They all are in this together. The global left-wing alliance is a reality and not a hidden conspiracy. Pushparaj Deshpande of ‘Samruddha Bharat’ who was responsible for floating opposition leaders like Trinamool Congress’ Mohua Moitra and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav in London for Rahul Gandhi’s Cambridge University event, has put his cards in the open about rallying as a coercive progressive alliance to change the ‘narrative in India’. This could be read as bringing PM Modi and the BJP down from power.
“NCP and Shiv Sena did not come as their offices are being raided by the ED. DMK is having to fly directly to Davos. Congress, CPM, Trinamool, and RJD were represented,” informed Deshpande while talking about the event aimed at bringing Indian opposition parties together in the event hosted by leftist organizations at Cambridge.
The event saw coming together so-called academics, students, activists, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, lawyers and other professionals among the Indian diaspora. The conference where other leaders including Rahul Gandhi spoke, was organised by Bridge India, a think-tank with links to the Congress party. One of the partners of Bridge India is Samruddha Bharat run by Pushparaj Deshpande as a Managing Trustee.
While Deshpande’s association with Congress started with working on policy and politics with the Congress party, he was also involved with the infamous Rajiv Gandhi Foundation known for receiving funds from China and other governments in potential quid pro quo. Deshpande’s part in churning the ‘Ideas for India‘ is laid with anarchy, with a worldview of contesting identities and arming them against each other.
Employing the Indian diaspora to drive ideological war
“The diaspora is an integral part of India. It is natural that since they have a lot of stake in India we also solicit their support for the constitutional idea of India,” Deshpande claimed while talking to TOI about the event. Deshpande rallied for the diaspora’s support who is calling for help with his four-year-old organisation’s central mission of ‘changing the narrative’ in India. He talks of ‘reshaping hearts and minds’ of the Indians living abroad because they “have a voice with their government, in the media, they do a lot of business, they can nudge the Indian government to conduct itself in a certain way.”
Deshpande’s agenda is clear. Also, Samruddha Bharat’s hosting of Rahul Gandhi is not a standalone event – while as mentioned on their own website, the organisation was launched by Rahul Gandhi himself alongside other party loyalists. Its publications, where Congress leaders are involved, revolve around the narrative that Congress wishes to spin – whether it is deriding Hindus by calling India “majoritarian” or peddling the narrative that essentially divorces Dalits from Hindus.
Now, this makes it amply clear that Rahul Gandhi’s talk in London was an in-house event hosted by the Congress. However, the impression that one gets from the poster is that it is an event organised by the University of Cambridge.
Categorizing Hindus as ‘casteist’ and ‘communalist’
“There is the Tamil, Bihari, Marathi, even Gujarati diaspora — the second and third generations are very liberal. There is the Muslim, Christian and Sikh diaspora. All of these groups, their image of themselves is as secular, liberal, plural and cosmopolitan. They don’t see themselves as casteist or communalist or as people endorsing banning girls from wearing the hijab. This is a set of diaspora communities aligned with our values but we have not been reaching out to them, so now we are trying to tap into that,” Deshpande says.
Deshpande’s deliberate use of the phrase ‘casteist or communalist’ is poignant while attributing the same to the Hindu diaspora. He downplays the religious identity of the members of the diaspora being Hindu – and goes on to categorise them on a linguistic basis to divide them further. This expression roots from the classic Congress toolkit of dividing the Hindu majority over linguistic and casteist lines. The unification of Hindus and their political consolidation threaten Congress the most, and that is why intellectual exercises in subjugating the Hindu identity as fascist, majoritarian and communal are on their way.
What Rahul Gandhi does in Indian Politics, is what his footsoldiers do on international platforms. Gandhi’s recent attempts at separatism and his threats of violence suggesting a probable disintegration of India would eventually materialise with the intentional fanning of micro identities that exist in the political and ideological realms. With the Congress ecosystem not in stature to exercise power, its attempts to destabilise the nation have already set a dangerous precedent.
Toeing the Western line
“The West is very worried, the UK especially, about racism and communalism in their societies. No UK political party would want to be seen to endorse the systematic targeting of minorities, so how can the West sit silently on what is happening in India? They expect India to be a regional antidote to China. Are they really expecting us to be a regional antidote when we are going the China and Russian way,” Deshpande said while talking to the media.
Deshpande’s concerns over India not playing the game of the West are hilarious. While India since 2014 has gradually started to chart its own narrative and assert it strategically in the global arena, here is a Congress think-tanker wanting India to abide by what his supposed White master wants him to do. In Deshpande’s worldview, India must realise that the West sees it as its challenge to China, and thus India should see herself in the same light.
Yes, the Indian Foreign Service has changed.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) May 21, 2022
Yes, they follow the orders of the Government.
Yes, they counter the arguments of others.
No, its not called Arrogance.
It is called Confidence.
And it is called defending National Interest. pic.twitter.com/eYynoKZDoW
In a similar tone, During his interaction at the event, Rahul Gandhi complained that several European bureaucrats have told him that Indian foreign service has changed, and they have become arrogant as they ‘don’t listen’ to their counterparts. EAM S Jaishankar while refuting Rahul Gandhi’s comments said that it is not arrogance but confidence that the Indian officials are showing under the Modi government. That putting nation’s interest first is confidence.
However, this is not the first time the organiser of Rahul Gandhi’s event in Cambridge has spoken in similar fashion as the West would want India to be.
Challenging the ‘Hinduisation’ of Adivasis
“The people of RSS’ Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram do not care about our dignity, self-respect. They do not think that we have a separate identity and think we are Hindus,” remarked Pushparaj Deshpande while attributing a quote at a seminar in 2021. While describing the rehabilitation work of RSS as a process of ‘Hinduisation’ of tribals, he remarked that this stands as a rockstone under which Adivasis are getting trampled.
With a series of books published by Samruddha Bharat, Deshpande talks about ‘changing the hearts and beliefs of the people in the nation’ – Logon ke dilo aur Aasthaon ko badalna hai. He talks about creating a consensus among journalists, academics and politicians and implementing ideological manifestos in non-BJP ruled states especially when it comes to the issues of tribals.
From empowering separatism by contesting identities to being in a dire confusion over national interests to the denigration of Hinduism and native Dharmic practices, Samruddha Bharat headed by Pushparaj Deshpande is anything but what its name claims. It ticks all the boxes in playing an ideological younger brother to the narrow divisive Politics of Congress.