12.5.11

Rahul Gandhi's 'sneaky' politics

The cat got the cream: Rahul after his arrest
One of the few things politicians do to get recognition as politicians is court arrest. Rahul Gandhi seems to be no exception. What is disturbing is that he has gone against the law for paltry political reasons. According to reports, on Saturday four people were killed in a skirmish between farmers and cops in Bhatta Parsaul, a village near Noida, Uttar Pradesh; two of those who died were policemen.

Chief Minister Mayawati is no angel, but she followed proper procedure when her government clamped down prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Cr.P.C (Criminal Procedure Code) barring outsiders and politicians. So, what was the need to break the law?

The Congress scion sneaked into the village, which was barred to politicians and outsiders, early Wednesday on a motor-bike despite heavy police presence. He spent nearly 18 hours with the villagers before his arrest.

I am surprised that he could sneak in, “sit-in” with the villagers, I assume have a bite as he does occasionally with Dalits (not Mayawati, though), manage to get other Congress politicians like state president Rita Bahuguna Joshi, general secretary Digvijay Singh and party MP Raj Babbar. This is not “sneaking in”. This is a planned PR coup.

As usual Mayawati wants to build things big – this time it is a highway project that has dislocated farmers who are now demanding higher compensation. They have every right to demand and protest, but on what grounds is the law minister Veerappa Moily not taking cognisance of Rahul Gandhi’s opportunistic law-breaking?

This is so unabashedly a political game that the Congress party even says that Mayawati has dug her own grave. Had she given their boy-hero a red carpet welcome as he did his push-ups or sit-in or whatever, then would Mayawati be ‘graveless’ and a kickass asset to the party? If this is about farmers, then the ruling party at the centre cannot force itself on an elected state government; it can initiate proceedings and take the issue up in Parliament.

Rahul Gandhi who was released on bail said:

“I have seen the violence unleashed on men and women. I feel ashamed to be Indian. The state government is tormenting its own people...”

This could be said about the whole of India. After seeing a couple of injuries, he cannot damn only one state. He listened to how an elderly woman complained about police manhandling female members of the family. He lives in Delhi and in the last month alone there have been a few rape cases reported – what has he done about those?

And what exactly is he ashamed of as an Indian? It is good that he is not sounding treacly about nationalism, but own up the responsibility of the Congress party too. This “young blood” does not mean forgetting historical wrongs of anybody. Let us not forget the recent issues – farmer suicides have not been adequately addressed; villages are being razed for industrial projects; tribal areas are fighting against nuclear plants. Where is his bike and when is he planning to “sneak in”?

Had anyone else made a statement about India in this manner, they would be deemed traitors.

I got an email note, together with part of the report, which says, “Clearly India has become a lawless and ungovernable country. Let's hope that Rahul (who is half European) can inject some discipline and order in the mess he sees around him.”

Sonia Gandhi is full Italian, Omar Abdullah is half British, as are a few others if we take their genes into account. How does that affect the way they deal with India? Why don’t we just get colonised once again, politically, and watch how we manage a Gordon Brownesque rap to multiculturalism, ban burqas, and let our politicians run pleasure houses? Is that enough discipline and order when the economy of these societies is waiting to exhale and they are rethinking about immigrants? Who do we throw out with such European sensibility? It is pause for thought. The good thing is that by default we can also become America’s puppet.

Which means we buy more nuclear capability, get rid of villages, forget farmers. What will happen to Rahul Gandhi? He can then talk about the fall of the Roman Empire instead of Indian chaos.

Nice. So, let’s get back to business and see whether he can ensure that our poor guys toiling in the soil get their tractors fitted with Harley Davidson tyres and engines. You know, Harley’s now in India, don’t you? Imagine someone penning a paean to Rahul Gandhi and the Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance.

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