It seems like the Grand Old Party (GOP) of India, Indian National Congress and the GOP, Republican Party of USA, are two sides of the same coin. The only difference being the former is in the saddle at the moment by cobbling together a majority alligning with other smaller entities and the latter sits in the opposition benches. But the way both run each's affairs seems to be one and the same. Even the policies both follow are the same. But our Grand Old Party always brags about its rich heritage and solid democratic traditions right from the day it was formed in 1885. Now that the party as the name GOP suggests is really the Grand Old Party having completed one hundred and twenty five years of existence. More over the Party most often finds time to boast about the great renowned leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi(albeit some reservations) besides leaders of yore to make us feel proud of its rich heritage.
Apart form these claims often parroted by its leaders of today both young and old alike, these present generation leaders however don't have an any locus standi to marvel upon its cherished democratic traditions.
Our yester year leaders innumerable of them always remained self-less, loyal and practised simple living and noble thoughts and advocated, exhorted the masses and follow their paths for the cause of the country. The very word corruption was anathema to them as they throughout their lives remained uncorrupt.
Today how many among the present generation performing 'service' in the party dare claim to be self-less and uncorrupt? Even if they dare to put a brave face with the claims on the lines of 'yes we are not corrupt , we always remain corrupt-free and will remain selfless throughout, imagine the scenario when the masses in unison boo them practically forcing them to flee the scene.
On Nov 2, yesterday, AICC members across the nation converged at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, Congress President and Chairperson of National Advisory Council (NAC), Prime Minister Dr.ManMohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherji, Defence Minister A.K.Antony and a host of leaders to formally elect Sonia Gandhi as the President of the party for the fourth consecutive term, in fact a record. All were unanimous in electing her, in fact in a competitive move to hold their hands aloft. The meeting was reported to have lasted three hours.
Except for the President-elect, none at least for namesake, pointed towards the glaring fact that while the party goes on boasting about a 'booming economy' the great GDP rate (Gross Domestic Product) sky-rocketing stock-market indices the majority of Indians who still remain poor and under BPL(Below Poverty Line) still languish with not even a square meal at least once a day. The very foundation upon which the nation is built continues to be shaky while the upper strata of the society continues to be the real beneficiaries which will ultimately lead to the collapse of the whole edifice at any time.
The delegates worshipful of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi - reported to be cynosure of all eyes, quite natural when majority of them always remain sycophants - the ones with ulterior motives. And the delegates however showered abundant, profuse praises on Dr.ManMohan Singh for rescuing the country from the clutches of global economic recession and for turning the economic scene robust.
But facts remain facts and glaring facts indeed. India occupies the 84th position in the list of Global Poverty Index about which none dared to speak out.
However let me point out a stark truth, Sonia's speech though pro-poor her speech taken in its totality was a cover-up. Cover-up for what and for whom self-explanatory and I shall come to it later.
She spoke vehementally against Sangh Parivar particularly RSS and pointed out the Allahabad High Court Verdict pronounced a month back as the BJP argues has not exonerated the party for the crime of demolishing the disputed structure at Ayodhya on the fateful day of December 6, 1992. Besides that allegation, her accusing finger pointed towards the Sangh Parivar for indulging in suspected terror activities. The ruling party blaming opposition party levelling charges on various countries and the opposition responding in the same coin, quite natural in politics, be it in any democratic country. Hence, no reason for wonder or embarassment on account of that.
But the heart of the matter lies elsewhere.
Her platitudes aside, what all that embarrased, baffled and angered the independent observers like me was the presence of two scam-accused persons prominently seated off stage. They are none other than Suresh Kalmadi, the man who reportedly made a mess of the Common Wealth Games, 2010, Delhi, Oct 3-14 still occupying the chair of Olympics Committee. Charges of massive corruption levelled against him still under investigation under the leadership of V.K.Shunglu, former Comptroller and Auditor General still going on.
At least, the Congress leadership could have asked him to step aside and if he could emerge clean after the investigation he could be re-instated in the prestigious seat.
Second, Ashok Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, who is caught in the quagmire Adarsh Housing Welfare scam he got involved while he was occupying the chair of Revenue Minister of Maharashtra. He reportedly fudged the rules by which housing scheme exclusively meant for the families of Kargil Martyrs were allotted to three of his relatives and the top level defence personnel leaving the families of Kargil Martyrs in the lurch. The permission given to the two scam-tainted gentlemen to participate in the session doesn't believe a party which swears by its century old democratict traditions and rich heritage. Sonia Gandhi seems to have not noticed these two, something wonderful. But the unfortunate truth is that the media community took notice of them and promptly reported through visual and print media.