On Saturday, Kolkata was witness to the ‘United India’ rally by Opposition parties at Kolkata organized by the Trinamool Congress. In a bitter sense of irony, the ‘United India’ rally was organized by the same party whose members are accused of committing rampant political murders of opposition party leaders in West Bengal.
Visuals from the Trinamool Congress led Opposition rally in Kolkata pic.twitter.com/o0evCZY2Yz
— ANI (@ANI) January 19, 2019
There were numerous other comical incidents at the rally as well. Jignesh Mevani, the MLA from Gujarat who was allegedly caught on camera inciting caste violence, ended his speech at the rally with the words ‘Inquilab Zindabad’. In recent times, the slogan has become largely disassociated with legendary freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh and come to be associated with communist parties, the same political faction which has been Mamata Banerjee’s most bitter enemy throughout her political career.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) January 19, 2019
Mevani also spoke out in support of the arrested ‘Urban Naxals’ who are accused of involvement in the violence at Bhima Koregaon and an alleged assassination plot against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mevani also spoke about the welfare of farmers, in front of Abhishek Manu Singhvi of the Congress whose party has made a mockery of farm loan waivers in the states it has won in the recently held Assembly elections. And while farmers continue to die in Congress-ruled states, the ‘pliant media’ dutifully turns a blind eye.
Another political leader of the same mould as Mevani, Hardik Patel, was also present at the rally. He raised the slogan, “Subhash Babu (Netaji Bose) ladhey the gauro se, hum ladhengey choro se! (Subhash Babu fought against the Brits, we will fight against thieves!)”. Amusingly enough, the resolve to fight against thieves was taken at an event where Tejashvi Yadav, son of Lalu Prasad Yadav who was convicted in the Fodder Scam, was one of the attendees. Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh Yadav was also one of the attendees who is himself being investigated currently for his alleged involvement in the mining scam in Uttar Pradesh.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) January 19, 2019
The rally whose agenda the organizers and attendees claim is to safeguard democracy and secularism in the country was also attended by AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal, the same politician who recently threatened to physically attack a journalist and abused him in the vilest of ways.
We should take a moment to take a look at the parties which gathered in Kolkata to defend ‘secularism’, ‘democracy’ and fight ‘thieves’. The Congress party which worked overtime to create the narrative of ‘Saffron Terror‘ during the UPA regime and was responsible for the most brutal suppression of political opposition during the Emergency. Its track record of corruption is unparalleled in the history of Independent India.
Then, we have the RJD whose Patriarch was convicted in several cases pertaining to the Fodder Scam. The era of ‘Jungle Raj‘ in Bihar during Lalu Prasad Yadav’s rule has not been forgotten by anyone. His son, Tejaswhi Yadav, now claims he was sent to jail due to his ‘principles’ and his political opposition to Narendra Modi, thus, undermining the independence of the Judiciary.
The ‘United India’ rally was also attended by Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal whose party is known to have been allegedly hobnobbing with Khalistanis prior to the Punjab Assembly elections. In attendance were also Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah whose sympathies for Kashmiri Separatists is quite well known.
The main objective of the rally was to showcase opposition unity against the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections later this year. Funnily, it was also attended by Chief Minister of Karnataka, HD Kumaraswamy, who has been ranting and whining about the domineering attitude of his alliance partner, the Congress, and complaining that he is being made to work as a clerk.
To top all the inherent contradictions, there was Arun Shourie in attendance as well. A man who called B.R. Ambedkar a British stooge was sitting on the same stage as a casteist politician like Mevani who idolizes Ambedkar.
As we have described above, there appear to be great contradictions between the agenda of the ‘United India’ rally and those in attendance. It’s akin to Kauravas going to war against the Pandavas after accusing the latter to insulting the dignity of women. It’s akin to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan lecturing India on how to treat minorities. It’s akin to people from Bollywood and mainstream media, the corridors of which are teeming with sexual predators, lecturing others on women empowerment.
Even more hilariously, parties which have flirted with linguistic chauvinism and ranted about ‘Hindi imposition’ had no problem with everyone speaking in Hindi at a rally where the overwhelming majority of the audience was Bengali.
The ‘United India’ rally was a heady mixture of contradictions and malice. The rally witnessed a conglomeration of political parties which represent everything that is wrong with the Indian political system. The most corrupt, the most communal and the most fascistic parties have gathered to fight for democracy, secularism and corruption. If it weren’t so dangerous, it would have been quite comical.