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New leaders, the need of the hour in India

New leaders, the need of the hour in India
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New leaders, the need of the hour in India

Highlights

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated political leaders who can differentiate between good and bad and stop playing the role of good cop, bad cop. It is a matter of shame that even after the mayhem one had witnessed at Red Fort and ITO on Republic Day, we have Congress leaders who refuse to lead the party talking about how to run the country.

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India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated political leaders who can differentiate between good and bad and stop playing the role of good cop, bad cop. It is a matter of shame that even after the mayhem one had witnessed at Red Fort and ITO on Republic Day, we have Congress leaders who refuse to lead the party talking about how to run the country.

It was a verbal mayhem to hear the former AICC president Rahul Gandhi who did not even condemn the acts of lumpen and rowdy elements who lynched the police and resorted to an act which was nothing short of questioning the sovereignty of India. It's really a matter of shame that a party that claims to be the only party to follow the principles of Mahatma Gandhi fears condemning violence.

It was shocking to hear Rahul Gandhi saying, "Ask the Home Minister who allowed 50 farmers to enter the Red Fort." This clearly shows how cantankerous one can be. The Congress party leaders should answer were there just 50 people at Red Fort? The job of opposition parties is to question the government, expose their omissions and commissions but, they also have a responsibility to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of the country. They cannot support unruly elements to score a point over the government. This quality no opposition party is displaying.

Not just the anarchy at Red Fort but swords were drawn and stones pelted at police at Singhu site on Friday. Still Congress backs chaos. Rahul Gandhi posed a question: What will you do if thieves try to rob you? You will retaliate. Well what should the police do if they are attacked with swords and rods or if attempts are made to trample them with tractors? Every coin has two sides. Leaders should learn to see both sides.

If the Congress party had condemned the mayhem and taken the lead to prepare the genuine farmers to work towards a workable solution and engage with the Supreme Court appointed committee of agriculture experts and played the role of cupid to convey to the Government that the farmers had distanced themselves from the anarchy that took place and were ready to resume the talks, they would have done a great favour to the nation and would have proved to be a real alternative to the ruling party.

But instead Rahul Gandhi had the audacity to say that the farmers of South have not understood the farm laws in depth and hence they did not come on road while the farmers of North understood the real intentions of the farm laws. What an insult to the farmers of South. That is the compliment the farmers of South got from a Member of Parliament who has won with the votes of South Indians.

It was this kind of attitude which made the Congress bite dust in 1983 in Andhra Pradesh and a regional party TDP led by NT Rama Rao came to power within nine months of floating a party. In fact the politicians from North more particularly the Congress leaders always saw South as safe destiny for votes but never showed the respect it deserved and dubbed everyone south of Vindhya's as 'Madrasis'.

The Congress and other opposition parties who want Narendra Modi and Amit Shah to resign did not have the heart to call on the injured policemen and women. If police had unleashed its brutality and resorted to firing on January 26, many casualties would have been there on both sides. Barring the unfortunate death of young farmer who rammed his tractor into barricades resulting in overturning of his vehicle which killed him, there were no causalities whatsoever.

But the Congress still supports the chaos and says, "Don't give an inch, we are with you." Rahul would have been appreciated if he had successfully led his party by uniting all anti-BJP parties and led a united fight against the policies of the government which they feel are not in the interest of the farmers on the floor of Parliament not on streets.

Rahul Gandhi should go back to the farmers' agitation of 1988 led by Mahendra Singh Tikait at Boat Club and study how the then Central Government led by his father Rajiv Gandhi dealt with the farmers. Power and water was cut by the administration. Loud music including western music was played at middle of the night thinking that it would scare away the farmers. Boat club turned into stinking club due to open defecation by agitating farmers. The then government accepted the 35-point charter of demands including higher prices for sugarcane and waiving of electricity and water charges for farmers. It is a different issue that the assurances remained more on paper. If stopping supply of water and power was correct then, how can it be wrong now? AAP sends water tankers on Friday while UP administration had disconnected the supply on Thursday. Is it solidarity or a war against neighbouring state? Is that federalism the opposition parties believe in?

For over 67 days the Centre did not do anything to disrupt the agitation. People also sympathised with the Annadatas and extended full support and cooperation to the agitating farmers. The apex court too tried to suggest a way out by suspending the implementation of the farm laws by 18 months and had formed a committee consisting of agriculture experts.

The opposition which is more interested in pulling down the government of the day would have done a great service to the farmers if it had succeeded in making the farmers agree to talk to the committee constituted by the Supreme Court and helped in finding a solution to the problem. The intention of the opposition and all its efforts should be to resolve the crisis to help the farmers not incite trouble by asking them not to give even an inch.

Rahul Gandhi says that there are five thieves like Ambanis and Adanis for whom the Modi government is working. He said GST and demonetisation were also for these five people. Rahul should understand that even if one presumes that he is right, these measures have been endorsed by the people in the last elections. Congress had put forward their view before the people during election campaign but they rejected them. They may say polls were rigged. Well that is not new in this country. No one can claim to be saints.

He should also explain why did UPA government rub shoulders and lay red carpet to Ambanis and Adanis and the like if they feel that they were thieves. Rahul Gandhi himself had joined active politics during UPA regime and was an important person getting trained to lead the AICC. If he could tear the copies of ordinance issued by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling it as "complete nonsense," what prevented him from proving to be the real boss by making the government distance from these groups. That is why it is said, people who stay in glass house should not throw stones at others.

His comments on many issues are shocking. On December 24, 2020 talking to media after leading a delegation to President of India Ram Nath Kovind, Rahul Gandhi said there is "no democracy in India" and it exists "only in imagination."

Please look back Rahul. Where was democracy in 1975 when Emergency was imposed by your grandmother Indira Gandhi just because Allahabad High Court found her guilty of misuse of government machinery in elections. Justice Sinha cancelled the election and barred Gandhi from contesting elections for six years.

The High Court's decision meant Indira Gandhi would have to leave the post of Prime Minister. She approached the apex court which gave partial stay on the judgement saying she can remain as PM but cannot vote as MP until final verdict came. What followed was 21-month emergency suspending the Constitutional rights of people.

In case of the ongoing farmers agitation the mistake the NDA government had committed was that it did not hold consultations with stakeholders before introducing the bills in Parliament. This did make one feel that the government was behaving in a autocratic manner. They should have discussed the provisions with opposition as well and if need be should have referred to a select committee instead of rushing through the bill. Reforms are must, but there should be method in madness as well it is said.

Any political party worth its salt should try to find a solution to a problem and not use it as a weapon to settle political scores. But unfortunately, politicians in India refuse to show maturity. Parties which have political history of over 100 years should win over the people by coming up with intelligent solutions to complex problems instead of further complicating an issue.

Its time they learn to draw a line between politics and anarchy and respect sovereignty and integrity of the country. Politicians should understand more so the Congress leaders that what is required now is a quiet mind to think and realise that character catches the heart of people.

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