National

Cablegate propels Congress missile

New Delhi: ‘A drowning man catches at a straw’. The WikiLeaks gave the rudderless Congress the proverbial straw. 2G scam had already torpedoed its boat and had made BJP a roaring lion. With Nitish’s return to power, the NDA got a sanjeevani and BJP did not appear to be the eternal outcaste for many. Having antagonized DMK and a rebel Jagan in Andhra, Congress was a sinking ship. And the safety boat came from the WikiLeaks.

The conversation between Ambassador Roemer and Rahul cabled by the envoy not only endorsed Rahul’s credentials as “an elusive contact in the past” but now “clearly interested in reaching out to the USG. The rising profile of young leaders like Rahul Gandhi provides (the USA) with an opening to expand the constituency in support of the strategic partnership with a long term horizon;” but also drew attention to his terror perception. The two partners in War against Terrorism were trying to arrive at a rational conclusion – who after all posed greater threat to India’s security. Pakistan with its Hydra-like terror outfits “successfully” carrying out a 26/11 or someone else? The American ambassador wanted Rahul to be more precise on Islamic terrorism. However, instead of naming al-Qaeda; he chose Hindu outfits.

By doing so he killed two birds with one stone. It made NDA constituents, which were eager to reunite to reconsider their option. It also deflated BJP’s aggressive stance on 2G because it put the party in a defensive posture. Abandoning Raga Raja they had to train their guns on Rahul for his anti-Hindutva remarks. Sangh parivar, already in crisis because of Aseemanand and Indresh mention in various ATS chargesheets found it necessary to refute it. So the BJP had to divert its attention from one front (2G) and put the Ramjanmabhoomi on back burner in order to pounce aggressively on Rahul.

Digvijay Singh had already done the necessary spade work by first divulging about Hemant Karkare’s conversation two hours before he was shot dead on 26/11. From here both Diggy and Rahul took the centre stage. For the 125-year-old Congress session it became the keynote address. This was something necessary for the entire party to endorse and defend the heir apparent lest their own loyalty be endangered.

The Congress has ruled India only on the fear psychosis of Muslims. Having done little to alleviate the fear it has simultaneously built bridges with soft hindutva as well so as not to be totally deserted by the Hindus. Knowing fully well (post-Babri mosque demolition and now the Ayodhya verdict) that it has invited Muslim wrath, it was necessary to do damage control.

Diggy found Harshad Solanki’s statement a powerful baton to beat BJP with by dragging in Sunil Joshi’s murder. So Muslims are again reminded of the wolf. The interesting aspect in all such exercises is that though Congress goes on ‘crying wolf’, it never hits it hard. Its dilemma is that of a woman who has to strike a balance between an angry husband and a weeping chid-husband (majoritarian soft hindutva) she cannot abandon and so far as the child, she has to soothe with promises of the moon.

It is not for the first time that Congress had toyed with the idea of blaming someone else for Karkare’s murder. A.R. Antulay, the then minister of minority affairs, had hinted at it but in face of strong resentment had to retract it. This time too Venkaiah Naidu and others have accused Digvijay of helping Pakistan. While Prakash Javadekar holds that to call Hindu groups more dangerous them LeT is the product of sick mind; Ravi Shankar Prasad regards his remarks as ignorance about India. The RSS put it more succinctly: There is a race among senior Congress leaders to project Hindus as terrorists.

With such verbal fire exchange, all major issues including the party’s own organisational problems, were conveniently pushed below the carpet. Hike in onion price coincided with the Congress show organised as a mega event. Crocodile tears (sorry, onion tears) were not needed to express concern on mehengai mar gai; after all wherefrom the money for such event would have come.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 January 2011 on page no. 7

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