The attack on Sonia Gandhi by Narendra Modi over travel and medical expenses, and the absurd figure that was flung at audiences with much abandon, constituted one of the lowest points in politics and political discourse in recent times. With that scale of money, Sonia Gandhi could have gone to the moon more than once! No secure and strong leader descends to such levels of oratory, with the ‘passion’ of a person possessed by personal hate, spewing venom rather than having a vigorous combat on fundamental political issues and differences. Surely, a confident ruler of a state who believes that his state endorses him, should not have to fool his constituents with blatantly wrong statements? He should have begun to set fresh, intelligent standards of debate to make himself worthwhile as he attempts to move into the national political arena. The performance was pathetic and foolish.
Equally, the silence on this issue from the government of India was untenable and unwarranted. It required the prime minister to make a statement stating the truth. That was not forthcoming. If the prime minister can address the nation on issues of the nuclear bill and once again, on foreign direct investment in retail, surely he must intervene when the leader of the party to which he belongs is being slandered? Something terrible is overwhelming Indian politics. There is absolutely no dignity left. It is a free-for-all space where even partners in a party ignore the dreadful assaults on their compatriots. Wrong standards are being consolidated and India is lurching, ashamed and distressed.
The Congress needs to shake up its structure and stop bothering over inconsequential shuffles, which insult individuals and create strange bed fellows. A game of musical chairs should not be played in the cabinet, at the cost of growth, change and development. The inability to bring about a radical overhaul, from top to bottom, is inexplicable. Sonia Gandhi appears to be the only person with the gumption to face the people and speak out. She resurrected a dead party and gave it two terms in Delhi. Unfortunately, this last term has been a disaster in terms of governance and decision-making, except for the sudden introduction of FDI in retail as though through a diktat!
Why does the prime minister not fight hard to give ‘inexperienced’ younger politicians cabinet posts? He was an inexperienced politician when Sonia Gandhi made him the prime minister. Surely the time is ripe to pass the baton voluntarily? Why this fear and awe of GenNext? Why not offer Rahul Gandhi prime ministership rather than a mere cabinet post? Chances are that Rahul Gandhi would lead the party to victory as an active candidate rather than as a ‘campaigner’ — which is what he had been reduced to in the Uttar Pradesh elections by not being allowed to stand against Akhilesh Yadav. The party in its present form can only lose the next time. Sad for the grand old party of India.
At another end of the confused and dodgy lines of governance, committees have been formed with ancient, failed men, who destroyed the system and who are now being given the authority to make future policies. Have the processes of governance been infiltrated by lobbyists? The first week of October was the national wildlife week in India and entry into the forests was banned. What a bizarre irony. Within the ban, poaching had begun. We seem to only salute the guilty — those who failed in the first place, which is why they triggered the ban — as well as the ‘lobbyists’ who seem to have the entry that Indian citizens are denied. Are these happenings constitutional? Why is India being damned? Why are the rights of citizens being trampled upon?