Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Imagine Rahul Gandhi in up jail ... and writing another Discovery of India!!!!!!!!!

Congress president, Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi do not cease to excite the political discourse. The latest of this was her speech in the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee meet at Kanpur this week. Sonia exhorted her partymen in the State to be prepared to go to jail. And that if they were prepared to spend time in jail, she would send Rahul Gandhi too to do that!

Now, it is not as if that the Congress party men in Uttar Pradesh have not been to jail. I can list out a few of them who were in jail, for extended periods of time. Hari Shankar Tiwari was one of them. He was in jail, at various points of time. He is now in the Bahujan Samaj Party. Sanjay Singh, another important leader of the Congress party, hails from Amethi, Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency, was in jail for a while. And Pramod Tiwari, the Congress Legislature Party leader in Uttar Pradesh was in jail for short terms. The list can be long but that is not the point.

The point is that these illustrious men were in jail or in a police lock-up because they were held, at different points of time, on charges including murder, kidnapping and other such criminal acts. And in this sense, they were put in jail for reasons that had nothing to do with taking up the people’s cause. And since Sonia did not object to the presence of Sanjay Singh and his likes in the UPCC meet, I am constrained against presuming that she did not mind her partymen going to jail, even if it was for similar reasons.

The Congress, after all, has promoted and rewarded such men with criminal records in Uttar Pradesh as well as in many other parts of the country. Recall the Pandey brothers, who had hijacked an Indian Airlines plane to Lahore (in 1977-78) demanding that Sanjay Gandhi be freed from the Tihar jail. Sanjay was then held in jail for charges of tampering with evidence in the kissa kursi kha case and the detention was on orders by the Supreme Court. One of the Pandeys became an MLA and was made a Minister in Uttar Pradesh.

Then we have Jagdish Tytler, H.K.L.Bhagat and Sajjan Kumar, whose claim to political importance was derived out of their role in the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi in November 1984. Tytler and Bhagat were Ministers for long years in the Union Cabinet. There was one Kali Pandey, from Bihar, who was as much a mafia don and a Congress MP for a long time. We have had a Bansi Lal, holding important positions in the Union Cabinet because he was useful for the Congress in dealing with anyone who opposed the party even if it meant resorting to illegal methods and killing.

We know of Mani Subba, a Congress MP from Assam, whose links with the underworld in many parts of the country was established in the various courts and held guilty of murder remaining in the Congress party. Or a Santosh Mohan Deb, whose strong arm methods were useful to the Congress in Tripura against the CPI(M) in the State. It is possible to go on and on with such examples of Congress leaders who should have been in jail and who were in jail. And it is also a fact that this tendency is not restricted to the Congress alone.

Sonia Gandhi’s call to her partymen to be prepared to go to jail and that Rahul Gandhi too will join them in that act is indeed jarring in this context. One of the reasons for it is that the Congressmen in Uttar Pradesh are not the types who will agree to go to jail; not because they are so much of law abiding citizens but because they are all far too sophisticated to be doing what the Pandey brothers, Hari Shankar Tiwari and Mani Subba did. They are not the kinds who know how to handle a gun, organize kidnappings and murder!

The new-generation Congress leaders from Uttar Pradesh, like Rahul Gandhi were born into rich families and these sons of the old Congress leaders were used to a life of comfort and plenty because their parents had made a lot of money by being in the Congress for long years. Hence they went to schools where the fees were high and colleges where politics was detested and in the process they are not used to the life of a grass-roots political activist. They detest sweating it out and are also unfamiliar with the ways of dealing with the rough and tumble of politics.

Sonia too belongs to this type and so does Rahul Gandhi. He may plan a night-out in a remote village with a poor family but that is not the same as spending days and nights on end in solitary prisons. Rahul Gandhi’s great grand father Jawaharlal Nehru managed to do that and wrote the Discovery of India from jail. Rahul Gandhi would do well to rather sit at home and try reading the book for sometime now. He will be assured of the right to stay at 10 Janpath because the nation still believes that he should be provided with a residence.

And if he reads the book and manages to make sense of what is written in that, he will also realize that his mother’s call and his own antics will not do to revive the Congress party. He will realize that the Congress lacks the vision to revive itself and that a clarion call to go to jail is easier said than carried out. A tall order, indeed, for someone like Rahul Gandhi whose admission into one of the Delhi University colleges was managed by fraudulent means. Rahul Gandhi secured admission for his graduate programme after the College management agreed to consider rifle shooting as a sport (which was not considered that way until then).

The point is that the Congress in Uttar Pradesh is decimated beyond repair and neither will the partymen be prepared to agitate and go to jail nor will such things work to help it revive. Sonia may be innocent of all this because she is innocent of a whole lot of other things in politics. I am, however, amazed that the media takes all these of Sonia's utterences seriously.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Krishnamurthy said...

Like one of my colleagues said, if Rahul Gandhi goes to jail he might come out with a report on the bad conditions of Indian Jails and fellow prisoners will be mighty happy with the good food they will get during his stay.

Even if they jail stay doesn't help him. It will serve India in some way. Sonia was probably right!

Yogi Adityanath the infamous MP from Gorakhpur (Harvard educated and all)once asked "does Rahul Gandhi know the number of districts in UP?"

Yogi Adityanath remains a desi despite Harvard and that makes him a better politician that Rahul.

3:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did not realise that rahul going to jail will do some good to someone somewhere. ha ha ha. on a serious note, the issue was not about rahul being a desi or not... or yogi adityanath's virtues.
thanks for letting me know that adityanath went to harvard. and let me point out that going to harvard is not the same as being educated. Maxim Gorky did not go to any university but was educated more than most people who did. and i wonder what adityanath did in harvard... certainly did not educate himself....

6:12 AM  
Anonymous KRishnamurthy said...

Yogi Adityanath did not go to Harvard. Sorry, that was some other goon.

4:59 AM  

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