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Mainstream, VOL LVII No 29 New Delhi July 6, 2019

Essence of Rahul’s Ideological Assertion

Sunday 7 July 2019, by SC


In the wake of several developments at the national level, doubtless the most significant event of late has been the decision of Congress President Rahul Gandhi to step down from his post as the head of the grand old party. In a detailed letter to the party workers yesterday he has slammed the lid on any speculation that he might be persuaded to reconsider the decision to this effect he took soon after the 2019 parliamentary election results were declared giving the ruling party at the Centre a massive mandate to govern the country for the next five years.

The letter began with the words: “It is an honour for me to serve the Congress Party, whose values and ideals have served as the lifeblood of our beautiful nation”, adding: “I owe the country and my organisation a debt of tremendous gratitude and love.”

Thereafter in two operative paragraphs he explained his position in depth:

As President of the Congress Party, I am responsible for the loss of the 2019 election. Accountability is critical for the future growth of our party. It is for this reason that I have resigned as Congress President.

Rebuilding the party requires hard decisions and numerous people will have to be made accountable for the failure of 2019. It would be unjust to hold others accountable but ignore my own responsibility has President of the party.

While making it transparent that he would not nominate anyone to replace him, he categorically pointed out that “it would not be correct for me to select that person” underscoring the fact that “ours is a party with a profound history and heritage, one of struggle and dignity that I deeply respect” as “it is woven into the fabric of India” before stressing that he was confident the Congress “will make the best decision regarding who can lead us with courage, love and fidelity”.

The letter was valuable also because, as he elucidated, “my fight has never been a simple battle for political power” and “I have no hatred or anger towards the BJP” even though “every living cell in my body instinctively resists their idea of India”. Thereafter he underscored:

This is not a new battle; it has been waged on our soil for thousands of years. Where they see differences, I see similarity. Where they see hatred, I see love. What they fear, I embrace.

Then he insisted:

This compassionate idea permeates the hearts of millions and millions of my beloved fellow citizens. It is this idea of India that we will now vehemently defend.

He further asserted:

The attack on our country and our cherished Constitution that is taking place is designed to destroy the fabric of our nation. In no way, shape or form am I stepping back from this fight. I am a loyal soldier of the Congress Party and a devoted son of India and will continue to serve and protect her till my last breath.

This is how he revealed his innate Nehruvian spirit which continues to inspire millions of our countrymen tearing the mist of misinformation and calumny.

As for the elections, he emphasised the strong and dignified campaign of the Congress Party. He also wrote of his electoral battle, his fight to defend the ideals on which India was built upon.

He then conveyed a few words which were pregnant with meaning.

A free and fair election requires the neutrality of a country’s institutions; an election cannot be fair without arbiters—a free press, an independent judiciary, and a transparent Election Commission that is objective and neutral. Nor can an election be free if one party has a complete monopoly on financial resources.

We didn’t fight a political party in the 2019 election. Rather, we fought the entire machinery of the Indian state, every institution of which was marshalled against the Opposition. It is now cyrstal-clear that our once cherished institutional neutrality no longer exists in India.

He is unsparing in his bold and courageous exposure of the intentions of the RSS which seeks to capture India’s institutional structure that, in his considered view, “is now complete”. In his opinion, Our democracy has been fundamentally weakened. There is real danger that from now on, elections will go from being a determinant of India’s future to a near ritual.

He then forecasts:

The capture of power (by the RSS) will result in unimaginable levels of violence and pain for India. Farmers, unemployed youngsters, women, tribals, Dalits and minorities are going to suffer the most. The impact on our economy and nation’s reputation will be devastating. The Prime Minister’s win does not negate the breadth of corruption allegations against him; no amount of money and propaganda can ever hide the light of the truth.

He gives out a ringing call to the nation as a whole to “unite to reclaim and resuscitate our institutions”. “The instrument of this resuscitation,“ he believes, “will be the Congress Party.”

But to achieve this important task, he affirms, the Congress “must radically transform itself”. In Rahul’s words,

Today the BJP is systematically crushing the voice of the Indian people. It is the duty of the Congress Party to defend these voices. India has never and will never be one voice. It is and always will be a symphony of voices. That is true essence of Bharat Mata.

In this way Rahul unveils the Gandhi-Nehru paradigm for India’s advance in the coming days. He asserts that only by “sacrificing the desire for power and fighting a deeper ideological battle” could the Congress defeat its opponents, primarily the BJP-RSS combine.

In the present scenario when the genuine anti-Indian forces in power are seeking to destroy our national unity, pluralist ethos and composite culture, Rahul’s ideological assertion spelt out in his letter to Congress workers can provide the beacon light in the prevailing darkness.

July 4 S.C.

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