Bangalore, June 26: Thirty-eight years ago, it was a political emergency across the nation. Today, a natural disaster has struck the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. In both cases, the failure of the country's Congress leadership to deal with commoners' issues has been exposed.
If Indira Gandhi's Congress had made a mockery of the world's largest democracy by imposing an emergency in 1976, her daughter-in-law Sonia Gandhi couldn't give an encouraging leadership to her party's response to the disaster of 2013. The prime minister is non-existent while the vice-president of the party, who is also her son, made a cameo appearance in the disaster-hit state a week after the tragedy began. He even faced protest in the affected areas, said reports.
The focus is more on what a rival politician is doing, which is very difficult to understand. If Narendra Modi is trying to score a point over the Congress at the hour of crisis with help of a propaganda machinery, why is the Congress so perturbed about it? Did the ruling party not take help of publicity machinery to establish itself as the saviour of the nation during the Emergency? And it had done so by throwing the Opposition behind bars. What can get more worse than such murder of democracy? Modi's Rambo act? No way.
Its over-centrist style of functioning has left the Congress in the ruins. The party is so alienated from the grass-roots is that it even fumbles while putting up a poster to establish its support for the general people under distress.
Take for example, the outrage over the smiling pictures of Sonia Gandhi and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna in a poster expressing the party and government's solidarity (Uttarakhand also has a Congress government) forced the government to replace them with grim faces of the two leaders. The prime minister had no problem for his expressions have an extra-ordinary level of consistency on all occasions.
Even before the poster disaster, the Congress's show-off in flagging off relief trucks for Uttarakhand drew much flak for it was said that the Congress was politicising the tragedy to match Modi's Blitzkrieg. It was even alleged that the trucks were waiting for three days before Rahul Gandhi returned from his vacation in Europe to attend the flagging-off ceremony.
The claim that Modi rescued 15,000 Gujarati tourists sounds absurd. How does one pick people from a particular community amid destruction and devastation all around? Were those Gujaratis wearing a label with their identities written on it when Modi's men reached them?
This is the standard of response of the rulers of the country towards their people at a time of grave crisis and they are busy finding who bluffed all by claiming evacuation of 15,000 people within two hours. It is entire a non-issue and shows the Congress's panic even at a time of carrying out its Raj Dharma. Do riots only ask for Raj Dharma? What was Singh doing at the helm of the National Disaster Management Authority?
The people of India gave a fitting reply to Indira Gandhi in 1976 for murdering democracy. Will they get ready to give a deadly blow to another Congress regime paralysed by the liability of anti-incumbency? Chances are quite high.