Distracted


By responding to everything the BJP says and does, Congress is playing on the field prepared by its arch-rival

In an attempt to blast Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior Congressional leader Jairam Ramesh has revived a 2009 letter about Project Cheetah. At the time, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was in power and Ramesh was Minister of State (independent agency) for Environment and Forests. He had written the letter to the Wildlife Trust of India in 2009 and cleared Project Cheetah. Ramesh had Dr. MK Ranjitsinh of the Wildlife Trust of India has been asked to produce a “detailed roadmap for cheetah reintroduction, which should include a detailed analysis of various potential sites”. Ramesh may have thought that telling the world about the old letter would help the grand old party in its fight against the Modi government and the Bharatiya Janata Party. He is wrong, because both the government and the BJP would welcome such a fight; They would enjoy anything that diverts people’s attention from the great failures of the prevailing dispensation – unemployment, inflation, and the miserable state of human rights and civil liberties. Because of this, the Saffron party regularly tries to focus on issues that are either of peripheral importance, like cashless economy and formalization, or inherently divisive, like the Gyanvapi Mosque. BJP leaders love to discuss history, particularly medieval history, and the atrocities that Hindus were subjected to during this period. They are also very interested in removing the relics and remains of the British Raj. In short, they don’t mind discussing things that divert attention from the real problems of unemployment and high prices.

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Instead of highlighting such real issues, the GOP is distracted by events organized by the government and the BJP. Also, Congress leaders have a tendency to react to any statement made by BJP spokesmen. What happens is that the agenda is set by the BJP and Congress is reduced to reacting to it. It means playing on a court prepared by the Saffron Party. Unfortunately for GOP fans, this has been happening for a very long time. The Rajiv Gandhi government allowed the opening of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya in 1986 to calm Hindu sentiments after their disastrous decision by Shah Bano. While Shah Bano’s decision had offended Hindus, the opening angered Muslims and cost Congress dearly – a cost the GOP still pays. In the run-up to the last general election, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attempted to flaunt his Hindu leanings; He was portrayed as a janeudhari Brahmin. Both gambits failed, yes boomerang. The reason was simple: Congress was playing a game it knew little about. Furthermore, if Hindus had to vote based on their faith, they would vote for a party that is unabashedly Hindu, namely the BJP. Apparently Congress didn’t learn many lessons from its mistakes; it still promotes the BJP agenda by responding to it.

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