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HVK Archives: The Coming collapse of Congress

The Coming collapse of Congress - The Free Press Journal

M. V. Kamath ()
30 October 1997

Title: The Coming collapse of Congress
Author: M. V. Kamath
Publication: The Free Press Journal
Date: October 30, 1997

For India - avid democracy - October 23 was a Red Letter Day. For on that day, breaking all precedence, the President of India, K. R. Narayanan returned to a fragmented Union Cabinet, for its reconsideration its recommendation to him that the Kalyan Singh government, duly formed, be dismissed and in its place Presidential rule be imposed. The recommendation, on the face of it, was both wrong and immoral. It could not have been upheld in any court of law; in all certainty it would have been immediately t
rned down by the Supreme Court. Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral surely was aware of that. He is no novice in running a government. Additionally, his own Home Minister, a Communist to boot and no friend of Kalyan Singh was against the imposition of presidential rule in Lucknow. And it turned out, regional political parties represented in the Union Cabinet, too, were opposed to the sacking of a legitimate government. But the Congress, under Sitaram Kesri, a man in a hurry wanted the BJP out, for obvious r
asons. In Uttar Pradesh his party had egg on its face. The Congress had split all down the line and, wonder of wonders, the dissidents had sided with the much maligned Bharatiya Janata Party. Kesri wanted revenge. And he told Gujral that if the Union Government did not press for the dismissal of the Kalyan Singh Government, the Congress at the Centre would withdraw its support to the United Front government. The word for this is political blackmail. Gujral, weak-kneed that he is, succumbed to the thre
t. After much wrangling, about, the Union Cabinet recommended to the President that he send Kalyan Singh packing. But it obviously did not know its man. Narayanan coolly told the Union Cabinet to reconsider its stupid decision, in as courteous a manner as possible. Gujral this time around was quick to see the light and held back his hand. But not before he had brought discredit to his government. Kalyan Singh stayed put but the credit for restoring sanity to the political process goes to the President. H
had excelled both as guard and guide. As guard, he defended the sanctity of the Constitution and law. As guide he pulled the ship of state out of the shoals of iniquity. The nation owes him a debt of gratitude. Sitaram Kesri, a petty man with a pettier mind, ought never have been elected president of the Congress, in the first place. He has brought immense discredit to the party whose. fortunes were once presided over by the likes of a Jawaharlal Nehru and a Sardar Patel. Kesri has had the temerity to
call the President's action as "unfortunate". What is unfortunate is the fact that Kesri is president of the Congress. The party should disown him at the first available opportunity. The man has brought disgrace not only on his party - which surely deserves it - but to his country - and that is a more serious matter. And in the process he has made India the laughing stock of the world. Had President Narayanan succumbed to the Union Cabinet's pressures, it would have been a sad day for India - and for de
ocracy. But, as the saying goes, when the going began to get tough, Narayanan got going. Bully to him.

The question may - indeed, will be asked: why did the Congress in Uttar Pradesh split? And why did the Janata Dal split? For weeks and months the Congress leadership has been yelping that it is out to protect the country from the communalism of the BJP. Can it be that the BJP in Uttar Pradesh became secular overnight? Or is it that the BJP was never communal but Congress propaganda made it look so? The truth has to be faced. The charge of BJP communalism has become stale. People have come to see through
it and the truth has dawned on a substantial section of Congress and Janata Dal men. The inevitable, therefore, had to happen. These two parties had to split. And split they have. And it is a petty mind that refuses to see the truth and face facts. Kesri may fret and fume. Mulayam Singh Yadav, a political wretch if ever there is one, may threaten to break up the United Front but they have, in President Narayanan, met their match. Executives may dance to the drunken tune of a Kesri or a Mulayam, but Nar
yanan has shown that he is made of sterner stuff. Quite correctly - and quite courageously - he has shown these small men their place. At the bottom of the ladder. Outside the door. A massive change-over is taking place in the country, unbeknown to all the non-BJP political parties. Public opinion is swinging towards the BJP as the one party that can bring order in the country. The United Front had been given a chance. By its latest performance it has shown conclusively that it is most unfit to govern. O
ly a couple of weeks ago, Congressmen were giving ultimatums to the United Front government that if it did not shape up they would bring about it a downfall. Now both Congress and the United Front parties are about to be displaced. If a general election is held there is no doubt that this time around the BJP will be returned to power with a massive majority. The Congress will get the licking of its life. Is it surprising, then, that the charge of communalism against the BJP is no longer heard? Nobody wo
ld believe such a charge anyway. And in any event the public must be tired of the old joke for the charge has indeed been reduced to that, whichever way the cookie crumbles, one thing is for sure: the BJP will come on top. And one can be sure that the minorities will realise that. The Muslims may not always be wise; but surely they are not dumb either. They know a successful party when they see one. And that one, presently, is the BJP.

Let it be said here and now: the BJP is no more a communal party than the Congress or the Janata Dal is. It is sworn to re-build a temple to Shri Ram on the janmabhoomi site; but that can hardly be called a communal step; it is a self-assertion by resurgent Hinduism and is not aimed at Muslims or anyone else and the Muslims are coming to see that. A wise and temperate Muslim community will graciously accede to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad request that the janmabhoomi site be granted to the VHP in perpetuity
- in the larger interests of peace and good will. This is going to happen, the growling in the non-BJP camp notwithstanding. And once a Ram Temple is raised on its ancient site, all trouble will cease. Hindus and Muslims will become one. And it will see the end of Congress and the other regional parties. It is sad to think that the, Congress leadership does not see the writing on the wall.

It is still not too late for the Congress to mend its ways. First it must dismiss its errant president and retire him to the wilds of Bihar. Then it must see the wisdom of raising the Ram Temple at its appointed place. Then, and only then, can it hope to win even a few seats. If the Congress continues on its present ways the inevitable will happen. The BJP will win. It will win the next election in strength anyway. The split in the Uttar Pradesh Congress, with one large section walking over to the BJP cam
shows that even if Kesri is blind, his party in Uttar Pradesh are not. They can see the writing on the wall in capital - poster-letters.

The BJP is not, repeat NOT, a communal body. Hindutva is not a communal cry. It is plain and simply an assertion of the nation's ancient values of respect for all faiths and religions. Hindus are NOT revanchists; they are not seeking revenge for ancient wrongs. They are much too strong and decent for that. But they will assert themselves. After centuries of living under subjugation, first under the Mughals and later under the British, they wish to come into their own. And they will - the slurs made at th
m by the Congress and Communists and the Casteists notwithstanding.

A powerful movement is afoot; what one saw in the Uttar Pradesh Legislature is but a sign of things to come. Vibrant nationalism will assert itself and drive away the caste-ists, the Kanshi Rams, they Mayawatis, the Mulayams and the Laloo Prasads, not to speak of the Kesris. Hindutva will prevail, no matter what bad name the non-BJP parties will give to it. And the greatness of India will he seen to prevail.

In these long-drawn past few months Congress, the Janata Dal, the Communists and the rest of the so-called "secular" Parivar has thrived on a Hate-BJP diet. Hate, in the end, is self-defeating. It can never be productive. Hate turns against itself and that exactly is what has happened in Uttar Pradesh and in the final analysis is what is going to happen in the rest of India. People will flock to the BJP camp not in tens or hundreds or thousands, but in millions, as Hindutva unfolds its charms. Hindutva
s all-embracive; it does not discriminate between man and man. It is an empowering force, a force that will raise India to the pinnacle of glory. The great public is beginning to see it for what it is, now.

Against this background a person like Romesh Bhandari is irrelevant. History has chosen to make him its instrument of change. and possibly he himself is not aware of that fact. Had he not recommended dismissal of the Kalyan Singh government, had he not played the fool, may be the coming into power of the BJP may have been deferred and delayed but not put off. He had to play the fool. The fates, surely, are laughing in their sleeves that they could find such a dunderhead so easily at their command. The
handaris, too, have their uses, as we have occasion to see, even as they slink into oblivion in their time.

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