Rahul Gandhi’s return to Congress presidency is necessary to bolster the opposition camp
After a massive 'Bharat Bachao Rally' in the national capital held on Saturday, it has been underlined once again that the significance of being Rahul Gandhi is understood by the BJP more than any other party, including the Congress. The high-octane rebuttal of Rahul's very forceful statement "My name is not Rahul Savarkar, my name is Rahul Gandhi" by BJP is a clear indication of jitters that the Narendra Modi led ruling dispensation is facing because of the irrefutable facts that Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and Priyanka raised in their speeches in a packed Ramlila Maidan.
Why otherwise would the BJP emphatically try to hype the Savarkar versus Gandhi debate through a section of friendly media? Why would the ruling crew choose not to answer any of the relevant questions raised by the various speakers in the Congress rally? Why rather than addressing the catechism of the entire country for more than three years now, Modi-brigade prefers to redirect the agitation to Savarkar? It is because BJP and its Union government are clueless on issues of a ruined economy, an unprecedented rate of unemployment, horrible situation of women safety and failure of governance on all fronts.
This is not the first time that BJP has used its diversionary tactics. Prime Minister Modi is known for covering his inability to resolve contentious issues by diverting the attention of people to some useless build-up. None of the crucial issues raised by opposition parties in the past five years found any answer from the government quarters. No other government has been so insensitive in responding to basic apprehensions in the public mind.
After the results of 2014 general elections, most of the international media had expressed fears that India was entering its most sinister phase since independence. Those who had monitored Modi's words and deeds noted their consistency and feared that Hindu supremacism could deliver a mortal blow to India's already enfeebled democratic institutions and pluralist traditions. The fears have been proven right today. On top of it, India is passing through the worst economic slowdown in its independent history with little hope for the future.
At a time when Narendra Modi is losing his shine, it is natural that he is gravely concerned about the possibility of Rahul Gandhi's comeback as Congress president. To drag Rahul in Savarkar controversy is a part of this design. To confine his actions using the 'rape in India' controversy was a part of this design. It is not a hidden fact that Congress workers across the nation want Rahul back as their party president when the interim status of Sonia's presidency ends.
BJP and RSS have both learned from the experience of Rahul Gandhi campaigning during the 2019 general elections as to how consistent he is in dealing with fundamentals of Indian society, how well-meaning he is in fighting against injustice and how enduring he can be when he has to take on difficult challenges. 'MoSha' squad has learnt from experience that by using the right people for the job, by nurturing second-rung leadership in the states and with the benefit of wider consultation within his party, Rahul would prove carcinogenic to the BJP-RSS den.
When Rahul thundered in 'Bharat Bachao Rally' that he would prefer to lay his life than to say sorry, it created an electrifying wave among the Congress workers. He told the crowd, "I will never seek an apology for telling the truth. Rather, it is Narendra Modi, who has to seek an apology. Narendra Modi has to apologise to the country. His assistant Amit Shah owes an apology to this country". He continued, "Earlier, the power of this country, the real soul of this country was in its economy. That economy is non-existent today. The whole world today is asking us, what is happening in India? India, with different religions, different castes, diverse ideologies, has been progressing at a 9 per cent growth rate of GDP. The future of the global economy was slated to be centred around China and India. Now, onions are being sold at 200 rupees per kg.
Sonia Gandhi also raised several pertinent questions in her speech. She inquired about the black money that was supposed to come back into the country as a result of demonetisation. She asked about the money that was snatched from the Reserve Bank of India and why and to whom our public sector companies are being sold? Finally, she asked as to why people's money is not safe with the banks? But rather than answering these questions, the Modi-government is pressuring media outfits to stage-manage the debates and reframe them to centre on the feasibility of Rahul's return to the top job in his party.
Unfortunately, we have a leader in Narendra Modi who refuses to grow absolutely and chronologically even after his more than five years of unstoppable prime ministership. In his efforts to kill the Opposition, he is causing serious damage to the basic democratic values of the nation.
I am personally in favour of Rahul Gandhi's return. I have been writing of his return ever since he left the presidency. I am of the opinion that you go away so that you can come back. You come back having seen the place you came from with new eyes. Coming back is the thing that enables you to see how all the dots in your life are connected, how one decision leads you to another. Therefore, this is the time when Rahul should come back. With his return, Congress would return as well. Those who think otherwise are the implementers of hidden designs created in MoSha Industries.
Pankaj Sharma is Editor and CEO of News Views India and a national office bearer of the Congress party. Views expressed are strictly personal