How the Congress has outlived itself
By A.C. Kapoor
A friend has coined a new identity for the present-day Congress?the Indian Muslim Congress. It is interesting and appropriate, though not fully exhaustive. If one clinically dissects anatomy of this splintered group since Independence, one cannot help reaching the inescapable conclusion that it is neither ?Indian? nor ?national? nor ?Congress?. It is not a sweeping statement but based on historical facts, which Indians with proverbially short memory tend to forget.
The writer'smind goes back seventy years in a state of nostalgia when he was a dedicated Congress worker in his early college days: detention during the Quit India movement; subsequently his selection as Nehru'sunofficial pilot during the period of provisional government. As such, he was a frequent visitor and later on almost a family member at the Prime Minister'shouse at 9 York Road and later at Teen Murti; he had opportunity to watch closely the Congressmen hero worship, begging for crumbs. To his utter shock, he found that the only bond that held the Congress together was single-minded greed for ?power? through the Congress ticket for election?an easy and sure road to amass wealth. The motto of ?service? had been left by the wayside.
The writer had also the good fortune to watch the great Sardar just across, at 1 Aurangzeb Road, and marvel at the two extreme personalities. While Nehru was ambitious, arrogant, egoist short-tempered and brusque?though a darling of the crowd, the Sardar was the loftiest statesman of his time?serene, with fathoms-deep wisdom, far sighted, razor-sharp intellect, forceful, firm and a towering patriot. He had a strange aura, a halo around him that inspired awe and reverence from friends and foes. It was a stroke of bad luck for the country when Gandhi autocratically appointed Jawaharlal as Congress president to become Prime Minister automatically later on, even though almost all the provincial Congress committees had voted for Patel, and none at all for Nehru. This marked a grievously fateful and wily step that changed the course of the country to the road of disaster and ignominy.
In the most crucial period in the history of India'smoulding into a great nation, cruel destiny snatched the only true navigator?Sardar Patel, too early. But even in the brief period he remained, though second in command, Sardar Patel by his sagacity and rare genius created history by consolidating all the Indian states with the Indian Union as if by mesmerism?a feat unparalleled in world history. He even brought the Nizam to his knees whom Nehru was most reluctant to touch. Left to Nehru, India would have been reduced to a Balkan State, fragmented into over 360 independent states, with Hyderabad serving as a blistering cancer in the heart of the country. This state would have remained emotionally attached to Pakistan, sounding a death knell for the country even before its rebirth as an independent nation. When millions uprooted from Pakistan were fleeing into India, the Sardar in his rare farsight strongly advised Nehru to divert part of the refugee convoys as these were known to be hardy industrious and experienced, to Kashmir, who, with hard labour, would transform the J&K state into a flourishing, prosperous and self-sufficient part of the country. But unfortunately , Nehru under the influence of Sheikh Abdullah not only brushed aside the golden advice, but in his wisdom imposed entry permits to prevent any Indian from entering Kashmir?one of the Indian states.
The writer'smind goes back seventy years in a state of nostalgia when he was a dedicated Congress worker in his early college days: detention during the Quit India movement; subsequently his selection as Nehru'sunofficial pilot during the period of provisional government.
When Pakistan attacked Kashmir in 1948, Nehru got cold feet; he fumbled and was confused; the Sardar took prompt action and sent the airborne army to drive away the intruders. Nehru struck yet another self-goal. As the army was poised to clear the remaining part of the Valley forcibly occupied by marauders, the country was aghast when Nehru without consulting the Sardar sought UN intervention, thereby creating a dispute where none existed. By implication this accursed and retrograde action indicated to the world that Kashmir was not a part of India but a disputed territory. This suicidal step sealed the fate of Kashmir?a heaven on earth, into a withered, ruined, ravaged region afflicted with the communal virus, and suffering from daily terrorist attacks by Pakistan Jehadis. The drain on Indian exchequer for defending and feeding the Valley for decades is mind-boggling and in consequence affecting India'sprogress by at least a century.
It was a grim tragedy when cruel destiny snatched the great Sardar and left India orphan, hapeless, at the mercy of Nehru, who with his series of blunders, damaged India'simage beyond recognition. He was now free to inflict wounds, blow by blow. It was a common saying that with Nehru at the helm, you don'tneed an enemy to destroy India'sbody and soul. In a shockingly cowardice act, he abjectly allowed China to rape Tibet that had been acting as a buffer State since times immemorial. As a result, China'sweird shadow permanently looms large over us. His suicidal policy of Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai brought India the most humiliating defeat. Even a raw young man like the writer was bewildered when China was poised to attack India, Nehru went abroad, brazenly announcing at the airport that he had ordered the army to throw out the Chinese. Little did he realise that the armed forces, accustomed to the plains, were least acclimatised to the high mountain ranges. They were unprepared, ill clad, deprived of proper boots, arms, ammunition and equipment. Besides, under the select command of Nehru'sfavourite, but incompetent, General Kaul, the soldiers? plight was further sealed.
On the domestic front also he constantly acted against national interests in the same manner. A number of times the writer heard him bragging, ?Intellectually and by education I am an Englishman, by vision an internationalist, by culture a Muslim. I happen to be a Hindu only by accident of birth.? With the same mindset he germinated the cancerous virus of communalism by granting special privileges, concessions and benefits to the Muslim minority, ironically in a secular State, to woo the Muslim vote bank. This reprehensible policy of appeasement to placate Muslim fundamentalism down the dynastic Congress line with increasing velocity vitiated the society. Islamic separatism and Quranic teaching of hatred and violence have resurfaced as Frankensteins of the forties. Denigrating our ancient culture and civilisation, Nehru codified Hindu law, while allowing Muslims to follow the Shariat of 7th-century Arabia. Only Muslims could marry four wives and divorce by uttering ?talaq? thrice. Family planning was spurned by them, thereby multiplying their population manifolds. This eventful action degenerated India imparting it the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world to have two separate civil laws and preparing the ground for another Partition. Though himself above board, his favourite Chief Ministers were notoriously corrupt, but he always protected them. His blue-eyed Menon brazenly misappropriated millions in the scandalous army purchases. Yet, he was protected to the hilt. Thus the foundation of corruption was laid, which with successive Congress governments lasting fifty years was made into a fine art?all-pervasive gnawing into the bone marrow of our society.
After the long Congress mis-rule under Nehru, Indira went further headlong. Whatever was left undone was completed by her progeny and successive Congress governments at the Centre and states, endangering unity, security and integrity of the country. In order to secure Congress governments in the north-east states by boosting the Muslim vote bank, she deputed Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed in 1980 to manipulate and encourage infiltration from Bangladesh, which began as a trickle and subsequently developed into torrents, aided and abetted by ISI and terrorist organisations. As we see today, it has assumed an alarming demographic explosion, not only in the north-east where the Congress governments are providing permanent resident cards but also in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, UP and many other states becoming Muslim-majority. They, as per their tradition, are threatening the original inhabitants to either get converted or clear out.
A number of times the writer heard Nehru bragging, ?Intellectually and by education I am an Englishman, by vision an internationalist, by culture a Muslim. I happen to be a Hindu only by accident of birth.? With the same mindset he germinated the cancerous virus of communalism by granting special privileges.
Mahatma Gandhi was conscious of the character, ambitions and greed of Congressmen at large. He advised dissolution of the Congress after the country'sfreedom. But greed for power and its fruits were too strong to be renounced. The alarming consequences are before us all to see. Half a century of Congress'sautocratic rule has totally devastated the soul and spirit of the Indian society.
Thanks to the degenerate Congress culture, the nation is today bereft of all values. It is witness to collapse of law, order and near chaos in most of the states ruled or supported by the Congress. Criminal-politician-bureaucrat nexus is for all to see. Murderers and criminals of grave crimes are cabinet ministers. Fifth columnists have deep links with ISI; anti-national casteists, pseudo-secularists and Leftists are ruling the roost. Every Congress policy and programme is recklessly striking at the roots of India'ssecurity, integrity and identity. ?Nationalism? and ?patriotism? are dirty words today. No one is bothered about governance but is only concerned with lining his pocket. Each minister acts according to his whims and fancies and, of course, with the blessings of the supreme authority. The sole mission of every Congressman is to cling to power by means as foul as required. The ancient culture and civilisation that could not be destroyed under the devastating 700 years rule of Muslims, is now stated to be wiped out within the first hundred years of our so-called Independence, thanks to Congress culture and successive Congress governments.
As such, in the ultimate analysis, the Congress, as every right thinking person believes, is a tottering, moth-eaten, dilapidated structure, precariously held together by a temporary but weak support-system, which may collapse any time to crumble into a thousand pieces.
The once Indian National Congress is not ?Indian? since it is fully and exclusively controlled by a foreign-born; nor is it ?national? because the word nationalism has long been eliminated from its dictionary and every policy programme of the present government, revolving around the Empress'slittle finger, is against national ethos, perilously endangering security, integrity and unity of the nation; nor is it a ?congress?, since it has never been a democratic organisation. It is an amalgam of self seekers, controlled all through by one member at a time of the dynasty rule. It is high time that this ghost of the Congress is thrown into the dustbin of history and the nation performs obsequies of this once grand old party.
(The writer can be contacted at Triveni Garden, 33 Gadaipur Farms, Mehrauli, New Delhi-110 030.)