New Delhi, March 7: The Congress campaign launched today cautions India against a Nathuram Godse lurking everywhere, unmindful of the RSS threat to drag Rahul Gandhi to court for linking it to Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination.
The Congress is determined to make the BJP’s “communal” history its campaign engine as was reflected on the concluding day of party student wing NSUI’s convention.
Every speaker there referred to the “politics of hatred”, and several young leaders described their rivals as “followers of Godse’s ideology”.
The audience cheered whenever any speaker cited the Sangh parivar’s “intolerant” ideology.
Former Rajathan chief minister Ashok Gehlot listed the attempt by “communal and fascist forces” to misguide today’s youth as one of the greatest concerns facing the country.
His Assam counterpart Tarun Gogoi pointed to Narendra Modi’s “dictatorial” approach and argued that he was good only in “packaging and publicity”.
Rahul, who had yesterday earned the Sangh’s wrath by blaming the organisation for the Mahatma’s assassination, today focused on the BJP’s “duplicity” on corruption. He said BJP leaders do not see corruption in Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The Congress website today issued an appeal saying: “Unfortunately, there continues to be a Nathuram Godse lurking round the corner, preaching a philosophy of hate. Godse represented a poisonous ideology that snatched away Mahatma Gandhi from us.
“Advocates of that philosophy will not hesitate to bring down a masjid or a church. They won’t think twice before killing a Christian or a Muslim. They will do all they can to divide us.”
Without naming the BJP or the Sangh, it continued: “Our fight against communalism and religious fanaticism is a tireless one. India’s secular and plural ethos has to be constantly defended from forces trying to spread hate and assert the supremacy of one religion over another. Our spirit is stronger than the forces of hate.”
Most of the Congress’s slogans for this election are based on this theme and criticise the tendency to “divide society”.
The party leadership is not worried about the RSS threat to file a defamation case against Rahul and would welcome the debate on the Sangh parivar’s ideology and history that a legal wrangle would automatically trigger.
The Congress is desperately trying to shift the focus to communalism as people do not seem interested in the UPA government’s record in the social sector and the pieces of legislation it brought in.
Most of the young leaders at the NSUI convention promised Rahul they would work hard to win over the young voters, who largely appear inclined towards Modi so far.
Asked how they planned to do this, several young boys and girls offered only faint hope about India’s educated youth not falling for an ideology that is intolerant and regressive, and brings on the table fringe outfits like the Bajrang Dal and the Ram Sena.