Marcus Tullius Cicero, the famous Roman politician in the era before Christ, had once said:
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive the treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gates freely, his sly whispers rustling through the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in an accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep within the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resists. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
This is perhaps one of more apt descriptions of the direction in which our nation is moving today. After adopting the principle of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ irrespective of who he is or what he stands for, the role of Congress and its allies is aptly described by what Cicero said over two thousand two hundred years ago. Having lost their pole position in Indian politics, today Congress is ready to accept crumbs even from small regional parties to remain in contention as a national political party. It may be judicious to read Cicero’s statement line by line to see how it describes what the Congress party is doing today as far as the nation is concerned.
The misplaced ambitions that Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, has for her son Rahul Gandhi are known to everyone. She wants to see him as the Prime Minister of India. The fact that Rahul Gandhi, alias Pappu, is perceived as someone bordering on being foolish, devoid of any political acumen with a mind that is as hollow as an empty oil barrel is of no consequence to the dotting mother. This just reinforces what Cicero said about a nation surviving its fools. One way or the other the nation as a whole has shown its indifference to Rahul despite Sonia Gandhi’s ambitions to see him at the helm of the nation’s government.
In absence of any merit based approach to work as a constructive opposition, the party as a whole and Rahul Gandhi in particular have embarked on a dangerous path in their fixation to obstruct the government of the day in whatever it does. It is of no consequence to anyone in the Congress and its allies if the nation suffers in the bargain or progress is impeded. Are Congress and its allies not behaving like enemies within? They move freely within the parliament and other power corridors of Lutyens zone in New Delhi, plotting and planning on how not to let the duly elected government of the day do its work instead of finding answers to the multitude of problems that the nation faces today as part of the legacy that their inept governance has left in last six decades. Their disruption of parliamentary proceeding in last three sessions is an ample indication of their game plan. The oft repeated excuse that we are only doing what BJP did during later part of the UPA 2 regime is hard to swallow and does not cut much ice. The period from 2010 to 2014 was plagued with monumental scams with the UPA 2 government behaving like an ostrich while the nation was bleeding in more ways than one. Today the national parliament is held to ransom by Congress on flimsy excuses like suicide of one student in Hyderabad, killing of an individual in local village fight over cow slaughter or a student union leader being arrested over anti – India tirade that happened right under his nose. Surely the 2 G Scam, Coalgate, Commonwealth Games Scam, Helicopter Deal Scam, Adarsh Society scam and others were far larger issues that had much greater and more tangible negative impact on the nation than any of these minor isolated incidents which were blown beyond recognition for their perceived impact on minorities.
In their rule of nearly six decades after independence Congress did little, by design, to elevate the misery and poverty that affects over 60% of the nation’s population. In addition they, including their past and present allies, have had the distinction of suppressing merit for the sake of vote bank politics and exploiting the ill conceived policy of reservations on one hand while encouraging caste based politics on the other. Today the nation has come to the perilous stage where even affluent societies like Jats in Haryana and Patels in Gujarat are seeking reservations. One wonders if a time will come in the near future when a greater percentage of Indian population will be covered under some form of reservation or the other. In such a scenario it may become incumbent on part of those outside this “kill the merit” system to seek a minority status against the majority covered under reservations! Are such actions not amounting to making the nation weak by dividing the Indian society into many parts and pitying them against each other?
The recent Jat agitation was a prime example of such machinations by the Congress party. The party leaders quietly and slyly appealed to the baseness that they had inculcated in the hearts of Jat community over the years which finally resulted in the violence that engulfed most of the state of Haryana with non-Jats being the victims. All other communities in Haryana were taken by surprise since the traitors had always spoken in accents familiar to the ultimate victims and therefore were never seen as traitors. Post the riots, most non-Jats in the state will be vary of Congress party and its politics as also it will take time to fill the divide that the party engineered between Jats on one hand and balance of the state’s society on the other. Is there any doubt as to who engineered these riots and the adverse impact they have had on the fragile links that bind different parts of the society together?
Congress party’s love for the word ‘intolerance’ in the last few months seems to have increased to the point where it seems to be bursting out of every pore of every leader in the party. Suicide by one student in a university thousands of miles from New Delhi suddenly becomes a case of intolerance by the national government of all citizens who belong to any caste, community, race or tribe that are covered under some form of reservation policy. The fact that the nation supported the same student all along and brought him to an exalted level where he was possibly the envy of most others of his age, who did not have the fortune to be covered by reservations, is completely forgotten. While most young men of his age were working long hours to meet their basic needs and those of their near and dear ones, this gentleman was receiving a stipend that most committed professionals of his age would find hard to earn. Instead of being grateful to the system that accorded him such luxury, he commits suicide stating he was being discriminated against. One wonders why he never complained of discrimination for the many years he was in the university and many years of school or college where the governmental system supported his advancement. The case of Kanhaiya Kumar of JNU is no different who seems to have more time for making anti government speeches and slogans than to look after his extremely poor parents back home. At an age where most educated young men are contributing positively to the nation in some form or the other, these individuals continue to live off the nation by enrolling as research scholars’ perennially.
Somehow discrimination and intolerance only comes to the fore once things do not go ones way or when one is taken to task for unlawful acts or misdeeds committed. These sensitive words with very deep meaning are only used as a shield to cover ones inherent cowardice and lack of moral courage to stand up for what one has done. The case of Tamil Nadu High Court judge Mr SC Karnan too comes to mind straight away which clearly supports this argument. A High Court Judge, who can safely be assumed to be part of the creamiest layer of the Indian society, complaining of discrimination because he was posted out of Chennai by the Supreme Court of India – can anything be more bizarre? Such brazen attitude is only because the honourable judge knows that opposition parties will line up behind him once he plays the Dalit card. All this shows is that the soul of the nation is being eroded by design from inside and the national fabric is being infested with moths in the form of selfish political leadership who continue to advocate reservations and similar policies.
Is it any wonder that Congress and most other political parties were up in arms when Mr Mohan Bhagwat of RSS suggested that it was time to open a debate and review the reservation policies? But then courage and self belief to call a spade a spade was never a strong point of the Congress leadership. It is no secret that reservation policies, as practiced today, contribute in a major way to ‘kill merit’ apart from spreading dissatisfaction among those who unfortunately are not covered under reservations. The aim for equitable development cannot be achieved by forced reservations at the cost of merit or other sections of society. Equitable development calls for developing the less fortunate sections of the society with a view to prepare them to stand on their two feet to compete on equal terms with others. Certainly as on date that is not the way things are going since past governments never looked at it in that manner. Instead they used reservations to create vote banks by offering concessions and consigning merit to the dustbin. It may not be wrong to state that continuance of such misguided policies are only weakening the nation from within and past experience of nearly six decades is ample proof of the same.
Cicero stated that “A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” This simply means that a murderer will come to you directly and openly and you will see him but a traitor will work like a mole – unseen and hidden from view while it bites the innards of the system to weaken it till it collapses. Congress seems to be doing the latter to perfection these days. On one hand it has still not reconciled to the fact that it not only is out of power but is also becoming irrelevant in context of national politics. On the other hand it also does not see any hope in the years to come because of lack of effective leadership and leaders who can hold their own at the grass root level since today most of its top leadership is devoid of such attributes. They also realise very clearly that in case the current government under Mr Modi performs well by the nation, Congress’s chances of revival will be pushed back further by the time next general elections are due and it may even lose part of the 44 seats it currently has in Lok Sabha. Is it any wonder then that they are conniving and plotting with other opposition parties to prevent the government from taking the nation on a path of progress and development? How one wishes that instead of channelizing their energies and resources to obstruct the government they focus instead on their own plight and come out of the depths that they have fallen to. This will be in the interest of the nation in the long run since a strong and constructive opposition cannot be anything but an asset to the nation apart from being a viable alternate option for governance.