Punjab, Sri Lanka and now Andhra
Indira Gandhi made a mess in Punjab in the early 1980s while Rajiv Gandhi was responsible for a goof-up in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s. Both had paid the price dearly for their action. And yet, we see no dearth of messing up with people's sentiments by their successors.
Post-YSR Andhra went for a toss
The current Congress top brass, just to make sure that it didn't fall flat in post-YS Rajasekhar Reddy Andhra Pradesh unlike in the previous two general elections, decided to run the scissors through the state in the name of realising a 50-year-old dream. The party shamelessly replaced the popular with the populist behind closed doors and yet described it as a historic moment.
Indira had messed up in Punjab, Rajiv in Sri Lanka and now Sonia in Andhra
What is striking is that the current Gandhis, despite being given credit of giving wings to a popular movement for Telangana, did not have the courage to the state ruled by its own party in recent times. Andhra Pradesh helped themm to form the government at the Centre two consecutive times but once YS Rajasekhara Reddy departed from the scene, Delhi only became more and more distant from Hyderabad. The top two Congress leaders have kept their venues in South India fixed in Karnataka and Kerala mostly, for these two states give them a comfort zone and are among those few where the rattled grand-old party is predicted to do well in the upcoming elections.
Divide people for a few more votes?
But they have betrayed with the people of Andhra in the worst possible way. They have divided the state not out of an urge to give shape to the Telangana dream but out of a compulsion to ruin the electoral system of the region. They have tried to force the creation of Telangana at the fag end of their party's government at the Centre to deny the BJP a chance to reap any benefit. They have not hesitated to allow the Telangana episode snowball into a massive crisis and turn the Parliament into a battleground where people from the same region have taken on each other. And the precedent which has been set up now is certainly going to haunt the country's democratic functioning for days to come.
The current Gandhis have little political leadership to offer compared to their predecessors. Indira Gandhi had handled the problem of Andhra Pradesh politically by making people of Telangana its chief ministers. But neither Sonia nor Rahul Gandhi or for that matter Manmohan Singh had an iota of understanding of what's happening on the ground once YSR had disappeared.
Allegations of corruption or failure in foreign policy sector is something that almost all governments are accused of. But the Telangana mess will b something which will go down the history as an evitable mess that Sonia Gandhi and her Congress had created.