Director, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi. The views expressed are strictly personal)