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Rahul: Broken record repeats same mistake

Rahul: Broken record repeats same mistake

Author: Hilda Raja
Publication: Vijayvaani.com
Date: May 14, 2009
URL: http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=571

Rahul Gandhi after his Press Meet at Ashok hotel was diagnosed with foot in the mouth disease! But the one affected was Veerappa Moily. The poor man thought he would put the record straight because Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was firmly with the NDA and is not a man to fall prey to allurements and flatteries.

Rahul's overreach to Nitish ruffled the feathers of two UPA allies. A bird in hand is better than two in the bush, Veerappa Moily thought; wooing an unwilling Nitish would cost Congress two allies, Lalu and Paswan. So he quickly distanced Congress from Nitish (who was never close to Congress) and tried to pacify the allies.

Instead of taking action against Rahul for his unwarranted public wooing of Nitish, Congress took action against Veerappa Moily. This is one of the effects of dynasty regime. And Rahul says he wants to change the system of which he is the product, and which he is fully capitalizing on. A repeat of his immaturity in politics.

At Mohali/Hoshiarpur in Punjab, Rahul Gandhi exhibited not only his political immaturity but also his lack of knowledge of Indian affairs: "Afzal Guru is the 22nd in the list of those sentenced to be hanged. So when his time comes the sentence will be executed." May we know how this time for execution is fixed? Does it follow chronologically? How are the executions distributed - yearly one, two, or three? Is one listed 22nd on the list to be executed after 10 to 22 years? When was the last convict hanged? Why was it that in Indira Gandhi's assassination case there was such a hurry to execute the Border Security Force guards who gunned down the assassin?

They were not the assassins mind you. Why was there no trial, even when world jurists appealed to Rajiv Gandhi not to hang them because the case had to be further probed and information ferreted out of them to get at the root of the conspiracy? Rajiv Gandhi went ahead and got the executions done in record time.

The Supreme Court's verdict has to be executed unless there are other legal hassles. In this case, the only consideration Congress has is its votebank politics. Does this mean that for Muslim votes, justice will be negated? This is evident by the fact that not one terrorists has till date been brought to justice.

Madhani, chief accused in the Coimbatore bomb blast in which 60 persons lost their lives, walked out a free man and even formed a party, and is allied with the CPM. He is much sought after by politicians. When in prison, all sorts of facilities were provided for him. Two Chief Ministers were vying to visit him and offer him all required to make his stay in prison as comfortable as possible.

Rahul Gandhi's thinking functions within a narrow parameter. Throughout his campaigning, he has been referring to the Kandahar hijack in which Masood Azhar was released in exchange for a hundred passengers. There was an all-party meet in which the decision to release Azhar was taken. It is easy for Rahul Gandhi to now fault the BJP when Congress is unable to punish terrorists who are in jail. Granted it was a mistake to release Azhar, chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), but how does that justify dragging the execution of Afzal Guru?

Rahul Gandhi must do his homework before making public utterances regarding black money in Swiss banks. Someone should brief him, because repetition of a mistake only shows his hollowness and pitiable knowledge of Indian affairs. There are four dimensions to the money stashed in tax havens:

1] Did Congress not know about it? After all, as he stated at the Press Meet, the Swiss banks existed for 60 years and the Congress was in power for 50 years; what did it do to arrest at least the flow of black money?

2] Now that BJP has made it an election issue, Congress is trying to say it is very much on the task. It has no answers why, when the Swiss authorities were prepared to release the names, Congress did not respond. On the other hand, it kept requesting for legal aid to track the black money.

3] The PM once held the portfolio of Finance, the present Home Minister Chidambaram was once Finance Minister; so are we to believe that such huge amounts found their way into foreign tax havens without the knowledge of these two?

4] Finally, what is the connection between Dawood Ibrahim, Hassan Ali Khan and Saudi arms dealer Khashoggi? The 'best Prime Minister' Manmohan Singh (according to Rahul) wants Pakistan to take action against the 26/11 Mumbai attack terrorists in Pakistan. But what have our agencies done about Dawood Ibrahim who is safely holed up in Karachi, but his "hawala channel between Mumbai and Karachi remains busy."

Neither Central agencies nor the Maharashtra government has taken action to demolish his financial empire. No, we have no guts nor political will to take stern action. Here we will be saddled with Kasab also, and the case will drag on with the Indian people paying for his maintenance - his demands for luxuries ever growing day by day - and security .Why not spare the people at least their money and drop him back to Pakistan; not waste our money and make our whole system impotent.

Men like Dawood, Hassan Ali and Khashoggi cannot function without the support of the political establishment. What has Congress to say about them? Allowing the people of India to be looted by Quattrocchi and these men is nothing short of betrayal. Yet to talk about the poor and the farmers with a straight face is deception - to fault others and assert that only Congress is concerned about them is immoral, while all the time allowing their hard-earned money to be looted.

Instead of looking at larger issues, Rahul Gandhi has only noted the Kandahar episode and like a broken record keeps repeating this. He has wasted his time on non-issues like 'India Shining' and says that slogan was picked up by the BJP from the TV, in English, which most people do not understand. From where did Congress pick up Jai Ho?

Rahul Gandhi cannot talk in Hindi without interspersing it with English words - will the poor understand? He must realize that election meetings crowds are collected, busloads and lorry loads, they come not to hear but to see, and they are paid Rs. 50-100 per head. Garibi Hatao, Aam Aadmi are slogans that remained slogans as far as Congress is concerned. Rahul Gandhi reached out to the people of India when he spent a night in a dalit home in his constituency - in the company of a foreigner!

Now he thinks he is qualified to pontificate on poverty of India. He feels he has greater connectivity to the poor and a better reach to farmers and labourers than the BJP. Can he enumerate the statistics in these areas and its projections during the UPA tenure? Can he list the programmes directed at these two groups? One should not live in a glass house and throw stones at others. People may be poor but they are more knowledgeable of ground realities as they have their feet on the ground. They live out their lives in harsh realities.

Unlike Rahul and Priyanka who step out from their cocoons of luxury with all security to offer promises of green pastures in exchange for votes - political proselytizing - it is better for Rahul to remember that those listening to him and watching him have more insight and live their daily lives; they don't just reel out some slide show flashes.

Hitting at the Opposition must be on issues. Congress has sinned more than others in respect of letting down the people - the number of serial bomb blasts; soft policy in dealing with terrorism; poverty eradication program NREGS lending itself to massive corruption; and in the black money issue it abetted and cooperated with the looters. That's the record of Congress.

This along with Sikh genocide makes Rahul Gandhi's baggage heavy. The Gandhis must take note that as part of the dynasty power politics, they will have to carry and account for this legacy/inheritance.

- The author is a retired Professor from Stella Maris College, Chennai, and lives in Vadodara


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