Amidst the fast track efforts of Anna Hazare and his supporters in their quest to bring transparency in the Government’s functioning and the country at large, controversies about his approach still remain. However, what needs to be questioned is whether or not Congress’ actions and stand on its defence or to maintain law and order in the country (as they argue) is the best or not.
While Congress has always had its base in strong foundations and morals since the British times, the history of the dominant family of this ruling party (the same one that Anna might be in the process of bringing down) may be of greater interest to all.
For starters, the Gandhi family, almost every member of which is/has been ‘someone’ of the country, has nothing to do with the man who abolished apartheid in Africa and got freedom home. Indira Priyadarshini, Motilal Nehru’s daughter (who at first didn’t pass the exam for Oxford) married Feroz Khan. The surname Gandhi came only when Feroz Khan following Nehru’s request changed his surname (and not his religion) from Khan to Gandhy and later on to Gandhi. She later had two sons – Rajiv and Sanjiv Gandhi; Sanjiv’s name was changed to Sanjay following his arrest by the British police and seizure of his passport. The older son Rajiv, who went on to become the Prime Minister of the country, became a Catholic to marry Sania Maino (Sonia Gandhi). Rajiv’s children were named Raul and Bianca (their rhyming Indian names derived as Rahul and Priyanka later on). If you were to question the citizenship of his children, you might be surprised to know that as per the Italian law, Rahul Gandhi is an Italian citizen. Converting his citizenship by the Italian law requires him to forfeit his Italian one in lieu of the Indian one. While Rahul was admitted to St. Stephens on the basis of sport quota of rifle shooting, he ended up doing his BA from Rollins College, Florida in 1994. The faster-than-Munna Bhai alias Raul aka Rahul got an M.Phil. degree from Trinity College, Cambridge the very next year in 1995!
While historical or social relations stand ‘given’ in many cases, it is the actions that decide the course the leader and his party shall take. Taking this argument into account, what should decide Congress’ dexterity is the response it has to situations like the one it is facing now.
While Hazare’s means to fight may not be most democratic but that is not to say the way Congress is dealing with it is the best it could do. The ban to the-next-thing-Anna-shall-do is certainly not a wise stand to go by. The Congress’ ineptitude became pronounced when it refused to probe this matter further post Anna’s refusal to the Lokpal Bill draft as suggested by the government. Had it then grabbed the opportunity, the movement would not have boiled down to a political game.
Now that the opportunity to act is lost, any action is just not going to work for the long-lived party. While some say it’s the time to test the new leader of the party, it might as well be the time to bid adios.