Wednesday September 19, 2018
Home Politics Congress&#821...

Congress’s internal feud visible during Kisan rally

0
//
37
Republish
Reprint

New Delhi: Despite Congress left no stone unturned to flesh out its solidarity during the ‘Kisan Samman Rally’ in the national capital on Sunday, the factionalism in the Haryana Congress came out in the open.

Picture credit: newindianexpress.com
Picture credit: newindianexpress.com

After Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar began his speech, there was waving of hands and some booing by partymen wearing pink turbans, who were seen as supporters of former state chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Tanwar, who was among the early speakers, did not make a long speech.

Hooda, who a party functionary conceded had the strength to muster the crowd for the party’s rallies, spoke in the presence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi and proposed a vote of thanks.

The functionary said Hooda’s supporters were keen to show his reach at the grassroots.

Rahul Gandhi’s role in focus

The rally in the national capital came five months after the Congress had held a rally on the land ordinance in April.

While the April rally marked Rahul Gandhi’s arrival back from a long sabbatical, Sunday’s rally was meant to highlight his role in forcing the Modi government to retrace its steps on the land bill. He had led from the front on the party’s protest on the land bill.

Speakers took turns to highlight Rahul Gandhi’s role in taking the lead on the issue.

The posters put up on the occasion also sought to emphasise the party’s association with the farmers, with some of the posters reading: “Voice of farmers has not been suppressed ever, will not be suppressed” and “Our land, our identity”.

Call for RSS-free India

Youth Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Brar, while giving a call for “RSS-free” India, compared the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s rule under Prime Minister Narendra Modi with that of Germany’s Nazi leader Adolf Hilter.

He said RSS, the ideological fountainhead of BJP, was “targetting” the Nehru-Gandhi family in an effort to weaken the Congress.

Referring to the government’s decision to withdraw stamps on former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, Brar said his organisation would agitate so fiercely that it would force Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to say that the discontinuation of stamps was a mistake.

Brar, who spoke ahead of the arrival of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi at Ram Lila Maidan, the rally-venue, also talked about the party’s weakness.

“The weakness with us is that we fight among ourselves, indulge in factionalism. Let us get united. Let us not make a show before people of the country. If we keep fighting among ourselves, we cannot make a RSS-free India,” Raja said.

Rahul Gandhi recites a joke

Congress vice-president packed his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over “suit-boot ki sarkar” with a “joke” about arrogance of man in “suit-boot”.

He said the man sought help from a boat driver to cross a river. In the boat, the man asked many questions about the boatman’s education, making him feel small. But when the boat swayed a little in mid-stream, the boatman asked the educated man whether he knew swimming. The man in the suit-boot did not know swimming and it was now boatman’s turn to take a dig back.

Rahul Gandhi said people in suit-boot had knowledge, as did others.

(IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

What Would Be The Outcome Of The Judgement On Homosexuality With BJP At The Centre?

If parties like the BJP and "cultural" organisations like the RSS realise the value and motivation of such mindsets, they will desist from their present attempts to impose a straitjacket of their pseudo-religious identity on the nation.

0
Flag Of BJP, homosexuality
Ruling on gays: Is the BJP out of sync with modern realities? Flickr

More than the social impact of the Supreme Court’s judgment on homosexuality, what will be of concern to the ruling party at the Centre is its political fallout. Hence, the eloquent silence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the subject.

For the BJP and its ideological mentor, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), any expansion of the concept of civil liberties is fraught with danger to their restrictive worldviews since a widening of human rights carries the prospect of greater individualism.

If the rights of the homosexuals to live without legal constraints are conceded, it can only encourage the people to free themselves of other restrictions as well such as on choosing live-in partners (of whatever sex) and eating, dressing and speaking as they please.

Homosexuality, India
SC decriminalises homosexuality, victory for gay rights. Pixabay

It is noteworthy that the verdict on gays has come close on the heels of the judgment which described the right to dissent as a “safety valve” which the government can only shut off at its peril lest there is an explosion.

Moreover, the court had also upheld not long ago the right to privacy which the government described as an “elitist” concept.

For the Hindu Right, as also for other religious fundamentalists, this dalliance with civil rights — the freedom to criticise the government, the exaltation of privacy and now the decriminalisation of homosexuality — entails a push towards liberalism and modernism which are anathema to any group which wants the society to be bound by shackles of orthodoxy and obscurantism.

It is ironic that although the Hindutva brotherhood speaks of decolonising the Indian mind, the two colonial laws which have long been its favourites are the section on homosexuality in the Indian Penal Code and on sedition.

Now that one of them is gone, there is little doubt that these closet followers of Britain’s 19th century politician Lord Macaulay — even as they decry the secular groups as “Macaulay’s children” — will hold on resolutely to the law on sedition as their only safeguard against the “anti-nationals” who, they believe, stalk the land.

Homosexuality
It is ironic that although the Hindutva brotherhood speaks of decolonising the Indian mind, the two colonial laws which have long been its favourites are the section on homosexuality in the Indian Penal Code and on sedition.
Wikimedia Commons

It is also possible that the saffronites will keep a hawk’s eye on any social problems that may arise because of the assertion of gay rights. As the BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has said, with eager anticipation, if a five-judge bench can overturn an earlier judgment in favour of criminalising homosexuality, a larger bench can undo the present verdict if gay bars begin to flourish and there is a rise in the cases of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infections.

Interestingly, what these judgments underline is how the judiciary is more attuned to the changing world than the elected representatives of the hoi polloi who often argue in favour of giving greater primacy to the legislature than the judiciary since they claim to represent the people while the judges are unelected denizens of an ivory tower.

However, one possible reason why MPs and MLAs, especially of the BJP, seem to be out of sync with the present-day world is the presence in their midst of a large number of criminal elements who can hardly be regarded as the most progressive sections of society.

For instance, of the 543 elected members of the Lok Sabha, of whom 186 have a criminal record, 63 belong to the BJP, followed by eight of the Shiv Sena, four of the Trinamool Congress and three each of the Congress and the AIADMK.

Homosexuality
Gay Pride Procession. Pixabay

What the Supreme Court judgment appears to have done is to persuade parties like the Congress, which usually hedges its bets lest it should fall on the wrong side of public opinion, to come out in the verdict’s favour, presumably because it senses that this judgment, more than any other, has become a touchstone in the matter of breaking out from the stranglehold of the past.

To distance a party from it, as the BJP is doing, will amount to virtually alienating the entire youth community. Even if a majority among them do not have homosexual instincts — according to official figures, there are 2.5 million gay people in India, but this may be an underestimate since, till now, it was unsafe for them to reveal their sexual orientation — the youths nevertheless see the ruling as an assertion of living life on one’s own terms and not be held hostage by the dictates of a society steeped in conservatism and of political parties which believe that their agenda can only advanced if the country is made forcibly to conform to khap panchayat-style social and cultural norms.

Also Read: Why JDU & BJP Coalition Will Remain Instant

To these youths, being or not being aware of homosexuality is of little consequence. What matters to them is to be able to make up their own minds and not be told by elders to abide by certain rules which are regarded as outdated by the younger generation.

If parties like the BJP and “cultural” organisations like the RSS realise the value and motivation of such mindsets, they will desist from their present attempts to impose a straitjacket of their pseudo-religious identity on the nation. (IANS)