PM security breach: When Congress abandoned any pretence of commitment to Constitution
Modi hate seems to have taken a dangerous turn in the Congress. Every action is legitimate to show the prime minister in a poor light, even if it means supporting enemies like Pakistan or China
As a citizen, you read a news item: “Prime Minister of India got stuck on a flyover of national highway about 20 km from the India-Pakistan border for 20 minutes because the adjoining lane of the flyover is occupied by some agitators and after the flyover the highway is blocked.” And your heart sinks. You worry about drones that are regularly sent by Pakistan to India to drop arms and drugs in the same area. You wonder what was the state police — supposed to screen the entire route — were doing for nearly two hours from the time Prime Minister Narendra Modi left the Bhatinda airport by road as inclement weather did not allow him to take a helicopter flight. Then you see those policemen sipping tea with the agitators and gossiping. Later, you would see the same state police beating up BJP members who wished to travel and join the public meeting.
If you are on social media, you read a tweet by the president of the Indian Youth Congress, “How is the josh?” tagging the Prime Minister “Mr Modi”. You switch on the TV and you find Congressmen shouting crazily backed by their Opposition comrades, defending the entire mess. Their celebrated spokesperson claimed that 10,000 policemen were on duty, so the state government couldn’t be blamed. But what is the intent if the police don’t inform the prime minister’s security about the blockade? What is the role of the political leadership and the state government? What is the use of those people if they were sipping tea with the agitators casually and didn’t even bother to be there on the flyover where the cars were stalled? You come to know that the protocol of chief secretary, the DGP and the chief minister receiving the prime minister was not followed.
Now, you start worrying about the state of security of the prime minister, an inept state government headed by a clueless person handpicked by the family in a perpetual fight with his state party president. All this happens under the nose of a government and the party that opposed the deployment of the BSF up to 60 km from the border to stop drone attacks and drug smuggling.
Then, to top it all, you start finding more ridiculous tweets of the Congress, including a new excuse of the prime minister himself abandoning a public meeting by creating a cooked-up scene on the highway. You are made to believe that the prime minister called on the farmers to block the road, and in 30 minutes or one hour, the obliging farmers blocked the road!
Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi comes on television, makes a meandering statement that in essence means that the prime minister made last-minute changes in schedule (which he can’t as per security protocols). He also claims that he had cleared the route late at night at 3 am. He claims it was a ‘natural incident’ (Kudrati). He claims that he couldn’t meet the prime minister because he had Covid, but he attends the presser in a full room without mask, gives interviews without masks. He also notes that the prime minister was, after all, not harmed in any way, so no sweat!
As a citizen, whatever the political inclination, you are stunned. If this is how the Congress treats the security of the highest office of the nation, can you trust it for the security of the nation and your own as a citizen?
You recall that this same party had lost its tallest leaders to terror due to security lapses or targeted attacks. You recall that thousands of lives were lost in mindless terror in the 1980s and 1990s due to political games that were begun by the Congress right from 1950s and peaked with sponsoring of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. You recall that political rivalry between the Congress and the Akali Dal led to massive brutal bloodshed that took a KPS Gill and a Beant Singh to finally crush it, with Beant Singh, the Congress chief minister, paying the ultimate price. You wonder why the Congress is bent upon traversing the same path of destruction.
I could go on listing the sacrifices of many Congress leaders, media leaders, RSS swayamsevaks but that’s beside the point today. The point today is that the Congress as a political party has lost all sense of responsibility. No top Congress leader criticised or apologised for the huge lapse; none reigned back the cheap trolls. In fact, the game to discredit BJP rather than own up the mistake is still on, even after the farmer unions owned up the incident, saying they got the information from the police about the route and blocked the road. The visiting princeling of the Congress who tweets randomly has not found a voice yet.
It dawns on us that this GOP has abandoned any pretence of a party that is wedded to democratic principles and the Constitution. For it, getting power at any cost is the only goal.
Our Constitution is based on federal principles. The Centre and states have responsibilities marked out. This government under Prime Minister Modi has not done anything that undermines the federal principles. It has implemented every possible recommendation about state-centre relations that were never implemented by the previous Congress, UPA or alliance governments. It has not dismissed any government like the Congress had done on numerous occasions. Even under worst provocations like in Bengal, the Centre has kept its hands off at the cost of being slammed by its own supporters and human rights activists.
Modi hate is taking a dangerous turn. We have seen it time and again since 2014 that Modi hate and Hindu hate has forced the Congress and the Opposition to block every possible reform and law at the cost of citizens of India. Criticism can be irrational; action can be vicious at the cost of dividing the society or putting our nation in an embarrassing position in front of the world. Every action is legitimate to show Modi in a poor light, even if it means supporting enemies like Pakistan or China. They have forgotten the distinction between a political leader and an elected Prime Minister; forgotten the difference between a political party and the nation.
The writer is a well-known author and columnist. Views expressed are personal.
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