Using state power to crush democracy: Congress did it then, BJP now! Absolute power corrupts absolutely, as Indira Gandhi showed earlier and the BJP is showing now, writes TJS George.
Indira Gandhi and PM Narendra Modi. (File | Agencies)
Note: In this article the writer T J S George makes a comparison between the way Congress and the present BJP use state power to crush democratic efforts. Comparison is factual and down to earth. Whether the dying Congress or the ‘Congress-mukth Bharat’ will take any advise or learn any lesson is something to be seen, but not to be expected.
Congress No Democracy
In any case Democracy can never function in the hands of any of the elderly congress men. Proof? Even over a month after the resignation of Rahul Gandhi the elders in the Congress have not succeeded to elect a substitute for him, they can’t get anyone outside the Congress Dynasty. When Sashi Tharoor suggested Priyanka, we objected and felt sorry for Tharoor about whom we had better opinion
So we suggested the names of Sachin Pilot(41) or a Jyotiraditya Scindia(48) in our twitter. We haven’t seen any elderly Congress men (not even A K Antony, so I lost my soft corner for him) suggesting those names. Now they have resurrected the dying Soniaji to sing the Requiem (burial) of the Congress, as we see it. She will be doing a blessing in disguise, yes doing what Mahatma Gandhi wanted to see it done long, long ago, a good riddens for a bad worst.
New Cattle Class Party
After the burial of the Congress, Pilot, Scindia and other youngsters who have not migrated to BJP can start another party, call it ‘Cattle Class’ and take Tharoor also since he spoke of it long ago and gave initial publicity. Now we in the CCV are promoting it in the ecclesial, religious domain. And don’t forget to take Rahul Gandhi along. Never take back anyone who deserted Congress and ignore all silent elderly opportunists in the party.
Les Misérables Party
Cattle Class should mean the “Party of the Common man” (plebs, or Les Misérables) tied down to the tiller of the ground in sun sweating and rain drenched, Tagore speaks of. They are the poor of Yahweh or out-castes in pure Indian terminology. These are people spoken of in the Narareth Manifesto (Lk.18-19) in the Bible, where Jesus announces Good News to the poor, and Pope Francis works so hard with the motto: “a poor church for the poor”.
So to cut short a long discussion on the topic, let the corruption free, service minded youngsters in the Congress come up with a new paty CATTLE CLASS which shout out its goal in its very name, namely, “for the downtrodden,” One sentence the author writes at the end of the article: “small men who become great men are evil men because they destroy the assumptions on which democracy runs”, is worth thinking over for ever.
New Avathar of Aam Aadmi!
The new party to substitute Congress should excel in “foot-washing ministry” to the poor and broken hearted in India. It should come up as a party which the Aam Aadmi promised to become, but failed miserably. james kottoor, editor, CCV
Please read below T J S George, New Indian Express, 18th August 2019on the need to replace Congress
It was left to Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar to point out something no one else had noticed – how the Congress had used state power to crush democracy decades before the BJP rose to authoritarian heights and did the same.
The Congress went dictatorial when democracy was aglow with its initial patriotic zeal and Jawaharlal Nehru was an inspirational figure. Yet, Nehru became a silent participant in the molestation of democracy. Bhadrakumar was referring to the 60th anniversary of the historic 'vimochana samaram' of Kerala in 1958-59. The newly created linguistic state had its first general election in 1957 and the Communists had come to power by popular vote for the first time in history.
It sent shock waves across the globe, especially in the US, where the cold war was a major policy plank, pursued as an essential means to destroy communism and save the world.The elected Communists, led by E M S Namboodiripad, did what was expected of them. Initiatives like land reforms and minimum wages were radical enough, but the government seemed to get away with them.
When it turned to education, the air caught fire. Official attempts to ensure better wages and working conditions for teachers in private schools and colleges should have been welcomed by all, but the effect was the opposite.The main reason was that education had become linked with religion. Schools and colleges had become a profitable business for religious groups, especially Christian denominations. They wanted no government interference.
The Communist government’s attempt at interference was resisted immediately, the Catholic establishment taking the lead. The Nair Service Society and the Indian Union Muslim League joined them. The Congress party provided the leadership in coordinating the campaign. Advice and funding arrived from the US.
“Until this day,” says Bhadrakumar, “the US has imposed restrictions on declassifying the archival material pertaining to that period of Indian-American relations.”Which can only be a part of bureaucratic stupidity. Two American ambassadors to India, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Ellsworth Bunker, recorded that the CIA was involved in the Kerala agitation.
The net result of American involvement and local communal networking was that a powerful and effective mass agitation against the EMS government started shaking the state. Popular emotions were expertly aroused, passionate slogans invented, revolutionary couplets recited by marching crowds.Ultimately, though, it was Indira Gandhi’s power mania that clinched the issue. An indulgent Nehru made her the Congress party president (and we thought he was not a dynast) and her first priority was to let the world know of the authority the post commanded.
The Kerala crisis came in handy and she plunged into it with a vigour that surprised her own husband Feroze Gandhi. With Prime Minister Nehru showing indifference, Congress president Indira Gandhi took direct interest in the agitation against the EMS government.
Her assuming the leadership meant the use of Central government pressure on the state. She kept it up until, in July 1959, Delhi took the unusual step of dismissing the elected government of a state.
Unbeknown to the outside world, Indira faced her severest critic right at the dining table in the prime minister’s house where she was living then with her family.Feroze Gandhi used strong words to criticise her. He said she had joined hands with “caste monsters” in the state to undo a democratic election. “You are bullying the people. You are a fascist.”
A red-faced Indira got up and walked away from the dining table. Feroze wound up his residence in the PM’s house and moved to a place of his own. Kerala had played a pivotal role in Indira’s personal life and her development into the Emergency dictator.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, as Indira showed then and the BJP is showing now. Just as the “liberation struggle” roped in the socialists of the day, the BJP is witnessing birds of strange feathers flocking to its nest. From the north-east to Haryana to Sikkim to Maharashtra, suddenly patriots are joining the BJP. That many of them face I-T-CBI threats is a minor detail. Law always supports power.
Hauteur adds a dimension of its own to the BJP’s handling of power. Lord Acton’s famous pronouncement went on to say that great men are almost always bad men. Our own experience shows that small men who become great men are evil men because they destroy the assumptions on which democracy runs. What we have today is autocracy, undisguised.