By S.M. Anwar Hussain
Dear Rahul Gandhiji, until a fortnight ago, the secular, the broad-minded, and the peace-loving India — India that believed in “Unity in Diversity“, India that stood for love and respect for each other — for each other’s religious, cultural and lingual diversities, India that stood for the freedom of speech and beliefs, India that always very strongly stood for protecting its sovereignty, was blistering with high hopes, zeal and fervour that under your leadership all the secular and democratic political parties will weave a joint strategy to heave a crushing defeat on the forces that are attacking at its very foundations and compromising on India’s sovereignty both in its internal affairs and external dealings.
You also appeared serious and honest to achieve this cohesion and unity of like-minded political forces. You sacrificed the chief ministerial chair in Karnataka in spite of being the largest single party and numerically much ahead of Janata Dal Secular. It appeared that you have well recognised the real enemy of the country and the people and that you have solid strategy to marginalise such forces in the parliamentary elections. But suddenly what happened that in many of the states Congress appears to have taking the battlefield alone.
In Bengal, we are yet to hear about any alliance. In Orissa also the chances look very bleak. In UP, it is the belligerence of BSP, and perhaps some hidden compulsions of Akhlish Yadav, that Congress is seen alone in its fight against the most corrupt and the real enemy of the integrity of the people. In Delhi, some of the top leaders of the Congress are making open public statements that Congress will have no electoral understand with AAP.
I do agree that Mrs Shiela Dikshit is the Shah Jahan of the modern Delhi. The flyovers, the new multi track roads, the metro- the new look that the modern Delhi has got today is the contributions of Shiela Dikshit ji as its two or three-term chief minister. And also there is no denying to the truth that it was Kejriwal who spearheaded the movement against the so-called “corrupt“ regime of the Manmohan Singh government.
But Sir, look, today, the minorities, weaker sections, and marginalised segments are willing to forget Congress’ failures in countering the vicious propaganda of RSS and its offshoots, and all the injustices meted out to them after the independence in order to save their country from the darkest clouds that ever hovered on its sky. Congress should also forget its past bitterness. Going into election without AAP in Delhi would mean gifting 7 Lok Sabha seats to BJP. Mrs Shiela Dikshit and Ajay Makhan should ignore their ‘hurt ego’ for the time being. It is a truth that Congress is in a resurgent mode under your leadership, but it had yet to gain that public- swaying power that once it had from the time of Nehru to Mrs Gandhi. Further, AAP has also made deep inroads in the poor sector of Delhi’s population. If the Congress tries to ignore it, it would be at its own peril.
In UP the biggest hurdle is the BSP. And that is not surprising or strange. It was always expected. Most of the people who have been watching Mayawati’s political graph and leanings know well that she has always one political goal — either herself or pave the way for BJP. It is the growing annoyance with BJP among the Dalits and revolt against her leadership by many other small Dalit outfits that doesn’t allow her to openly side with BJP. It is also a myth to say that all the Dalit population is behind her.
If the Congress, somehow behind the scene, continues its efforts to develop some strategy and tacit understanding with Akhlish Yadav and fields very strong candidates against BSP, and rope into other small outfits of Dalits and marginalised communities, it may reap some dividends. One cannot ignore the danger of ‘Bahanji’ crossing the floor after the election. BJP can lure her with the chair of deputy Prime Minister or a huge cash as reward. Akhilesh Yadav should not also ignore this factor if he is not under some outside pressure.
In Assam, Tarun Gogoi is against any alliance with AUDF- although he knows the result very well of such stubbornness. The Congress should not forget that AUDF is nothing but an offshoot of Jamiat Ulma e Hind — an organisation which always stood with her shoulder to shoulder from the time of freedom movement till the demolition of Babri Masjid during the regime of Narasimha Rao who actually derailed Congress completely and turned it into a hub of RSS people. People having their loyalty with RSS are still sitting in Congress and you should be aware of them.
Rahulji, you know this election is not an ordinary election. This is the election that will decide whether India will return to its Nehruvian political vision of a secular and democratic India with equal rights and opportunities to every section of Indian community irrespective of their cast or creed, or will plunge into unfathomable darkness and unseen slavery.
This election is not a contest among various political parties. This is an election between evil and good. The evil side is led by the Ravana of this time. All the rakhchhas (demons) of the time are behind the Ravana. And India needs a ‘Ram’ to take a decisive battle against these enemy of the nation.
Secular India, the patriotic India, the nationalist India, the humane and large hearted India is looking towards you like the new Rama – Rama who is hero of all Indians, Rama who is the symbol of goodness, large-heartedness, broad-mindedness, bravery and courage and above all truthfulness and sacrifices. You are also supposed to rise above party interest, show political vision and magnanimity. I remember your speech delivered in front of a mammoth rally recently held in Dubai.
Your speech exhibited the inclusiveness, the vision, the courage and statesmanship that today’s India needs from her leader. The gathering that your two arms Himanshu Vayas and Sam Pitroda had gathered there with their unparalleled social and organising skills was not an ordinary crowd. It was actually whole of India had gathered there to listen to a Congress leader after a long time. The crowd consisted of all types of Indians and it was a reall show of Unity in Diversity. There you must have seen the hopes and expectations in the eyes of representative India that they had pinned with you.
Dear Rahul, all the election weapons used by the BJP have failed — whether it is Pulwama or Air-strike or Surgical strike. BJP stands fully exposed. ‘Deshbhakts‘ have without doubt outnumbered the ‘Andhbhakts’. What is needed is that you enthuse them and inflame their passion to defeat the forces of hate and darkness by just demonstrating that you in person are above any sectarian interest and petty party politics.
Today’s India doesn’t need a Chanakya or Manusmiriti but a leader that has the attributes of Shri Ramchandra ji and the vision, the boldness, swiftness and the large-heartedness that the New Zealand ‘s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had demonstrated after the tragedy in Christchurch. She lost no time and came forward and tackled everything so magnanimously that it appeared that she has absorbed all pain, grief, sorrow, and anger in her chest and within no time the whole New Zealand looked standing one and united.
In India, how many Christchurch have taken place since independence is difficult even to remember and count. But we cannot present one example of a leader that can match that sagacity And humanitarian vision of a lady Prime Minister of New Zealand.
India needs a Jacinda Ardern and we hope you will prove to be one if India has to usher into an era of light ، justice, real development and freedom from all ills spread by RSS and those like-minded.
The author is the former president of AMU Students’Union.