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OpinionsThe Congress Strategem of Social Engineering-II

The Congress Strategem of Social Engineering-II

Date:

Analysis
by Dr. Jaipal Singh

The last Congress Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is on record to have stated on 09 December 2006 while addressing the Development Council that the minorities, particularly the Muslims, have first claim on the national resources, which he reiterated again in 2009 during his second term as prime minister of India. Ordinarily, the Personal Laws are applicable to the principles relating to the marriage, divorce, maintenance, adoption, inheritance, guardianship, succession, etc., and there is absolutely no rationale in having different sets of such laws in a secular democracy for different communities. The BJP as a political party has constantly favored a uniform civil code with a commitment to make commensurate laws at opportune time. Similarly, Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution specifically prohibit discrimination and provide for the equality of opportunity in the public employment prohibiting discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, etc. Originally, it provided for reservation for the SCs & STs and, later on, amendments were carried out to pave way for the reservation in employment for the OBCs, inter alia including backward Muslim classes, and economically backward classes.

Notwithstanding, the Congress Party experimented with a separate reservation for Muslims on religious ground on more than one occasion in the past. It tried through Congress government in the state of Andhra Pradesh to implement religion-based quota for the reservation of Muslims in the past but the ordinance was struck down by the Andhra High Court in 2004 on the grounds of legality of such reservation. Actually, the choice of food, dress, language and personal laws on face appear genuine and harmless but here the issue is that in spite of hundreds of years of socio-economic and cultural interaction with other religious communities in the Indian sub-continent, many of them still want to retain the distinct Arabic identity with these choices. Besides, many of them, particularly clergy and political leaders, aggressively seek this agenda very often impinging upon similar choices and rights of other communities. For instance, in a village or city where Muslims have overwhelming majority, they often raise objections against religious functions, festivals and processions of other communities (mainly Hindus). In the past few years, the Chennai High Court had to handle at least two court cases where the community wanted ban on Hindu festivals and rath Yatras. Naturally, when the Congress specifically promises minorities (actually Muslims) the freedom of choice of dress, food, language and personal laws, it carries far reaching implications on the other communities too in the long term.

 

Economy: Financial Survey &

Redistribution of Wealth

The Congress Party says that after 33 years, the time is ripe for a re-set of economic policy – a Nav Sankalp Economic Policy. The cornerstone of the new economic policy will be with three essential goals of the work, wealth and welfare. The Congress manifesto talks about the economic justice, for which the Party has committed economic policies to ensure that the developing India first attains the status of a middle-income country and then a developed country. According to the Congress claim, the Party ushered in an era of liberalization in 1991 and, consequently, the country reaped enormous benefits in terms of wealth-creation, new businesses and entrepreneurs, a huge middle class, millions of jobs, important innovations in education and healthcare, and exports, lifting millions of people out of poverty. Among other promises, the Congress has promised in their manifesto on page 28 (Srl. No. 21) in the Economy section that they will address the growing inequality of wealth and income through suitable changes in policies. In effect, this implies that the Congress, if voted in power, make laws to change existing policies on the personal wealth and income to deal with the issue of the inequality of wealth.

It is of common knowledge that the official president of the Congress Party is the octogenarian leader and staunch loyalist Mallikarjun Kharge but the real control of the party exists with the Gandhi family troika comprising of the mother Smt. Sonia Gandhi and brother-sister duo Shri Rahul Gandhi and Smt. Priyanka G. Vadra. To alleviate the poverty from India, the Gandhi scion (Rahul Gandhi) recently spoke in an election rally at Anupgarh in Rajasthan on 11 April 2024, “Congress Sarkar desh ke har garib parivar ki mahila ke bank khate me ek lakh rupaye transfer karegi… agar aap garibi rekha se neeche hain to har saal ek lakh rupaye (8,500 rupaye prati maah) khatakhat khatakhat aata rahega aur ek jhatke se hum Hindustan se garibi mita denge…” (The Congress government will transfer Rs one lakh every year to the bank account of the woman in the poor family… in case, you are living below the poverty line, you will instantly keep receiving Rs one lakh every year (@ Rs 8,500 per month) and we will eradicate poverty from India in one stroke). It may be relevant to mention that successive prime ministers of Nehru-Gandhi clan made tall promises against poverty and now Gandhi scion has promised “ek jhatke se garibi mita degen” (i.e. remove poverty in one stroke). Previously, the Congress had promised Rs 72,000 per annum to all poor families during 2019 general elections too, but the Party could garner only 52 seats in the Lok Sabha with a strength of 543 MPs, not enough to qualify even as the main opposition party in the parliament.

As the canvassing for the election gains momentum, the rival parties are revealing more cards stored in their sleeves to lure the electorate in their favor. It is of common knowledge that the Congress manifesto under Equity – Social Justice carries a promise of conducting a nation-wide Socio-Economic and Caste Census to enumerate the castes and sub-castes and their socio-economic conditions and based on the data they will strengthen the agenda for an affirmative action, if voted in power. Under Economy section too (page 28), the manifesto reads: “We will address the growing inequality of wealth and income through suitable changes in policies.” On many occasions, the Congress scion has already spoken about the said caste census along with a financial and institutional census for the course correction in wealth disparities. For instance, he said on 06 April 2024: “We will first conduct a nationwide caste census to determine how many people belong to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and minorities. After that, we will conduct a financial and institutional survey in a historic step to ascertain the distribution of wealth.” Then once again he inter alia made a statement that they (Congress) will get an X-ray of India done to ascertain the population of various caste groups and the country will change once the caste census is done.

More recently on 24 April 2024, the Gandhi scion, while speaking at a Samajik Nyay Sammelan, once again reiterated his X-ray remark making it clear that the Congress-led government would indeed conduct a caste census and also scan the wealth held by different caste groups and that no power can stop him from conducting aforesaid census. According to him, the caste census was not but “a mission of his life”. As soon as the Congress government comes, they will first conduct a caste census and that is his (Gandhi scion) guarantee. Taking a dig at Prime Minister Modi, he even made a reference to a huge amount (author's consciously not divulging sources and amount here of a speculative speech) to be taken back and distributed to the (deserving) people of the country. Interestingly, in his speeches in the recent past, heir apparent of the grand old party glorified his disparaging caste X-ray poll promise as “revolutionary” equating it with the freedom movement, green revolution, nationalization of banks, and so on.

This rhetoric of the Congress Party leader(s) appears inappropriate and unfortunate particularly in view that the caste system in India has been under severe criticism for long as one of the chief evils hindering national integration and development. After the decades of legislation, hard work and sincere efforts on ground by the governments, media, social-reformers and genuine liberal-intellectuals, the age-old barriers and prejudices based on caste and creed have slowly but sure started changing for good in the country. This position is also vindicated through current state of sizeable numbers of the inter-caste marriages and the level social bonding among the educated people living in similar urban and rural clusters. Therefore, when the socio-economic fabric of the Indian society has already started showing positive signs of change, raking caste controversies again as a potential agenda of any political party or government will only prove to be divisive and counterproductive. The Congress leadership's sinister obsession and consequent assertion of “Jitni aabadi utna haq” (like population like right) will probably help only those people who produce more children.

But then this obsessive-compulsive trait is not new but appears to be a characteristic attribute of the Gandhi scion. Usually, he will pick up a thread against his favorite adversaries, namely the BJP, RSS and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then persist with it for an indefinite period. None from the party or family persuades him explaining the fallacy of the issue. The author would cite here an illustration from his own experience of working with the government. The Indian Air Force (IAF) was on a look out for a suitable medium range combat and reconnaissance aircraft since mid-1990s, the necessity of which was later approved by former Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee led NDA government. However, a deal to buy it could not be finalized by the Congress led UPA government in the next 10 years. Finally, when Prime Minister Modi took initiative to seal a purchase of 36 Rafale aircrafts through a government-to-government agreement with France in 2016 to meet long-pending demand of the IAF, the Gandhi scion smelled a rat and started making serious allegations of corruption personally against the prime minister in the deal. Consequently, the agreement was independently scrutinized and investigated under the supervision of the Supreme Court and the Comptroller & Auditor General of India (C&AG) and cleared of all alleged allegations. The Congress manifesto 2024 still seeks to reopen the Rafale deal for investigation, if the Party is voted to power, an obvious corollary that they don't trust judiciary too if the verdict is not favorable to their choice.

So the theme of the caste census followed by a financial and institutional survey seems to be the crux of the Congress and Gandhi scion's election campaign. In yet another election rally in the district Amravati, Maharashtra, the Gandhi scion held that an X-ray of the society was his “life's mission” now to ensure “nyay” (justice) to the marginalized sections. He added that while only 22-25 people had become billionaires in Modi's tenure, INDI Alliance, if voted to office, would turn crores of people into “lakhpatis” (millionaires). Subsequently, speaking in a poll rally in Solapur, Maharashtra, he alleged that India under the Modi government is the “capital of injustice”, where billionaires get Favours at the cost of the poor, but the Congress will remove this disparity by creating “crores of lakhpatis”. He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was shaken, panicked and worried by the Congress's revolutionary manifesto. (Courtesy: Boloji.com)

(To be continued…)

 

(The Author is a retired civil servant and has core areas of specialization in public administration, finance, information technology,

human resource development, and planning, and legal matters)

 

 

 

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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