Till a few days prior to the elections, the Congress Party was lying low; as late as May 16, even The Hindu, not given to over-statement, was saying that “there is near certainty that the 15th General Elections will produce a hung Parliament”. The election results came as a shock not just to the exit pollsters, but to the Congress as well. What it has now done is to set a wave of sycophancy that is as sickening as it is revelatory of Indian character. Even the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh has gone on record as saying that Rahul Gandhi should be offered a Ministry. Others followed. All credit was given to Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and, of course, the Prime Minister, for the party’s success, never mind if the UPA government’s record had been dismal.
What is ironic is that a party which was responsible for getting rid of princely dynasticism and the marginalisation of Maharajas and Nawabs is now striving to establish a Gandh-Nehru dynastic rule without the slightest feeling for guilt and shame. It indicates the essential weakness of the Congress as a national party. It is to the credit of young Rahul that he has declined to be taken into the cabinet fold. Let it be said clearly: There is not a thing that the UPA government can really be proud of. Forget the Quattrocchi scandal which has now been swept under the carpet. Twenty five years after the massacre of nearly 3,000 Sikhs in Delhi, Congressmen involved in the genocide have gone unpunished. When Manmohan Singh was reminded of it, his reply was that the anti-Sikh riot cannot be kept alive forever as it was “most painful”.
One might as well ask Dr Singh why he is harassing Narendra Modi on the Godhra issue. When does an issue become ‘most painful’? When the party charged with genocide happens to be the Congress? Has Manmohan Singh any concept of rectitude? Is it revenge, revenge all the time? Incidentally, the only thing he can claim as ‘success’ in his earlier 5-year term, is the nuclear deal that all right-minded nuclear scientists have condemned in no uncertain measure. Dr Singh has been “painfully” unaware about the corrupt practices indulged in in some of his ministries. By any reckoning he has been noticeably a weak Prime Minister at the beck and call of 10 Janpath. It is claimed that L K Advani should not have made any reference to this aspect of Prime Ministerial leadership as it was in bad taste and offended many citizens, not necessarily all Congress followers.
The late former Prime Minister Morarji Desai had a favorite quote from Sanskrit which said: satyam bruyat, priyam bruyat, na bruyat satyamapriyam, meaning: speak the truth, speak what is pleasant, but never utter the unpleasant truth. Many believe that BJP lost a large number of votes on just that ground. If that is true it speaks highly of Indian culture. What is even worse however is the manner in which third rate politicians are now groveling at the feet of Sonia Gandhi, offering their “unconditional support” to the UPA to have a crumb from the Italian dining table. What is just as disgusting is to hear Dr Manmohan Singh tell Mayavati that she is like a “younger sister” to him. Some sister, that. Described as one of the most corrupt Chief Ministers India ever had—one would strongly recommend Dr Singh to read Ajoy Bose’s biography of his “younger sister”, in which details are available of Mayavati’s personal assets that go into crores of rupees.
Dr Singh is free to adopt any number of sisters, but the least he can do is to be careful before giving a certificate of good conduct to his adopted ones. Dr Singh would be interested to read in the book that “fuming at what she saw as meddling by the Gandhis with her caste and in her state, Mayavati publicly denounced Sonia for creating ‘caste tension in the region’. Wrote Bose: “She even vowed to get the Congress leader defeated from Amethi in the next Lok Sabha elections”. If she had tried this time, she surely failed. This “sister” has wasted crores of rupees of public money to iconise her guru Kanshi Ram, not to speak of Dr B R Ambedkar, which may be the reason why brahmins and upper caste people deserted the Bahujan Samaj Party at the latest polls to give Congress a fresh foothold in Uttar Pradesh, and an excuse to Congress leadership to claim leadership qualities to Rahul Gandhi and his mother. No doubt they are endowed with superb qualities but what the Congress received at the polls was a bare 27 per cent of the total votes, three per cent more than what it received in 2004. In the circumstances Congress can hardly claim national empowerment to govern.
The greatest thing that can be said of the election is the manner in which the demonstrably wise Indian public showed the door to the Third Front political imbeciles. It saved India’s honour. The truth of the matter is that a tectonic change has come over India which has still be objectively and dispassionately analysed. Dr Manmohan Singh is supposed to represent Assam. And how did the Congress fare in one of the most neglected states in India? The ruling Congress and the major Opposition party, the Asom Gana Parishad suffered setbacks, while the BJP and the debutante Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF) emerged stronger in the state in which the poll outcome dashed the Congress hope to repeat or improve its performance from that in 2004.
In West Bengal, again, it was not the Congress which won but the CPM which lost, thanks to Mamata Banerjee and Nandigram. In Maharashtra had not Raj Thackerya’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena acted as a spoilsport, the BJP ally, Shiv Sena would have easily won three more seats. And where were Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh when Karnataka voted in 19 BJP candidates out of 26?
Congress should consider itself just lucky to have come to power for no sound discernible reason. A little humility would be in order. This is a wise nation and deserves good government. We need a Prime Minister who is more than a Chief Executive Officer and can enthuse the people to do great deeds. The Prime Minister must be a source of inspiration who can address audience and connect with people. Neither the Prime Minister nor Sonia Gandhi has that capacity. One wishes good luck to the new government now ruling from Delhi, knowing full well its incapacities. But then the people have no other option. At least the people in their wisdom have spared the country a hung Parliament. They deserve better than a bunch of sycophants.