The Congress seems to have relapsed into one of those phases it periodically suffers from – that of denigrating institutions and concocting scenarios to not only mislead people but generate a false discourse. When the people of Chennai and Tamil Nadu faced some of the worst floods in a century, all that the Congress’s top leadership did was to remind the entire nation of their pedigree and whose daughter-in-laws and grandsons they were.
When people of Chennai were struggling to keep afloat and Prime Minister Modi extended a swift hand of succor and solidarity in coordination with the state govt, and when organisations like the RSS asked their workers to fan out in thousand launching relief measures – all that the Congress leadership did was to stall Parliament because their president and vice president were served a court summons. In fact in a false show of solidarity with the people of Tamil Nadu, the Congress vice president who, till then, had shown no proactive approach to provide relief, suddenly air dashed to Chennai and Puducherry in order to avoid being present in court.
Similarly, while thousands of RSS swayamsevaks were busy organising relief during the floods across Chennai and other parts of the state, all that the Congress chief of Uttar Pradesh did, was to post an old photograph which showed a swayamasevak protesting a police lathi charge, with the caption that it was an RSS worker who was being arrested for robbing people of their belongings during the recent floods in the Chennai. Like the lies of the Congress vice president – who after insulting the Satradhikars in Assam and avoiding them because they were protesting and wished to tell him of the encroachments of their ancient religious spots and land due to infiltration – said that it was an RSS conspiracy, the UPCC chief’s falsities were soon revealed and made him eat crow. The story of that false act, which unfolded early this December, by the UP Congress chief makes for interesting and disturbing reading.
In its latest attempt to malign the RSS, the Congress has plunged to a new low. Its own party president of Uttar Pradesh – Nirmal Khatri – shared a photograph on his Facebook page alleging that it showed the Tamil Nadu police arresting an RSS karyakarta who was trying to rob flood victims in Chennai. The photograph was shared by a large number of Congress workers on the social media.
But this sharing spilled the beans. The RSS worker in the picture, Ajit Chahar, who belongs to Agra and who was in no way connected to Tamil Nadu and had never visited the state, on seeing the post realised the mischief and falsity it propagated.
Ajit promptly identified the photo which was taken, as he pointed out, by a journalist in Agra in 2012 when the Uttar Pradesh (UP) police lathi charged a RSS cycle rally taken out by young swayamsevaks and was in no way connected to the Chennai flood. The RSS rally in which Ajit was being beaten by the UP police was held in the Rambaugh area of Agra, around the same time, in protest against the lathicharge by UP police on the RSS cycle rally. News reports on the incident of that period were also available and Ajit dug those out in order to prove his point. The Congress’s bluff was caught and the lid blown open.
Realising the faux pas, Khatri removed the photographs from his page but did not have the courage or sobriety to apologise for casting aspersions on swayamasevaks who, by training and tradition work so hard during natural calamities and conduct relief work under trying conditions.
The incident – not widely reported – demonstrates how, in order to cover its own confusion and lack of direction and mooring the Congress, avoids any discussion on actual issues of governance, lawmaking and accountability, but resorts to actions and tactics that are not only un-democratic in spirit but smack of unethical practice and behaviour.
But why blame the rank and file, when the top leadership of the party habitually indulges in it – doesn’t Rahul Gandhi ad nauseam keeps repeating the proven falsehood that the RSS assassinated Mahatma Gandhi, does not the Congress leadership still try and justify the imposition of Emergency and suspension of democratic rights?
Increasingly, it displays an intolerant mindset and attitude that remains out of sync with the new India that is trying to express itself.