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Congress, seek Indian Voters’ Validation, not Western Nations’

The Cuban people have a saying, given to them by José Martí, a  Cuban literary figure: “Our wine may be bitter, but it’s our wine.” Meaning our government may not be perfect, but it is ours.

Similarly, Indian Democracy has flaws, but it is our problem. All democracies have flaws, even the western ones and like most mature democracies, we Indians will work it out amongst ourselves. We have done it often using our best tool — universal adult franchise — our vote.

We, the Indian people, have nurtured and protected our democracy successfully for 75 years. We don’t need foreign assistance to protect our democracy. Unfortunately, the Congress party doesn’t think so.

Does the Congress party think India is a “Successful” democracy and a “True” democracy only when Congress is in power? Because the moment any other party comes to power, they scream to the world, “Democracy is dead in India.” Even if the non-Congress government has come to power through democratic means!

Senior Congress leaders seem to have an unhealthy obsession with the validation and certification of western nations. Western governments exploit this lousy habit of Congress to embarrass India and be condescending towards us.

Since Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification, two nations have made statements about it! While the US Spokesperson stated that the State Department was “following the issue,” the German Foreign Ministry Spokesperson overstepped.

The German Spokesperson tweeted: “We have taken note of the verdict of first instance against Indian Opposition politician Rahul Gandhi as well as the suspensions of his Parliamentary mandate… To our knowledge, Mr. Gandhi is in a position to appeal the verdict. It will then become clear whether this verdict will stand and whether the suspension of his mandate has any basis.”

What audacity! What does the German Spokesperson mean when she says Germany has “taken note”? Take note and do what?

Did the Indian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson tweet, “We have taken note that racism has increased substantially in Germany” soon after the German Federal Commissioner for Anti-Racism stated: “Racism poses a threat to Germany’s democracy”?

Do we need certification from Germany, a nation that gave us the first genocide of the 20th century when they killed 1.3 lakh Namibians?  Should we seek certification from a country that, during World War I, was the first nation to use poisonous gas as a weapon? Do we, a nation that has never waged war, take advice from Germany, who gave the world two World Wars, concentration camps and gas chambers?

Well, Congress leaders think so.

Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh said, “Thank you, German Foreign Affairs Ministry, for taking note of how Democracy is being compromised in India through the persecution of Rahul Gandhi.”

We wonder why Digvijay Singh or the Congress party didn’t question Germany’s security for minorities being compromised when a 24-year-old Indian student’s tongue was slashed in a racist attack in Bonn in 2012 when Congress ruled India?

Can Congress please ask the German Spokesperson how they handle their rising internal violence? Last year, German Police recorded almost 24,000 far-right-wing crimes, the highest level in  20 years. Crimes ranged from displaying Nazi symbols and anti-semitic remarks to physical attacks and murder. 

It’s time the Congress party stopped seeking foreign intervention in India’s internal matters. Has Congress not learnt what happened when Nehru, to impress the Englishman Mountbatten, went to the UN with the Kashmir issue? We are still suffering today for it. 

Doesn’t Congress know that any nation that has allowed western intervention in its internal politics has been ruined? From Pakistan to the Middle East, from Venezuela to Vietnam? Wherever the west gets involved in the name of democracy, there is barely any instead there is a puppet show or a trail of death and debt.

Rahul Gandhi needs to stop doing what his grandfather did — trying to impress the white man. Rahul has made a habit of this.

In 2009, Rahul Gandhi, who was then an MP from Amethi, pedalled “poverty tourism” when he told British Foreign Secretary David Miliband during a visit to a Dalit family’s home in rural Amethi that this was the ‘real India’.

Is only poverty the “Real India”? If it is, then it is a reflection of Rahul Gandhi’s family’s incompetence and his party’s failure to get us out of poverty. That is why people voted them out, which is proof democracy is working in India.

In 2021 in his virtual interaction with former US Under Secretary of State and Harvard University Professor Nicholas Burns, Rahul Gandhi criticised the BJP for the “wholesale capture of State institutions” and questioned  why the US was silent over what was happening in India!

 Rahul Gandhi was asking why the US is not fixing an Indian problem! Also, misuse of institutions is noT exclusive to BJP. Congress has done it for 50 years. Did any leader from the Opposition parties run to the United States asking them why they are silent about it?  NO.

More recently Rahul, after the Bharat Jodo Yatra, trimmed his beard and went to England to speak about the “attack on democracy in India” when he should have been talking to his party workers in North East who were lost without  leadership and eventually lost the election. 

We need to stop seeking validation from the west. My wine may be bitter, but it is my wine. We must critique our government and its policies, but we do it in Parliament and with our own people. We must mobilise people to protest when we feel a government misuses institutions. We must debate and argue with our fellow citizens to make better policies. These are all acts of patriotism as they build a better nation.

But, running to a white man to complain about one’s own country, displays a lack of self-esteem and a subservient mindset.

The Congress party must realise the future of Congress is not in the halls of Western Universities but in the voting booths of India.

The future of Congress is not in the hands of Western Professors, intellectuals or Spokespersons. It is in the hands of Indians, so seek our validation and certification. It is the Indian voter who will help you win elections, not western nations.

e-mail: vikram@starofmysore.com

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