Last Update: March 01, 2023, 16:37 IST
The Nehru-Gandhi obsessional tag is reinforced by posters of the missing icon and has given the BJP much-needed ammo. till 2024 elections. (ANI file)
It was the need to change the ‘obsessed’ narrative that forced the Congress to elect a non-Gandhi president. Unfortunately, even the new chief Mallikarjun Kharge is accused of being remote-controlled by the Gandhi family
While the Congress says this was not done intentionally, it has certainly sparked a debate as to why the Nehru-Gandhi-centric party has not given equal space to other symbols of independence in the past and has in fact been selective in giving glory .
Two names stand out among many and both have now been usurped by the BJP, furthering the narrative that the Congress cannot look beyond the Gandhi family.
First there is Sardar Patel, the Iron Man of India, who is credited with the integration of the states. The BJP’s pitch since 2019 has been that the Congress has little regard for an icon of India, not belonging to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. In Patel’s case there is more ‘disdain’ because he was considered the authority of the Centre’s thinking. Critics of the Congress say it is this ‘right-wing’ approach that has made the Grand Old Party uncomfortable with Patel.
When the BJP decided to observe October 31 as ‘Unity Day’, the attacks on the Congress started. Prime Minister Narendra Modi And the BJP maintained that the people who had made incomparable contribution to the freedom movement were also forgotten by the Congress. As soon as the Statue of Unity came up in Gujarat’s Kevadia, the Congress was left scratching its head.
In a belated response, the Congress now prominently features Patel on its posters, with even Priyanka Vadra claiming that he was a Congressman.
This is the story of Subhash Chandra Bose, who was a rebel within the Congress. Bose contested against Mahatma Gandhi for the top post and was thereafter treated as an untouchable. This has given another opportunity to BJP to attack Congress and TMC during Bengal elections. Both the Congress and the TMC were accused of neglecting Bose, even as the BJP organized several programs in the state to pay tribute to Bose. From declassifying Bose’s files and beautifying his museum in Kolkata to organizing a tribute program for him at the Victoria Memorial, other programs brought more benefits to the BJP.
Here, the Prime Minister once again kept accusing the Congress of neglecting a non-Gandhi. Bose’s presence in the Raipur session was special.
The Congress has projected itself as the only party that has been a part of the freedom movement and this is a response to the edge of nationalism that the BJP enjoys.
However, the Grand Old Party is late to the game. In fact, in more of the disturbances at the Raipur plenary, the posters featured Kamaraj (who Rahul Gandhi says he needed to learn a lot) and Jagjivan Ram (whose daughter Meira Kumar was on stage).
Apart from posters and hoardings, Congress has faced the wrong pole by accusing it of being obsessive. It was the need to change the narrative that made the party decide to make a non-Gandhi the Congress president. Unfortunately, even the new chief, Mallikarjun Kharge, is being accused of being remote-controlled.
The Nehru-Gandhi-obsessed tag is reinforced by the missing icon on the posters and has given the BJP much-needed ammo. till 2024 elections.
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