Is Congress deliberately diverting the core issues of this election?

By: Pathikrit
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Over the last couple of weeks or so, as the Congress top leadership have started campaigning more intensively, one finds it rather strange that none of them for once have talked about the real issues that plague India. Instead, all through their campaign, they have essentially tried to target the NDA Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and have tried to raise rather non-issues rather than core national issues.

What is the real issue for Congress in this Election?

By targeting Narendra Modi, instead of talking about the core issues that India is really concerned about, one wonders what the Congress wants to achieve. One can still ignore many of the regional parties for their myopic and rather extremely narrow objectives, for not raising national issues.

One generally does not expect the Trinamool Congress head or the head of BSP to talk at length on the core issues of national security, military modernisation, calibration of FDI, second generation administrative reforms or taking forward Indian manufacturing into the global league or a new generation agricultural revolution.

But one does expect the Congress to at least talk about these and spell their vision for the next one decade. Yet one can see a deliberate attempt by the top leadership of the Congress to avoid these issues. The moot question is why is it that the Congress top leadership is not willing to engage the mass with their vision for India's future?

Is it that they don't have a vision? Is it that they are embarrassed about their performance over the last one decade? Is it that they don't want to raise these issues and give the electorate the chance to raise many embarrassing counter questions? Or is it a deliberate ploy so that voting is not done on issues but on emotions?

Is Narendra Modi the real issue for Congress?

Every time one sees the top leaders of Congress party coming out to speak and give their long list of reasons against Narendra Modi, one is appalled and forced to wonder as to what are the real issues which tormented India for the last one decade? Is Narendra Modi the issue? If not, then why are the Congress leaders talking about him?

Why do they waste time in analysing Gujarat instead of analysing their own performance over the last one decade? Every time they raise issues of social indicators of Gujarat, do they forget what has been India's ranking in the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) Report? Incidentally, India's ranking in the UNDP HDI Report is f worse than most of Sub Saharan African countries and has been consistently so for the last ten years. Has any Congress leader talked about that?

Has any Congress leader stated as to why in spite of spending hundreds of billions of dollars of tax payers; money, why has India's ranking in the UNDP HDI not improved? Incidentally India's rank is 136 out of 186 countries in the world on social indicators. (read here)

The real issues that India wants answers for....

The nation has come far ahead of bogus identity politics. Today the nation wants to know why the UPA was casual with national security and did not show alacrity in procuring critical weapons for the Armed Forces? The nation wants to know why so many accidents in Indian Navy and Air Force are happening and why modernisation is lacking far behind. The nation wants to know why the situation has become such that the India Army merely have ammunition to fight a war for twenty days?

Is Narendra Modi the real election issue for the Congress?

Today the nation wants to know why the UPA silently accepted the Chinese and Pakistani intrusions. Today the nation wants to know why UPA allowed the mayhem of the Maoists to continue and why efforts were not made to wipe out that menace. It wants to know what steps are being taken to wipe out terror groups like Indian Mujahideen.

It wants to know why and how has there a sudden rises in terror attacks in J&K. It wants to know what steps have UPA taken to secure India's critical infrastructure. The nation wants to know why UPA faltered on its foreign policy and why today even small nations like Maldives ignore the concerns of India.

Do they have answers for these issues?

Today the nation also wants to know from the Congress leadership as to what it plans to do to reduce the high inflation and price rise issues and why these prices were allowed to rise so much. The nation wants to know when this huge babudom and bureaucratic red tapism would end.

The nation has question to ask on why Indian Railways today lag so much behind the Chinese Rail. The nation wants to know why it is a nightmare to travel in the trains devoid of even basic security. The nation wants to know why UPA faltered in both industrialisation of the Indian economy as well as in reviving agricultural growth rate.

The nation wants to know why UPA failed to tacked massive illegal infiltration from Bangladesh and why thousands of paramilitary personnel are getting frustrated and quitting service. The nation wants to know from the Congress leadership about the core problems of India's power sector and why they consistently failed to solve them over the last ten years. But the problem is that the Congress top leadership does not want to talk about all these.

For them, this election starts and ends with Narendra Modi and some photo ops. Surprisingly, even the mainstream media has stopped talking about the core issues of this election.

When nothing else works, harp on identity politics and the bogey of secularism.

The issue of secularism as propagated by the so called champions of ‘Secularism' has been exposed severely and still the top Congress leadership keeps harping on that. This bogey of Secularism as well as caste based identity politics have been nothing more than pitting one community against the other and by dividing communities further by encouraging caste based politics and sectarian divides.

It has been nothing more than a tool of appeasement politics through doling out reservation promise and even making attempts to make counts of Hindus and Muslims in the Indian Armed Forces.

And yet there has never been any real time effort for national integration by wiping out all the divides and promoting the Indian identity as the all encompassing one.

For Congress, Mulayam is secular....

This bogey is now being carried forward into an even worse version where the likes of Mulayam Singh and Abu Azmis even call for forgiveness for rapists and seek punishment for raped women. Isn't it that they do it with the hope that it would help them to consolidate the Muslims votes behind them with the assumption that Muslims would be happy to hear such things?

Isn't it that they perceive that Muslims would appreciate such extremist opinions which are in practise in countries like Saudi Arab? This means that most like Mulayam presume that Muslims cannot be secular and liberal. And yet in spite of their obnoxious thoughts, these Mulayams are secular in the eyes of Congress. Thus when Mayawati goes and asks voters to vote for her based on her Dalit identity, Narendra Modi makes it clear that he would never resort to identity politics and for that he is ready to even face defeat. And yet Narendra Modi is termed communal and divisive by the so called torchbearers of Secularism.

The future beckons new ideas devoid of needless bogies...

India perhaps stands today at a critical cross road or a cusp of time. On several occasions in the past it missed the bus of development to catch on the First World nations. Right under its nose, countries like China and South Korea went ahead with their own development even while India kept on faltering and harping on needless identity politics, futile bogies of secularism debate and by voting on emotions rather than pragmatic philosophy of nationalism based on the foundations of national security, national economy and national pride.

Congress top leadership perhaps knows that asking for vote on the basis of national economic development and national security and might make it face some embarrassing questions about its track record in the last ten years on these issues. Thus perhaps the reason to avoid an election based on core issues make Narendra Modi the issue. Only time will tell if people would fall for that trap or vote for national security, national economic resurgence and for the ‘India First' theme.

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