As Rahul showed at Ramlila, change of power must start from streets

The country is pining for a change of power. As all pillars of democracy have been rigged, it’s time for the opposition to hit the streets. Rahul Gandhi has made that beginning from Ramlila Maidan

IANS photos
IANS photos
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Zafar Agha

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday April 29 has rightly warned the nation that the Modi government has proved a disaster and it is time for countrymen to send it packing. Addressing a huge public rally at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, he told the country that from farms to industry, from economy to banks, from jobs to all round corruption from courts to universities, the Modi government show is abysmal.

Indeed, it needs no further proof now. The farming sector has sunk into a crisis not witnessed in recent years. Industry has gone through a nosedive after impulsive moves like demonetisation and poor handling of the GST tax reform. Economy is in a constant decline while both public and private banks are near bust with government-sponsored scams. The story of generating millions of jobs is the greatest fake news of the day. Ministers are buying and selling firms to make hay while the sun shines. Institutions like Parliament, judiciary, executive, media and even universities are reeling under the saffron shadow.

India has never before experienced such an existential crisis because no ruling establishment in its history ever decided to transform its civilisational ethos from a moderate and middle of the road nation to a somewhat fundamentalist Hindutva orientation. There is no vision either of any sort to take the country forward. The BJP agenda is to push the country to irrational ancient times when supposedly India was so advanced that it had already discovered plastic surgery with most advanced internet connection with great speed and fantastic bandwith.

Well, India is no Pakistan. Our democracy is deep-rooted. Our institutions are mature enough to fight back. Our middle class wants to move forward, not backward. Our founding fathers laid down the foundations of a modern nation state. Our youth is competing with the West and proving their merit globally. We are not a nation that could be hoodwinked all the time by sheer rhetoric of Narendra Modi. Cutting the long story short, Indian people have seen through Modi and his skills to sell dreams and delivering nothing. One has to be personally present inside Ramlila Maidan today to see peoples’ enthusiasm to register their protest against the Modi government. Despite Delhi heat, hundreds of thousands had flocked to the Maidan to support the Congress president in his struggle against the Modi government.

BJP has no vision of any sort to take the country forward. But India’s middle class wants to move forward, not backward. Our founding fathers laid down the foundations of a modern nation state. Our youth are competing with the West and proving their merit globally. We are not a nation that could be hoodwinked all the time by sheer rhetoric of Narendra Modi

Frankly, the country is restless and pining for a change of power. It is time for the opposition parties to hit the street. Rahul Gandhi has already made a beginning from Ramlila Maidan. Rahul Gandhi had earlier confined himself to election campaigns and rallies. But there is a discernible shift in Rahul since he has taken over the Congress reins. We can see a much more seasoned and confident Rahul Gandhi who is slowly but steadily transforming his party’s organisational setup and is also willing to lead the country from the front against Modi.

Rahul Gandhi has his own grandmother Indira Gandhi as the Opposition leader role model. India has hardly seen a more successful Opposition leader than Indira Gandhi between 1978-80. After a terrible electoral debacle in 1977, she built a party from scratch. She wrecked Janata Party government from within and returned to power in less than three years. Old timers say that her mantra was that she was with the people of India all through she was in the Opposition ranks. She was barely visible even inside Parliament. The same people who had rejected her in 1977 flocked back to her in 1980, realising that the Congress alone has the vision and ability to govern.

India across its length and breadth is going through the same realisation, it seems. It’s once again looking up to the Congress, after being fed up with Modi’s mis-governance. It is back into the mode when it was repenting the loss of the Congress rule. It had reposed its faith into Indira Gandhi in 1980, bringing her back to power with a comfortable majority. It may sound a boast at this stage. But don’t be surprised if the Congress Party returns to power in 2019.

But the route to power again, is through the streets and not through the parliamentary forum as all pillars of democracy have already been rigged. The only way out is taking to the streets, which Rahul Gandhi has already taken up from Ramlila Maidan.

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