Why are regional parties paying tributes to Sonia Gandhi in Rajya Sabha polls?

In the old days, we would wait with much excitement for the special afternoon movie that Doordarshan would choose to show on Independence Day. I remember that one time the movie chosen for the occasion was Krantiveer, with Nana Patekar playing the lead role. In the climax of the movie, he delivers a rousing speech to a crowd of people moments before he is scheduled to be hanged, in a manner only Nana Patekar could have.

I still remember some of the lines from that speech (rough paraphrase): “When God looks at all of us from the sky, what does he think? He remembers that he had made human beings to be wonderful and intelligent creatures. But what does he see? He sees all of us on our knees, crawling like insects. Have some shame.

Somehow the latest round of Rajya Sabha polls happened to remind me of these lines from Krantiveer. In a democracy, the people are supreme, they occupy the position of God. People elected their representatives to stand up for them. But what do the people see? They see a political class that is on its knees, crawling before the power of the Congress establishment.

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Indeed, from Bengal to Jharkhand, why are regional parties rushing to offer Rajya Sabha seats to the Congress Party? The Rajya Sabha is the Council of States. A Rajya Sabha berth is a great honour, an expression of trust on part of the states in our federal system.

Today when Congress is at its lowest ebb and when people from almost every state have rejected Congress, have you thought why there are tributes still pouring in from all corners for Queen Sonia Gandhi?

No, this is hardly a case of the losing parties ganging up against the BJP because it happens to be the front-runner. The BJP spent long years in the opposition. Do you remember parties lining up to offer free rides to the BJP?

No, of course not. Because these Rajya Sabha seats are tributes from the political class to Queen Sonia Gandhi. Because our entire system, from netas to bureaucrats and from patrakars to intellectuals, is beholden to the Congress Party. And yes, the … is beholden to the Congress as well; I can’t name them for fear of being in contempt.

The Congress may not have a lot of seats right now, but it has the immense power to lease out its ecosystem to anyone who pays the tribute.  The Congress Party’s lawyers will defend in court every single land grab, every dodgy coal or spectrum allocation that you have ever indulged in. Its media Pidis will wash your stains in the court of public opinion.

Do you have a political pitch that benefits from turning community X against community Y and based on Breaking India in general? The Congress can give you it’s party historians who will prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the feud between the two communities goes back several thousand years. Want to be a ‘free speech activist’ and/or a ‘youth icon?’ Do you fancy yourself going to corporate ‘Thinkfests’ and rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty of society? The Congress can get you in the door in no time.

This is why they always crawl before Congress establishment.

If you are a BJP supporter, congratulations. You are one of the few with a backbone to stand up and speak against this establishment. The BJP is basically the only party across the length and breadth of this vast nation with the gall to take the Congress Party head-on.

They say that you BJP supporters are on the backfoot, they say that Narendra Modi is now on the “backfoot.”

Yeah, maybe you are on the backfoot. But at least you are standing on your own two feet. Stand up and be counted. Do not take a step back.

Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or not be an Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore.

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