Although three weeks have gone by since the Congress Party suffered Its biggest drubbing in parliamentary elections, not a single Congress leader is willing to come face to face with the reasons that made the electorate across the country to vote out the party with such decisiveness. The voters’ anger against India’s oldest party in best gauged by the following facts: The Party did not win a single seat in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Delhi, Seemandhra, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Goa and its vote share in percentage terms crashed to abysmally low levels in states like Uttar Pradesh (7.5), Andhra Pradesh (11.5), West Bengal (9.6), Bihar (8.4), Jharkhand (13.3) and Tamil Nadu (4.3).
Going by the extent of damage inflicted by voters, it can be said that the electorate wanted to severely punish this party for a variety of reasons. But, among all those reasons, this column will focus on the Congress Party’s insolent behavior towards the Hindu majority which, this writer believes, did maximum damage to its prospects in this election.
Mr.Manmohan Singh, a Sikh and the country’s first non-Hindu Prime Minister headed the Union Government from 2004-2014. The remote control however lay with the de facto prime minister – Ms.Sonia Gandhi, of Italian Roman Catholic origin. Many key positions in this government and in the Congress Party were held by persons belonging to religious minorities. With the passage of time, the party began to believe that it can run the country with just the support of the religious minorities. Therefore, one of the first acts of the Sonia-Manmohan Combine was to distort the facts vis-à-vis the Godhra incident that led to the communal conflagration in Gujarat in 2002. The reports that came in on the day of the incident was that a Muslim mob surrounded a train at that station and set fire to a coach which was full of Hindu karsevaks returning from Ayodhya and 59 of these karsevaks were burnt alive. This led to large scale communal violence across Gujarat in which many Muslims and Hindus died. Egged on by pseudo-secularists, the Sonia-Manmohan combine instituted a probe that produced a spurious report saying that the karsevaks had themselves set fire to the train compartment. This piece of fiction was in line with the falsification of history resorted to by leftist and pseudo-secular historians owing allegiance to the Nehru-Gandhis. Another piece of fiction purveyed by the Congress Party and the government was that the post-Godhra riots were not a communal conflagration but a pogrom against Muslims. That is why spokespersons of the Congress Party never acknowledge that hundreds of Hindus died in these riots. This is another, more recent example of the anti-Hindu bias in history writing which has been consistently encouraged by the Nehru-Gandhis in the belief that these distortions will please the Muslims and ensure their perpetual support for the Congress Party.
The Congress Party overplayed this card for 12 years, demonized Narendra Modi and called him a ‘Maut ka Saudaghar” (Merchant of Death). It never had a harsh word for the mob that burnt alive the Hindus in Godhra. This was just one of many initiatives taken by the UPA government to mock at the Hindu majority or to appease the Muslims. It set up the Sachar Committee that went so far as to demand a communal census of the armed forces. This was a shameful attempt to communalise the country’s secular army but many members of the Congress Party, who claimed to be votaries of secularism, argued that there was nothing wrong with the committee’s proposal! Then came the Ranganatha Misra Commission. Thereafter, the party and the government took minority appeasement to crass levels and sympathized with terrorists who happened to be Muslims and raised questions about police impartiality. The UPA’s Home Minister, Mr.Sushil Kumar Shinde declared that police must be careful while arresting members of the minority community for criminal offences. But the clincher was the statement of Mr.Manmohan Singh that Muslims had “the first right” to national resources.
As the UPA government entered the final year, the Sonia-Manmohan combine made their most ambitious bid to stifle the Hindus. They introduced the communal violence bill in parliament which said that in all cases of communal conflict, the police must treat members of the Hindu community as the accused and the religious minorities as the victims. This was really the tipping point. It appeared as if the Sonia-Mnamohan combine were running a government of the minorities and for the minorities. The 800 million Hindus did not figure in their scheme of things anywhere. Both Ms.Gandhi and the prime minister persisted with this foolhardy approach throughout the ten-years they ran the union government. Neither of them had a good word for the Hindu civilization and way of life which had ensured a secular and democratic polity in India after independence. They had just one mantra – minority, minority, minority. This mantra echoed throughout the recent election campaign as well. Sonia, Manmohan and even Rahul Gandhi just took the name of minorities all the time. Ms.Gandhi went so far as to meet the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Delhi and appeal to him that “the secular vote” was not divided, thereby indicating that religious minorities are “secular” and the Hindus are not.
The result of this arrogant and contemptuous behavior of the Sonia-Manmohan combine towards the Hindu majority is now evident in the final outcome of the Lok Sabha election. Although the number of electors rose by over 100 million from 710 million to 814 million between 2009 and 2014, the Congress Party polled 12 million votes less this time. On the other hand the BJP more than doubled its vote share, which jumped from 80 million in 2009 to over 170 million in this election and emerged as a truly national party.
But, is India’s oldest political party in a mood to learn any lessons? There are no signs of it, because not one leader of the party has until now acknowledge the persistent manner in which the Party hurt the Hindu sentiment during its ten-year rule. It is an age-old truth that no political party in any democracy can ever hope to win an election without the support of the majority. But, India’s oldest party appears to be in no mood to acknowledge this fundamental truth. The conduct of its leaders, post-May 16 only indicates that the party still believes that it can mock at the majority and chase the chimera called the Muslim Vote!