An edited version of this article written by Hemant Karandikar was published on indiafacts.org on 3 rd May 2016 here
The original unabridged version is below.
With Sonia Gandhi’s involvement in Augusta Westland scam being affirmed by Italian Appeals Court in its judgment, those who voted for Congress Mukta Bharat are happier. But achieving Congress Mukta Bharat will need a long war consisting of many such battles.
Modi Sarkar is doing an excellent job on economic and security fronts. PM Modi has said on several occasions that his government is working to a plan. This plan is now unfolding at increased speed ( Read this) If elections are won purely on development work Modi Government is doing quite well and is well on its way to win another term -except that it is not all that simple.
War in pause mode?
Until August Westland expose happened Congress was calling shots inside and outside Parliament. Its eco-system of parties (like AAP and CPI) , most of the main stream media, and even institutions is still intact. Congress has been occupying disproportionate share of public discourse diverting attention from national prior rites and creating fresh obstacles for the Modi Government. A somnolent BJP (see this article) wasn’t helping matters.
Through incidents like stray cases of Church attacks, a Muslim not getting rented accommodation, A Muslim Techie’s murder, Dadri lynching, FTII strike, Rohit Vemulla’s suicide, Kanhaiya Kumar and Khaid Umar’s anti-India rants, Congress has been attacking Modi Government relentlessly. It fell upon the some of the nationalist Indians to join the battle through social media. They repelled every attack, exposed lies and put out factual details in every case. They exposed ’eminent’ journalists for what they really have been.
The War for Congress Mukta Bharat seemed to be in ‘paused’ mode Those who wanted major change were restive.
A battle won
But the Augusta Westland bribery judgment by Italian Appeals Court gave another opportunity. BJP grabbed this with both hands. It brought Subramanyam Swami In Rajyasabha. The BJP is setting agenda of discussions in Parliament -notices for discussion and privilege motions are coming from BJP. Sonia Gandhi and Congress are defensive for the first time in last two years. Sonia is so much on the defensive that even Sharad Pawar, her erstwhile adversary, had to be pressed in service to say that ‘BJP leaders informally admit that there is no evidence against Sonia” ( Read )
A large number of Indians believe that the trails of corruption -in cases like Coalgate, 2 G scam, Augusta Westland and of course National Herald -lead to the door steps of top Congress Leaders. Ishrat Jahan cover up case has added to their anger towards Sonia Gandhi who controlled the UPA government. Their wish is for thorough investigation of all corruption and terror support cases and punishing the guilty. This seems to a real possibility now.
The Congress is on back foot. The battle for perception has gone in favor of BJP in this round.
But is the war for Congress Mukta Bharat being won? Let’s look ahead.
A war can’t be won without media cover
Even if Sonia Gandhi is convicted, conviction does automatically ensure that Congress or Sonia will be defeated electorally. Fodder scam convict Lalu could win Bihar elections. This should be a sobering thought. This is an unfortunate feature of Indian polity and its first-past-the-post electoral system which make national voting share meaningless unless the election is held under extraordinary conditions -like in 1977 (post emergency), 1984 (post Indira Gandhi’s assassination) and 2014 (hopelessness that had gripped India after UPA misrule and the anger caused by it)
Sonia and her battery of lawyers, think tanks, ‘friendly’ politicians and pliable journalists will do everything to distract attention from various scams and their involvement in them.
Even the re-galvanized BJP is no match to the Congress and Left eco-system’s masterful art of communication -they use insinuations, outright lies, mudslinging, and intellectual sophistry to great effect. With almost entire main stream media ranged against it BJP will find it difficult to sustain its aggression. When you are in government you are vulnerable to attacks based on all kinds of real or imaginary issues.
There are limitations to what a government can do. It cannot make allegations. But a government can use its machinery to thoroughly and swiftly investigate wrong doings. Hopefully Modi Sarkar will do this. Many still have doubts about Finance Minsitry’s capabilities, if not its inclination.
As a party BJP can do what its governments can’t do. It can and should continue to charge Congress leaders with scams and bad policies based on reasonably verified facts. This can’t be just an election time exercise. BJP needs a massive media reach for setting agenda. Social media cannot match the reach of mass media in a country like India. India has smartphone user base of 220 Mn as per this report. Only 22 Mn people were use twitter as per an estimate. About 132 Million Indians use facebook according to Marc Zuckerberg as reported here. However, twitter is a better indicator of use of social media for news and political opinions. Facebook and whatsapp groups do disseminate political content but it is limited. We can infer that political impact of social media can reach at the most single digit Crore of people. India’s recorded voter base in 2014 elections was 83.4 Crore Thus under 10% of voters can be influenced through social media.
Not having alternative media which can report facts with reasonable impartiality is a major hurdle in winning war for Congress Mukta Bharat. The new media will need content to both take on the leftist and alien agenda driven content. It will also need content to set genuine India centric reforms and agenda for future in all walks of public life -economy, social sectors, academics and sciences. Cooperation among nationalist think tanks and non-government organizations will have to be built. We don’t see anything substantial happening in this area.
Institutions -many weak zones
The government can purge the institutions of Congress sycophants and the Communists. This has not happened properly. For example, Modi Government made a hash of changes in FTII and Censor Board.
Institutions like police, investigative agencies, and judiciary present another hurdle in the war for Congress Mukta Bharat. They have inefficient, feudal, and often gamed (in favor of criminals or political benefactors) workings. Judiciary is stonewalling every attempt towards reform and accountability. This is outside Government’s powers. But improving policing, surveillance, prevention, and detection of crime and building convincing cases against criminals surely fall in government’s ambit. Over 3 Crore pending court cases, lakhs of under trial prisoners, poor conviction rates, postponements, stays and bails letting even convicts roaming free, and no fear of law is a true Congress legacy. Can our war be won without thoroughly overhauling these institutions and solving these problems?
Our education makes us scorn our rich heritage of our civilization which was head and shoulders above other civilizations just over a thousand years back. The word Hindu has come to be scorned as backward, parochial by educated Hindus. The less educated follow traditions blindly, but they are ultimately influenced by the educated. This British legacy has been nurtured to perfection by Congress and the Leftists. Education and academic institutions is another huge area needing overhaul for Congress Mukta Bharat. We don’t see many government actions in this crucial area.
We have laws that discriminate against Hindus. Our laws allow governments to meddle with Hindu temples and religious trusts. Our laws prohibit any interference in Islamic or Christian organizations under pretext of protecting minorities. Recently the Supreme Court refused to give justice to a Shayara Bano, Muslim woman in her complaint about triple talaq. In 1985 SC had granted alimony to Shah Bano but Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress government nullified it by changing the law itself. The Right to Education (RTE) does not apply to minority education institutions while it puts burden of admission to poor students only on non-minority institutions which means Hindu schools and colleges. These laws are true Congress legacies. We don’t see actions by Modi Sarkar on this.
The British encouraged Church and missionaries to undertake conversions on massive scale. Congress inherited this legacy and encouraged with the result that there is no check on this activity. Illegal migration from Bangladesh and higher than average growth in Muslim population is another factor. Both these disturb demographic balance and Hindu civilization core of India. A nationalist government is expected to arrest these trends. But we see no action at all by the BJP governments.
Another British and Congress legacy is the theory that India consists of many ethnic nationalities and India did not exist before the British. This theory is wrong and dangerous for our progress as shown by consequences of partition and creation of Pakistan. Pakistan has been bleeding India through thousand cuts.
Electoral defeats of Congress won’t be enough
Parties like SP, RJD, NCP, TMC which are steeped in Congress culture have filled void created by Congress’ losses. Therefore, defeating Congress is not enough.
Congress Mukta Bharat will need uprooting the Congress culture -the culture of dividing and fragmenting on the basis of everything religion (partition), caste (reservations), languages (linguistic re-organization of states), ethnicity. The culture designing and perpetuating complicated system of controls, sops, exemptions, and discretionary powers for favoring or punishing. The culture of detesting anything that is Hindu and anything that predates the Muslim and British invaders.
War for Congress Mukta Bharat will need undoing Congress legacies.
Even economic prosperity for all won’t be enough.
The Constitution of India names our nation as ‘India, that is Bharat’ in Article 1(1). Bharat refers to Bharat Varsha existing for millennia and having foundations of its Hindu or Sanatana Dharma based civilization.
The war for Congress Mukta Bharat will have to be won for putting Bharat on firmly on a path towards economic prosperity, well being, and cultural glory.
This is going to be a long war. BJP, RSS, and even Modi Sarkar won’t be enough to win it. The rest of us will have to play our roles.