By Dr. Javed Jamil,
Rahul Gandhi’s address to a bunch of industrialists is very much at the centre of debate in the national media. As expected, the media, which is bent upon projecting Narendra Modi as the next Prime Minister of the country, is making every possible effort to pain the address in unwanted colours. They don’t want the young leader to have a march ahead of Modi for obvious reasons. Modi has astutely earned the support of the combination of certain but influential section of corporate world and their supporters in the media. So, from a heir who is “reluctant” to talk politics, now the media is busy presenting Rahul as one who does not know what the country requires. For them “country” means certain corporates. If he had spoken what the corporate world wished, he would of course have become the darling of the media by now. But to their disappointment, Gandhi seems interested in the business that benefits the masses and not that benefits certain corporate bosses. He seems to be interested in equal and simultaneous distribution of the benefits of growth among the masses – that was what he meant by his “beehive” analogy, but the bosses of business are only interested in the “trickling effect”, which means that if they become richer and richer, its trickling effect will also ultimately reach the masses.
I had a chance to meet Mr Rahul Gandhi and hold a pretty long discussion with him when I presented a copy of my approach paper, “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Roadmap” to him about 6 months back. I have met many big politicians in the past, most of whom are nothing but self seekers little interested in understanding the woes of the masses. Before meeting, I was not very hopeful of developing a positive image about him because my opinion about him was obviously formed on the basis of what I heard or read in the media. But I have no hesitation to say that my encounter with him was truly refreshing. There was a man in front of him who was frank and candid, to the core of his heart, who was not trying to impose himself, but was keen to understand what I was explaining to him. I made a point to point presentation to him on how the country’s policies have become “coprporate-friendly” and why it is necessary now to shift to a “peoples friendly” approach. I explained why there was a need to differentiate between “support for business”, which is paramount for the growth of the country and “support of businessmen”, which is responsible for the rise of economic disparity. I explained to him how Muslims should be encouraged to play a meaningful role at the national level, and if that has to happen what should be the roadmap for the socioeconomic empowerment of Muslims in Secular India. He listened carefully to every point I made, put queries, and at the end of the meeting, seemed determined to help Muslims in coming out of their backwardness.
I am happy to see that his rise since then in the national politics has strengthened my belief that he is slowly but surely emerging into a different kind of politician who thinks about the masses and not the lobbies. When he talks of “Inclusive growth:, it is not just a slogan but he really means it.
We are living in a world which boasts of democracy but the democracy has in truth turned out to be “corporatocracy”, a government of the corporate, run by the agents of the corporate and for the corporate. The Economic Disparity is on the rise. Yet, there is no mention in the Economic Surveys or Budgets about the level of economic disparity – general, urban-rural, state to state and community to community. If growth has to be inclusive “Economic Disparity” must be accepted as the most important indicator of the inclusiveness. But who cares?
Modi is busy in keeping his flock together – some industrialists who want to now reap benefits not just in Gujarat but the whole country and the forces of Hindutva for whom 20 crore Muslims do not even exist in India. By taking corporates on his side, he has ensured the support of the media. If Rahul Gandhi and his folks in Congress have to ensure a defeat of a communal snake like him, they will have to break his support base. And the best way to do it would to be to embark upon “peoples’ friendly approach” in an aggressive and relentless manner. This alone will ensure that India remained united, and its growth reaches every corner of the country. If they want to earn the support of Muslims, it would be better for them not to try to win it by merely showing to them how big a Satan Modi is, which they already know. They will have to prove to them, and to all the deprived sections of the country, that the new leadership of the party really means business and they would do everything which is required for enthusing Muslims to become meaningful participants in the country’s affairs without threats and biases.
Dr. Javed Jamil is an independent thinker. He can be contacted at 8130340339 or firstname.lastname@example.org