• Katherine Abraham

The Parable of India's Political messiahs and how the INC ruined us…

Updated: May 31, 2020

On Polarised Indian Twitter today, one comes across a couple of contradictions, Hinduism and Hindutva, Nationalism and Neo -Nationalism, Truth and Agony.

Each day someone poses the fundamental question, What did the Indian National Congress do in 60+ years of a rule? Some say, “They ruined us.” In many ways, I tend to agree. For if it were not for the Indian National Congress, legal luminaries like Motilal Nehru, Tilak and others would not have fought to keep the country free from the erstwhile British rule; stalwarts like Patel and Madan Mohan Malviya would not have fought the good fight, fighters like Azad and Bhagat Singh would not have been born; Tilak’s self- rule would not have been so easily mangled into “Atmanirbharta” with no resources, no empathy and the idea of India mutated into one of an anarchy. For that is what we are today.

It took a global pestilence and a lockdown for people to realise that the ruling GOI has been fibbing on various quarters. Yes the INC ruined us. They gave us liberalization, reform and the yearning for better. Unfortunately, the unending political lust for better has left the common man in a phase that screams of helpless nothingness.

The INC ruined us by gifting us a Constitution that preached democracy; that demanded the blood and sweat of Indians to build India into a productive nation: not one that encouraged it’s labour class to drudge along the wilderness for miles in the heat alongside their infants for water and food, blistered feet and bleeding hearts. The INC ruined our tastes by giving us freedom; the same freedom that today is used by trolls to demean stalwarts like Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, a Prime Minister who did not chide the person who held his collar nor did he throw him in a dungeon of despair, choosing instead to gently remind that this privilege of seeking accountability was the first fruits of freedom and democracy. I wonder if the current Prime Minister would have the courage to leave his body guards and move within crowds. And God forbid you have the courage to speak against the GOI; for the moment you do, you would find yourself sitting in a court being tried for sedition, treason and you would be branded an anti — national. The INC didn’t do that to us. It ruined us.

An endearing image of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi sitting on the floor, attentively listening to the workers emerged a few days ago and once again I realised how the INC has ruined us, for it taught us that a common man in India irrespective of his caste, colour or creed, deserved a government for the people, a Prime Minster who works by the people, and a party that truly is of the people. Instead I was met by a fellow Indian distorting the reality to hastily remind all on how the family had looted the country. The tribulation of the middle class seeks solutions for the present not slander of the past.

The INC ruined my thoughts. It taught me that we were to respect people’s opinions. Perhaps our country didn’t deserve these liberties, these freedoms; perhaps we should have opted for an autocracy instead; for then playing subservient to the wrong, untrue and unjust would come naturally.

The ideology of a nation is defined not by its government but by its people. Of course the nation had a defined opposition in the past but nothing beats the divisiveness of the ruling party of the present. Stop normalizing hate tweets before hate speeches. In the India that Nehru, Tilak and Patel established, there were no threats to women or men who spoke against the ruling government. Democracy did not languish in a lamentable way, a fictitious response posited as an answer in black and white. True democracy feels whole; it makes every Indian feel responsible for his fellowmen. It encourages dissenting opinion and disregards bigotry and hatred. If only a country could be built on the strength of speeches our master orator could have brought achhe din early on; one that could have served as an atonement for the current political climate that reeks of helplessness. Instead we sit locked in, deeply disturbed on the fate of those locked out. We have been reduced to a republic that promotes fragmentation and marginalization. We have become a people without a backbone with the People of India muted indefinitely in many parts.

How can one forget that association with the Congress is now looked at with disdain; the same Congress that fed it’s people for 60+ years and emerged a winner despite a global economic recession. We are a country that now promotes a certain facade, a mirage of nationalism, and in the process of keeping a count of the sins of the Congress has with equal earnestness forgotten to keep track of the violence, bloodshed and the unrest of the present.

While a lot of trolls will rave and rant on my timeline, they still have no explanations for any of my questions. Political opportunists will talk of the excellence of the rulers and the transgressions of the INC, but the carefully edited truth will have no semblance to reality. Merely tarnishing figures to whom history pays obeisance, shows how even history is a victim of blatant misrepresentation of facts, especially with regard to those who fought and laid down their lives in the hope that subsequent generations would reap the fruits of the seeds of unity, secularism, socialism and equality that they had sown.

Today, as we inch closer to the unending road of uncertainty, we have emerged as a leader of intolerance, political ineptitude and moral disgrace. For no Indian in the truest sense of the term could ever wish for unrest, violence or affliction in a fellow citizen’s life. We are some light years away from various political prophecies that speak of the INC being wiped out but as we wait for justice, may our hands never waver to write the truth, nor our tongues falter to share it.

Barack Obama once wrote, The Audacity of Hope; today, I as an Indian, wait to pen down, The Advent of Hope.

Originally Published on Medium's The Noteworthy Journal

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