Post Mortem

The great Amethi rematch

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 4/25/2019 12:02:14 PM IST

 An electoral battle, which will be a classic in the history of India’s electoral politics, is on card this election season as the prestigious Amethi parliamentary constituency in the state of Uttar Pradesh is all set to witness a rematch between union minister Smriti Irani and Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Long considered as the traditional political bastion for the grand old party of India, election of any kind held here in the constituency always produces a result that turn out to be a cakewalk in favour of the party, where the question of who wins hardly arises and where the margin of victory for the party only matters, until 2014 with the arrival of one woman politician who despite losing the very election reduces the winning margin of her opponent, and finally posing a serious challenge to the party greatly damaging its images of invincibility in the constituency.

An emerging woman’s face in the saffron party, and who herself is no stranger to controversies, including the way she handled the JNU Sedition drama few years back and her educational qualification still shrouded in mystery, nevertheless a performer with a strong grass root appeal and her political fate to be rely solely with the people and on her performance, and not on any dynasty or ruling family, Smriti Irani is ready and willing to once again challenge not only the Congress’ president but the very mentality of politics governed by dynastic politics from the safest constituency of the Congress party. All these factors from the opponent confronting the Congress are enough to put the party in the dock as they were forced to play a safe game searching for safer seat for their president, eventually finding one in the Deep South state, but in the process spoiled the excitement that was expected to generate in this classic Amethi rematch.

What makes this contest a classic lies not only in the way the election would be fought but the outcome, whichever way the tide goes, which would have consequential impact on the political career of the candidates giving the long term perception that would etch in the minds of electorates on this very election. Her willingness to take on the invincible, refusing to lobby to the party for the safer seat elsewhere, makes her status/position formidable in the party. Win or lose, this courageous step taken by Irani will also help her become an indispensable political force/voice not only within her party but in Indian politics for many years to come. Rahul’s act of seeking an alternative safe route to parliament, on the other hand, is nothing more than a syndrome of his lack of confidence in fighting a tough electoral battle and shying away from taking up responsibilities and challenges.

The unimaginable things that is happening in today’s India, where its democracy which is of more than 70 years old now and supposed to already attained its maturity, and where elections are expected to be fought and contested on the platform of decency and civility, is the trading of hordes of tirades by politicians against their own colleagues. After being reprimanded by the highest court of the country for his infamous “Chowkidar Chor Hai” remark, not forgetting his another “Masood Azhar ji ” compliment, Rahul Gandhi continues to demonstrate his character to the nation as insensitive and immature politician by calling BJP National President Amit Shah as “murder accused” thereby stooping himself to the lowest level of disgrace that undermines not just his credibility as a political leader but the great institution of Indian democracy that make him a politician, while at the same time projecting himself as the best alternative from the present regime, setting aside all the track record of failures that he set for the party since he join politics. After all, he represent a political party that assumes that his special place in Indian politics is permanent, if not eternal, and secure not because of his capability but because he belongs to one ruling family. Identifying with that ruling family and revolving around a dynastic politics are what reign supreme for the grand old party of India.

The sudden departure of Priyanka Chaturvedi, a popular party national spokesperson, in the middle of election indicates the sense of discontent and disillusionment of the party cadres toward the party’s leadership. Her resignation letter, where she cited party leaderships’ lack of interest and commitment towards ordinary party workers refusing to acknowledge their contributions, reflects the fast erosion of Congress’ values and principles, championed by the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad and Sardar Patel, under the present leadership.

The idea of India that is to be guided by the spirit of secularism, pluralism, inclusiveness and democracy, inspired by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, and that was the guiding political principles of Congress during pre-independence had influenced minority Muslim leaders like Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad to remain not only a life long congressman, but also choose India as his native country at the time when communal polarization politics calling for a separate state for the Muslim was at its peak, costing countless precious lives, which was culminated with the creation of Pakistan as an Islamic Republic vis-à-vis the tragic partition of India. The party today no longer inspires the country with those principles, which represents a priceless value for humanity, and instead replaced itself with the politics of arrogance, corruption, lobby and loyalty to one family. 

The latest edition of contest in Amethi mark by full of controversies over the candidate’s academic qualification, question mark on the real nationality of Rahul Gandhi, meaning casting serious doubt on his loyalty to the nation, total absence of transparency and accountability and demonstration of lack of integrity and commitment by the politicians where the question of getting themselves elected only matters to them, these are the reflections of the overall election/political scenario in the country today. And if the people of India has no other choice apart from these available option then this particular election, as had been the case before, would only serve the interest of few ruling class/elites, and would be a total disaster for the country, especially for the common people.

Dr. Nsungbemo Ezung, Wokha Town, 



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