ARTICLES FROM THE SUNDAY GUARDIAN
Copyright. All rights reserved. Ram Jethmalani. 2018.
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The curtains are slowly descending and the sun is setting fast over the dictatorship of the dynasty, which has dwarfed India since Independence. The dynasty is in disarray, as results from opinion polls pour in and field reports pile up. Members, invisible for some time, have suddenly surfaced, desperately commandeered to salvage the defeat that stares them in the face. But all they can contribute are street-smart, unconvincing and factually incorrect one-liners. And a pathetic and desperate appearance by the alien matriarch, through a television ad beseeching the people to endorse the dynasty, which alone cares about Bharatiyata and Hindustaniyat, something she has so lovingly nurtured for the last ten years by doing her best to divide and destabilise Bharat/Hindustan. Finally, she realised that she had to appeal to our Sanskrit past, and resort to the word Hindu to reach out to the heart of India. Finally and opportunistically, these words passed her secular test, and if she, the ultimate torchbearer of "secularism" is using them, they are no longer communal words. If only she could have done this a few years ago... but I do realise that those were the years of serious and uninterrupted corruption, of stashing away and cover ups, leaving little time to strategise intelligently for the next election. Anyway, it is doubtful whether her sense of Indian history is commensurate with understanding the profundity of the words Bharatiyata and Hindustaniyat. Not long ago, she did great honour to them with her Communal Violence Bill, acting as the agent of every enemy of true Bharatiyata and Hindustaniyat, to destroy it forever.
Surprisingly, not once did she use the word "secularism" in her television ad. Clearly, she was pitching for portions of the huge Hindu vote-bank that she did her best to divide and fragment and push to defensiveness, continuing British divide and rule with her own divisive propaganda. But finally, it seems to have hit her that she had debased "secularism" so much to an anti-majority idiom, that she could no longer use it to capture the heart of India.
Pathetic again, that she had nothing to say, except a unilateral declaration that everyone other than her and her party is full of "hatred and falsehood", and is bent upon the "ruination" of the country. Interestingly, she transferred all the qualities that she and her Congress party have been suffocating the nation with — "divisive and autocratic", bringing "ruination" to the country — to the BJP. A common psychological defence mechanism, I believe, and a goodbye speech in poor taste.
Her terror at the future is understandable. Her misdeeds looming large before her; losing the keys of the cupboards where the sinful files of loot and cover up are stacked; losing control over the investigation agencies, whom she could appoint, control and twist at will; and the sure possibility that the crimes committed by her and her family against the nation will come under the scrutiny of a regime she cannot buy up, blackmail, or make a partner of. So all this must be pre-empted from the start and labelled as "Hindu nationalism" arising from "personality cult".
Personality cult has been a Nehru Gandhi family forte from the time of Jawaharlal Nehru. It actually follows a very simple norm — that according to Bharatiyata or Hindustaniyat, only members of the Nehru Gandhi dynasty have the "right" to acquire personality cults. Sure, any challenge to mother and son's personality cult, assiduously built up through the friendly media and enforcement agencies, would be extremely traumatic and disorienting. Especially since she has seen a spontaneous challenge grow before her eyes during the last few years, and all her attempts to demolish it have failed. Her only weapon now is to label it as "Hindu nationalism", make it appear as a crime and a threat to "social peace" in our diverse society.
I don't know how much of Indian history she is familiar with, but let me inform her that the heart and soul of our diverse society has thrived for millennia, has withstood Hindu genocide during Muslim conquest, Christian inquisitions and forcible conversions, and continues to inclusively flourish today, much before she came to India, and will continue to do so, much after her pernicious rule is over.
I ask her, has there been greater threat to social peace in Gujarat or other BJP ruled states, which you say are "Hindu nationalist", than there was in Congress ruled Gujarat or Assam or Maharashtra or the Samajwadi UP? Please understand, you cannot con the nation anymore with your stale attempts at creating fear psychosis and paranoia. That game is over. The Muslims of India have seen through it, and will not be your victims anymore. They realise that your divisiveness leaves them more beleaguered, while you flaunt your vote bank demagoguery. Let the true India discover its own heart and soul without interference from external influence. Yes, I quite agree that our society stands at cross roads — for it is about to take a course that will expose you, your corruption and plunder of India, and your divisive ideology completely. Your vision for a healthy and free democracy is a vision to weaken India's internal and external security, its constitutional system, fragment and destabilise India, divide it, plunder and loot it through your monumental capacity for corruption, and keep harping all the while about your fake secularism.
And as for divisiveness, you have proved yourself maestro, starting from your own government itself, structured on loyalty towards you, and ensuring a permanent divide between the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, to retain your own supremacy.
She finds herself in quite a spot internationally from unexpected quarters. The case filed against her in the US by "Sikhs for Justice" for "shielding and protecting" Congress party leaders, including Kamal Nath, Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, from prosecution for their role in the 1984 Sikh pogrom, is in progress. SFJ claims that it had served its summons to her when she visited Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in the US for her treatment in September last year. The nation still does not know the nature of her secret disease, but it must certainly be costing us an awful amount of money to keep it secret. Anyhow, the US District Judge Brian Cogan had last month asked her to provide documentary evidence to enable the court to determine her presence in the US. She has declined to provide a copy of her passport, the entry and exit stamps, citing that "in matters of disclosure of my travels, which are contained in the passport document, the Government of India has informed me that they would not permit such a disclosure" on grounds of personal security and confidentiality. Well argued. I wonder which ministers would have dared to advise her, especially since she was the government herself, something adequately substantiated by Sanjaya Baru's revelations. Her action also strengthens my suspicion, mumbled also by persons who are in some proximity to her, that she does not use her Indian passport when she travels abroad.
However, because she had plenty to hide, she added, "I voluntarily relinquish the plea of lack of personal jurisdiction. I may add that the present submission is without prejudice to the plea of want of jurisdiction in relation to the subject matter." It is reported that since Sonia Gandhi has conceded the court's personal jurisdiction by withdrawing objection to service of summons, the court will move to subject matter jurisdiction to hear the charges of shielding and protecting those responsible for 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Yes, these are bad times indeed, facing the real world, unprotected by the gilded cocoon of 10 Janpath and the Government of India that she personified.
The exposures made by Sanjaya Baru in his recent book, The Accidental Prime Minister: The Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh only confirm what was well known in all political, official and journalistic circles. That the Prime Minister could not appoint ministers of his choice, was not in control of his Cabinet, or even his own office, that he knowingly overlooked corruption, that final authority in all matters was wielded by her, "the centre of power" to whom Singh was completely "subservient".
Well, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, you have certainly matched your mother-in-law Indira Gandhi in one respect. Just as she subverted our Constitution with her Emergency, you succeeded in doing the same by subverting our Parliamentary democracy, the constitutional position of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers.