Congress is not Mahatma Gandhi’s party

By Kartikeya Tanna on July 23, 2013
Congress is not Mahatma Gandhi's party

That the Congress has adopted a fascist style when reacting to criticism, satire or spoof, whether in the online world or otherwise, is very well-known. Every one of us has witnessed the at-will imposition of the convenient Section 66A and blocking of unpalatable social media pages and blogs.

That it has the gumption to call itself Mahatma Gandhi’s party is a joke. A big joke.

Yesterday, a bill generated by a restaurant – Aditi Pure Veg – went viral on social media platforms. Expressing its displeasure at the imposition of yet another service tax on enjoying food at air-conditioned by the inefficient UPA Government, the bill said: “As per UPA Govt eating money (2G, Coal, CWG scam) is a necessity & eating food in AC restaurant is a luxury.”

Mid-Day report stated that 30-35 workers of the Youth Congress – chaired by none other than Rahul Gandhi – approached Aditi restaurant asking its owner to shut down. They reportedly said that these orders for shutting the restaurant down came from “party headquarters in Delhi”. As Pratik Nakate tells the Mid-Dayreporter, Congress leaders in Delhi diverted the matter to them upon learning about this practice at Aditi restaurant.

What’s worse, as the report further adds, they approached the Bhoiwada police station against the restaurant owner for defamation! Reportedly, the police slapped the owner Srinivas Shetty. Another worker in the Youth Congress patronised Shetty stating that he should fight his issues with the bill in a legal way rather than defaming the party for “some people’s corruption”.

The irony of this entire matter is, at a conclave held on Monday on Congress’s communication strategy for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi warned his partymen to be “very decent” in the language they used to express the party view. His reason for discouraging his partymen from doing so was that Congress is a “party of Mahatma Gandhi”.

Although Rahul’s invocation of Mahatma Gandhi was for a different reason – to ensure decency given the foul-mouthed utterances by some Congress members, including his mentor Digvijay Singh, the Congress has invoked the Mahatma on various occasions.

It is well-known that the Mahatma wanted the disbanding of the Congress after India attained independence. One of his principal reasons for insisting so was to ensure a total de-linking between the Congress which led a principled and peaceful struggle against the mighty British and a Congress which would go to independent Indians asking for votes.

That it didn’t happen was unfortunate. That unscrupulous politicians of the Congress keep invoking the Mahatma at will even more so. Indeed, even the Mahatma foresaw this misuse of the names of freedom fighters.

The irony though is that on a day when Congress’s heir apparent, and, in a way, howsoever unfortunate, Mahatma Gandhi’s political descendant, invokes the Mahatma, his Youth Congress forces a hard-working Mumbai restaurant-owner to shut shop for mere satire.

Srinivas Shetty and several others punished for offending the highly sensitive Congress netas need a Mahatma to fight their cause against the General Dyers in Mahatma’s very own party.

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