All Indian political parties claim to adhere to a national consensus:
Nonsense! The only thing that politicians agree on- except Rahul- is that you can't call the unity and integrity of the nation into question on a foreign trip. This is because the thing is against the law.
political differences end at the water’s edge. But while representatives of the Bharatiya Janata Party charge their opponents with criticizing the country abroad,
No they don't. They are saying Rahul must apologize for specific remarks which were untrue and harmful to India.
their own leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was the first to violate the norm against doing so.
Rubbish! Plenty of Indian politicians denounced the Emergency while in exile. Tharoor didn't read about in the Press because Indira had imposed censorship.
NEW DELHI – India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is outraged again. On a recent visit to the United Kingdom, Rahul Gandhi – the leader of the Indian National Congress, the country’s main opposition party – stated that India’s democracy is under attack, and that this has global implications.
Thus Rahul was helping those who would wish to impose sanctions on India. That harms the country. Either the man should apologize or else he and his party must be held up to hatred, contempt and ridicule till voters turn against them.
Back in India, his comments triggered an uproar.
Because India needs to be more assertive in hitting back at such attacks on India which have economic implications. Moreover, now is the time to do it. The West needs India more than India needs the West.
Several BJP representatives voiced outrage, characteristically exaggerated for effect.
No. The outrage was real enough. This clown is harming the country. Sooner or later, he must be put on trial and made to answer for his family's unjust enrichment and other crimes.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad, a former cabinet minister, accused Gandhi of calling upon the United States and Europe to “interfere in the internal affairs of India,” and demanded that both Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and his predecessor, Sonia Gandhi, “disown” Gandhi’s “irresponsible and shameful comments.”
This is smart. Kharge will have to double down on supporting RaGa as the only possible PM candidate for 2024. This means the rest of the opposition will cannibalize Congress votes rather than putting up a united front. Tharoor himself may be safe precisely because the Dynasty is angry with him. But Rahul will lose in Wayanad.
He concluded by declaring that the BJP “would like to emphatically state with great agony that Rahul Gandhi, in his speeches, has sought to shame India’s democracy, polity, Parliament, political system, and judicial system.”
Moreover, this could have economic and even military implications detrimental to India's national interests. Rahul may be a cretin who doesn't understand what he himself says. But Congress must learn to act like a party of grown ups. Otherwise, 2024 will be about who is best at grabbing Congress votes- in Kerala it will be the CPM- not putting up a credible rival to Modi.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur was no less melodramatic, pleading with Gandhi not to “betray” India before issuing a warning: “No one will believe the lies you spread about India from foreign soil.”
Because, if you aren't lying, you can approach the courts in India. Why pretend that India is a 'terra nullis' with no rule of law?
Thakur then tried to discredit Gandhi, calling him a “storm of controversies” who “does not lose a single opportunity to malign India,” and Congress as a whole, which, by taking “local issues to the United Nations,” had shown that it had “not yet come out of the thought of slavery.”
This is effective. People do think Rahul isn't just stupid. He is actively dangerous- but only because the grown ups in the Congress party can't control the mooncalf.
This political tempest in a teacup is not merely about the exchange of barbs between the ruling party and the main opposition party (of which I am a member).
Only in the Upper House. There is no official opposition party in the directly elected chamber because Congress doesn't have even ten percent of the seats.
It reveals a more profound fault line in India’s current democratic discourse – one that will become increasingly apparent over the next year, as national elections approach.
The fault line could have been between the BJP/NDA and a united opposition 'mahagatbandhan' on the other. Instead it is between Congress and everybody else. This has come about only because Congress remains slavishly attached to the mooncalf.
The BJP’s charge against Gandhi is a serious one. As Prasad took pains to stress, no matter which party is in power, India has always strongly opposed outside interference in its internal affairs.
India is the same as every other country in this respect.
Ever since independence, India has been prickly about its sovereignty. After spending two centuries unable to determine their own political destinies, Indians were hyper-sensitive to any hint of meddling from abroad, especially from India’s former colonial overlords and their allies in the West.
Why did nobody in Congress explain this to Rahul? Tharoor himself attacks the evil done by the Brits when visiting England. He does not attack India. Why can't Kharge explain this to Rahul?
India’s freedom from colonial rule became associated with its “strategic autonomy.” The country reserved the right to choose its own stance on global issues. And it exercised that right, refusing to support either side in the Cold War and proudly leading the Non-Aligned Movement. This fierce independence – including aversion to lectures from foreigners on domestic affairs – united all parties in India’s fractious polity. We brook no outside intervention in our sovereign right to conduct our own affairs as we wish.
Manmohan saw the need to go on the offensive against Western NGOs and virtue signaling politicians who want to prevent development in India. Modi has accomplished this while remaining a charismatic and kindly figure.
This explains the potency of the BJP’s accusations against Gandhi.
Rahul is simply repeating the stupid shit he pulled last year. He seems to think his walkabout has turned him into a Messiah. Congress must reign in the mooncalf or else they will be wiped out at the polls.
Statements that would hardly raise an eyebrow if uttered domestically can be characterized as almost treasonous if expressed abroad – especially in Britain. The national consensus, embraced by all parties, is that India’s political differences end at the water’s edge.
So, Rahul should apologize and his party should make disown his statements. What's so difficult about that?
But those railing against Gandhi for supposedly breaching this consensus ignore an inconvenient truth: the person who first committed this violation was none other than the BJP’s own leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During official visits abroad – starting with the US in 2014, his first year in office – Modi stunned Indians by declaring repeatedly that nothing good had happened in India over the previous seven decades. Only after his ascent to power, he said, could Indians hold their heads high abroad.
This was not an attack on India. It was an attack on the India of the past- which no longer existed. You can't impose sanctions on a regime which has disappeared. Does Tharoor imagine that when Morarji Desai visited London after becoming Prime Minister, he didn't condemn the horrible atrocities committed by Indira Gandhi?
It was not only Modi’s statements abroad that undermined this sacrosanct consensus.
It helps a country if its PM says 'in the past we did shitty things. Now we are doing smart and virtuous things'.
For the entire history of the Indian parliament’s committee system, the External Affairs Committee was chaired by an opposition MP, in order to send the signal that the country was united on foreign-policy issues. But, in 2019, the BJP replaced the Congress MP filling that role with a BJP figure. (Full disclosure: I was the MP who was unceremoniously removed.)
Because Congress had lost its status as an official opposition party. It simply didn't win enough seats. Anyway, Rahul's subsequent behavior fully justifies this step. Congress is the slave of an anti-national mooncalf.
It is a bit rich for BJP representatives to protest that Gandhi is violating national consensus and political convention, given that their own party has been the principal offender in this regard.
Fuck off! No BJP politician ever says 'India is shitty. The Government is horrible' because the BJP is running the country.
It is also unjust: Gandhi selected his words carefully,
Rahul can't select shit
precisely to avoid conveying any impression that he was seeking foreign interference in India’s affairs. In fact, he stated explicitly and emphatically that the crisis of democracy facing India is “an internal problem,” “an Indian problem,” and “the solution is going to come from inside.”
That solution involves the demise of the slavish Congress Party whose PM candidate (according to its new President) is saying that the West would be justified in sanctioning India in various ways because it is no longer democratic. This is quite different from condemning something which happened in the past. It directly incites adverse action against India in the present.
Regarding outsiders, Gandhi pointed out that, given its scale, India’s democracy is a “global public good.” If it collapses, “democracy on the planet suffers a very serious, possibly fatal, blow.”
Thus Gandhi is supporting those who call for sanctions against India.
Given this, he noted, what happens in India is important not just for Indians; it also matters to the West. “We will deal with our problem. But you must be aware that this problem is going to play out on a global scale. It’s not going to play out only in India.”
Thus India should be excluded from any democratic alliance. This has immediate strategic consequences- if Rahul is taken seriously. Thus either Congress must repudiate him or accept that it is now an anti-national party which considers a right to secession to exist just as EU members have a right to exit.
That hardly sounds like a plea for intervention.
It is a plea for sanctions and a withdrawal from defense and other related relationships. Rahul is saying that if Modi remains PM- which he will- then India will be one of the bad guys against whom the good guys will have to take action.
Instead, as Congress has argued, Gandhi was asking the world to pay attention to what is happening in India.
Gandhi was telling lies about India. He wanted the world to believe his lies. If Congress slavishly endorses those lies it won't have a political future.
Indian media reported that Gandhi had wondered aloud about “why Europe and the US, the defenders of democracies, were oblivious to how a huge chunk of democracy in India had come undone.”
So, Tharoor admits that Gandhi was asking 'defenders of democracy' to take action against India. This is an anti-national, if not treasonous, act. Tharoor himself could have ignored Rahul's remarks. But he has come to the defense of Rahul. He is just as anti-national as his anointed leader- Rahul Gandhi.
Thanks to the BJP’s hysterical overreaction, if the West had not noticed before, it is sure to be aware of the problem now.
Nobody in the West would be aware of this- unless they read Tharoor's article. But this article is shit. Tharoor doesn't seem to understand that a leader who says 'previously my country was shit. Now it is great' isn't being anti-national. He is being smart. By contrast, saying 'my country is turning into a Nazi shithole' is bad for your country. Foreigners will want to pull their investments from it. They will put pressure on the their Government to scale down commercial and other ties with your country. This is what Rahul is doing. More remarkably, it is also what Dr. Tharoor is now doing. Will this put him back in the Dynasty's good books? Perhaps. Meanwhile the fool will continue to shit out bad books.
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