Monday, March 1, 2021
Home Editor's picks I questioned Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and got threatened with 'consequences', are some leaders beyond...

I questioned Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and got threatened with ‘consequences’, are some leaders beyond question?

How is it okay for students in JNU to raise potentially inflammatory slogans and not safe for me to ask questions to a politician? Since when did it become unsafe to raise questions to the Congress Party?

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s entry into active politics is anything but unprecedented. Every Indian knew that sooner or later she would take the plunge, not just because she would regularly campaign in her mother and brother’s constituencies i.e. Raebareli and Amethi respectively, but also because even without holding any official position, she was a part of most key decision making including the selection of Chief Minister for recently concluded Vidhan Sabha elections at Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

However, she has never been dragged into matters concerning her husband or asked questions related to the abysmal performance of the Congress party. She was spared from the wrath of political competition because she was not an ‘active’ politician or an office bearer of the Congress Party. She was not held accountable for the dismal performance of her party or repeated charges of nepotism primarily because ‘technically’ she was not a beneficiary of the political outfit.

On January 23 2019, after the Congress Party announced her as the Congress General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh (East), things changed. She is no more just the sister of Congress Party President Rahul Gandhi or daughter of Former Prime Minister, Late Shri Rajiv Gandhi. She is now an official representative of the grand old party. I assumed she is now obliged to be answerable and accountable to the electorate. Since the Indian Constitution gives me the right to freedom of expression and the democratic values of this land allow me to question the status quo, I just did that. I merely exercised this right when I asked the freshly appointed office bearer, five innocuous questions in a short video.

My questions contoured largely alleged corruption charges on her husband, charges of nepotism and the kind of changes an electorate can expect with her advent into the party. Little did I know that courtiers of the para-dropped politician would get unsettled by my curiosity? I was asked by certain cadre members and functionaries to ‘watch my words’ as no one is allowed to question the ‘family’. Certain sections of the media called my questions bad in taste because the person in question was ‘Priyanka Gandhi’, who exudes the charisma and dynamism of Indira Gandhi.

But does that make Priyanka Gandhi Vadra beyond rectitude? Moreover, if there are efforts to curb someone like me who has zero political influence, imagine the extent of duress on those voices that have the potential to change opinions by virtue of their words.

Freedom of Expression is not for all

I have questioned leaders across the political spectrum on a myriad of issues, through my opinion pieces in print media, social media, and on national television and I say this with complete responsibility that I have never been warned of the impending consequences. It is possible that I was, as I mentioned earlier, a speck in the larger scheme of things to be noticed. It is also possible that those, whom I questioned, believed that I had the right to question them.

Sadly, the same doesn’t seem to be true when it comes to the first family in the Congress party.

It is outright comical that a party that struts around as the self-proclaimed custodian of freedom of expression has little appreciation for the concept, leave alone practising it. Implicit immunization of the first family from accountability reeks of deep-seated feudalism that has plagued the grand old party for over a century. It wouldn’t be incorrect to assume that I wouldn’t have come under the radar had I questioned the Party and not a family member.

Intolerance Trumps

Does anyone remember the deluge of awards that made their way back on account of the ‘growing intolerance’ under the elected government of the day, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi? The brigade is obviously oblivious to the simmering intolerance in the Opposition. Their urge to preserve tolerance as a virtue is aroused only when it suits them because I do not see them returning any awards to express anguish against the growing political intolerance in West Bengal or even Madhya Pradesh.

How is it okay for students in JNU to raise potentially inflammatory slogans and not safe for me to ask questions to a politician? Since when did it become unsafe to raise questions to the Congress Party?

How is it responsible politics when an elected representative and President of the Principal opposition party Shri Rahul Gandhi to make declarative statements like ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ and alleges the Prime Minister with unsubstantiated charges but uncomfortable when a private tax-paying citizen merely questions a politician?

I have asked very basic questions and I am sure I will receive answers in due course of time. I wish her great luck and success in her new innings. Meanwhile, I leave a question for all readers: How can Priyanka Gandhi Vadra be touted as Indira 2.0 and yet expected to be treated with kid gloves. Both cannot exist together.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Gunja Kapoor
Gunja Kapoor is a policy analyst based in New Delhi. She tweets at @gunjakapoor

Related Articles

Trending now

Madhya Pradesh is preparing to change the names of Bhopal, Idgah Hills, Obedullahganj, Begumganj and others: Report

The BJP Government in Madhya Pradesh is preparing to change the names of numerous places at once, which includes Bhopal.

Congress IT cell passes off old images of left parties rally to claim lakhs of people attended their rally in Bengal

Several Congress shared images of a political rally claiming lakhs of people had gathered in Kolkata for a Congress rally

Gujarat local body polls: State Congress President Hardik Patel could not vote for his own party. Here is why

Earlier, sedition accused Hardik Patel had said that Congress has not been able to utilise him fully.

Watch: Mother of BJP worker recounts the horror of Friday when Trinamool goons attacked her and her son

Visuals of the old injured mother of the BJP worjer has caused much anguish among people on social media

Punjabi daily Rozana Pehredar tries to whitewash atrocities of Khalistani terrorist Bhindranwale

Rozana Pehredaar compared Bhindranwale with revered Sikhs like Baba Deep Singh and Amar Shaheed baba Naudh Singh

Ghulam Nabi Azad praises PM Modi day after show of strength in Jammu, netizens take potshots at Congress party

Ghulam Nabi Azad hinted at the lack of 'reality check' within the party while praising Narendra Modi for not forgetting his roots.

Recently Popular

Did Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan elope with her Hindu servant? Here is the truth

The image that is being used to claim that Iran Khan has 'eloped with her Hindu servant' was originally shared by Nupur Shikare, her fitness trainer. The two were posing on the occasion of Diwali.

US President Joe Biden casually drops the N-word during Munich Security Conference, accused of racism on social media

The N-word is considered as one of the hateful words that were first uttered in the 17th century. Its origin can be traced back to the Spanish word 'negro', which is often used by white supremacists to deliberately offend the African-American community.

Father of Richa Bharti, the girl who had refused to distribute Quran to secure bail, shot dead in native Bihar village: Read details

The father of the daring Bihar girl Richa Bharti has been shot down by assailants in her native village of Nalanda district in Bihar.

“A contest between my ball and your ball”: Netizens in splits after comments of Harsha Bhogle go viral

Harsha Bhohgle said that a cricket contest should be between bat and ball, not between bat and bat or ball and ball

Spokesperson of Samajwadi Party resigns after workers abuse his wife for sharing anti-Akhilesh Facebook post: Details

Anil Yadav of Samajwadi Party has resigned from the party after his wife, Pankhuri Pathak, was abused by SP workers.

‘I’m Akhlaq you killed for one cow’: Islamic terror outfit Jaish-ul-Hind claims responsibility for placing bombs outside Mukesh Ambani’s residence

In the threat message that is addressed to the Ambanis, the Jaish-Ul-Hind terrorists said, "Next time the SUV will ram into your fat kids car you if don't agree to the demands now".
- Advertisement -


Connect with us