Sunday, January 2, 2011

Playin' Awry in Burari

Reproducing from The Morung Express (Ref.)

It was a similar scene in December 2006. Wounds of a recently lost Bihar, slippery slopes of Uttar Pradesh, coalition pressures and assembly elections in five states were knocking at the door. It was 82nd Congress Plenary session at Balayogi Stadium in Hyderabad.
And a confused Congress mid-level leadership was hoping high on Rahul Gandhi to appear in the amphitheater, much as a messiah in a troubled battleground.

Reality followed. Congress failed to turn Uttar Pradesh around. It could manage well in Assam though. And the best influence it could ever have on Lok Sabha electorate since a visible past – taste of the untested. Congress grey haired clique showed a great sense of timing in lunching Rahul Gandhi in the field, against a melancholic BJP and bewildered Left camp. He was padded with the life-time blunder of L.K Advani, the opposition PM candidate, who was too close to being a spent force in public perception.

A badly lost Bihar cajoled Congress in to Hyderabad plenary to strategize back. The worst ever defeat in Bihar pushed Congress again on to the ridge of Burari. It is a different debate whether the strategies would work every time. All the more because the party has already exposed its weak trump. And because Congress has never been entangled in such mammoth financial scams, since Bofors, as it is now. Also because the party has never been so invective within, since the days of Indira.

But what appeared to be drowning the entire spectrum of Congress coteries in the gulch of ad-homonyms are the recent shocking WikiLeak revelations on Congress and specially Rahul Gandhi. The burn is far worse than the Mitrokhin Archives, undoubtedly far deeper than Radia tapes. Because this is what a common man understands.

A confidential note by David Mulford, the then US ambassador to India, charges Congress of playing religious politics post 26/11. He wrote “The Congress Party, after first distancing itself from the comments (of Antulay, the then minority affairs minister), two days later issued a contradictory statement which implicitly endorsed the conspiracy. During this time, Antulay's completely unsubstantiated claims gained support in Indian-Muslim community”.

And then bolted from the blue. Rahul, when queried about the Lashkar-e-Taiyaba’s terror activities, replied to Timothy Roemer, the US ambassador to India, that ‘Hindu terror’ is a greater threat than L-e-T. This gave opposition BJP a long-searched whetstone to sharpen their knives while leaves Congress party fumbling. Some even termed the leak as BJP’s conspiracy. A lot needed to be done to quarantine the disease from spreading. A lot needed to suppress, explain and justify.

Rahul did not deny the charges. He failed to issue any clarification on his own too. 83rd plenary session of Congress at Burari, therefore, came at the time when the party had too much to mend on his behalf. He is a heavy burden indeed. Their probable Prime Ministerial candidate of tomorrow appears more like the ‘callow youth of forties’ in citizens’ eyes. Their ‘impeccably honest’ Prime Minister is not discerned to be the same anymore by the nation. Their ministers have mutated into a flock of backbiters. Their ‘go-alone’ idea in Bihar got splintered into the Ganges. Their foundation in Bengal is too loose to be shaken by its own ally. Their reputation is plunged into the fiercest ever corruption cases in India’s history. But Congress shelved off all its plans to introspect within and instead, was compelled to call for a war room to fix the mess committed by Rahul. The only refined product drawn from the Burari plenary session is a vague position on terrorism – any form of fundamentalism, irrespective of faith quarters, is equally condemnable. Well, neither this is what Rahul blabbered to Timothy, nor every fundamentalism can be attributed to a threat of terrorism.

The 125 years old party spent crores to set up the massive tent city in Burari. Nation as well as those with whatsoever faith remnant in Congress had huge expectations from Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram, Pranab Mukherjee and Ramesh to take clear stands on issues of national concerns; from Sonia Gandhi on revitalization package for party in northern and central India where it is losing grip day by day. But alas! The giant meet squandered with fussy froths and boorish bleats. It was playin’ awry, not a plenary.

No comments:

Post a Comment