FPJ Edit: Corruption-mukt, not Congress-mukt Bharat

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Friday, February 11, 2022, 08:35 AM IST
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It would have bugged the nation why Prime Minister Narendra Modi devoted more time to attacking the Congress than thanking the President for his address to the joint session of Parliament with which its Budget session began. Fortunately, he explained the reasons inaninterview given to a news agency, which was widely publicised. The purpose of the interview was obvious, as he wanted to reach the voters in the five states going to the polls beginning on February 10. His speeches and the interview conform to the ‘Congress-mukt-Bharat’ slogan that he has been raising ever since he came to power at the Centre. To buttress his argument, he says that barring him and the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, all those who held the post of Prime Minister since Independence had a Congress background.

Perhaps, he forgot that the founder of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) began his political career as a Congressman. The statue of unity, which is taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York, that Modi built was that of a leader, who was bornas a Congressman, lived as a Congressman and died as a Congressman. Again, the man whose statue would be installed under the British-era canopy near the India Gate is also that of a former president of the Congress. The point to be noted is that whatever be his plan to obliterate the name of the Congress, he will not succeed in his mission.

True, the Congress is no longer what it used to be under Gandhi, Nehru and Bose butit remains the quintessential pan-India party with roots everywhere inthe country. Also, it has a pre-Independence history that only redounds to the credit of the nation. What is not realised is that when India became independent in 1947 after 200 years of British rule, it had become one of the poorest countries, where famine deaths were a constant. If today, India is on the way to becoming a $5 -trillion economy with the largest pool of scientists, the contribution of the Congress cannot be ignored. In fact, many of Modi’s missions and programmes are re-christened programmes of the previous UPA government. The Congress may not win even a dozen seats in UP but it was this party, not the Samajwadi Party or the Bahujan Samaj Party, which kept the Yogi Adityanath government on tenter hooks, be it on Hathras or Lakhimpur Kheri or Bulandshahr. Small wonder that he wants the nation to be rid of the Congress.

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