By A. Sadananda Pai
IT IS universally known that the Indian National Congress (INC) is the most intolerant among political parties, especially when out of power. It behaves as though it is its birthright to be in power always; an ideology which is different from its own is an anathema to it.
The first ever example of this was exhibited by its state unit of erstwhile Travancore-Cochin (part of Kerala since 1956) in the late 1940s. The Socialist Party leader, Pattom Thanu Pillai (earlier an unchallenged Congress leader) having 18 MLAs, formed the government soon after Independence with the support of 108 Congress MLAs, as there was not even a single leader of Pattom´s stature in Congress. But this government was brought down by the Congress just after four months.
The first ever communist government in an Indian state, formed in Kerala by E.M.S. Namboodiripad in 1957, was an eyesore for the Congress. The Controversial Education Bill came quite handy and the Congress organised statewide agitations in 1959 with the backing of the Congress high command and active support of the Church and communal organisations like Nair Service Society (NSS), etc., and finally got the government dismissed by the overwilling Pandit Nehru´s Central Government.
The partisan Indian press, instead of advising the Congress to behave properly, has criticised the NDA government for ?not talking to the disruptionist Congress?.
The INC overthrew four non-Congress governments formed by V.P. Singh, I.K. Gujral, Deve Gowda and Chandrashekhar, while the Karsevaks pulled down the dilapidated structure in Ayodhya in 1992. The then Central Government headed by Narasimha Rao dismissed four elected state governments of BJP with one stroke under flimsy grounds like garlanding of Karsevaks by a minister, participating in a Karsevaks´ meeting and the like. The concerned Governors were pressurised to submit fabricated reports recommending dismissal of the governments.
Such undemocratic actions and intolerant attitude towards another political ideology continue even to this day. The recent dismissal of four Governors appointed by the previous NDA government is the latest example. The reason cited by the present Home Minister was that these Governors followed a ?different political ideology?; they were removed not for unconstitutional actions or inefficiency. It is a paradox that the same President, who appointed these Governors after careful scrutiny of their ability, worthiness and all other aspects, had to sign the dismissal order now. The INC is willing to go to any extent, even against the spirit of the Constitution and democracy, to achieve their aim. They amended the constitutional provisions to circumvent the Apex Court´s orders in the princes? privy purses case and later Shah Bano´s case and even imposed Emergency to safeguard their power and position.
In the thirteenth Lok Sabha, the out-of-power Congress employed all tactics to pinprick and overthrow the NDA government headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee. They repeatedly raked up and magnified the irrelevant and insignificant episode that took place 65 years back, when as a lad of 12 years (minor), Atalji made an innocent statement before the judicial official. Their sole aim appeared to be to disrupt the parliamentary proceedings and tarnish Atalji´s and BJP´s image under one or the other pretext?Defence Minister George Fernandes on Tehelka, Kargil, hijacking of Indian Airlines plane, NCERT textbooks, coffin purchase, etc.
They have thus brought down the dignity and decorum of the august house and mocked at democracy itself. Even the terrorist attack on Parliament building was politicised. Thus, not even a single day has passed without disruption of the proceedings and creation of pandemonium by these fake Gandhi bhaktas during the entire period of five years of NDA rule.
The century-old Congress which had all along been presided over by various eminent national leaders till Independence, is increasingly being converted into a private estate of one family by the Congressmen, with the support of the media who have created a halo around the family and now hide behind it for their survival. This does not augur well for the party nor for the nation.