The following article is a spoof on a similar, recent article. The point is to show how easily an argument can be framed if the burden of evidence is not placed on it. We should be careful of what we say. But for now, just chuckle along!
1. In a speech after the recent Goa debacle, which her supporters have dubbed, “UPA: The Only Way Forward,” Smt Sonia Gandhi, Congress Party President, has stated as follows: “Most importantly, we must all shed all manner of factional behaviour, and fight as one disciplined team at all levels. That will be the single-most important factor to decide whether we win or lose. People look to us – but we need to show them our commitment and our unity if we are to convert this sentiment into electoral victories.”
2. Even as the analysts were discussing the significance of this speech, an article in “Times of India”, one of the unofficial mouthpiece of the Congress Party, has also expressed openly disquiet over certain recent developments in the UPA focussed on the inability of the Party to deflect accusations regarding corruption, and the manner in which Rahul Gandhi is being anointed the next leader of the Congress Party and the prime ministerial candidate.
3. The report states that the scion of the Gandhi family, who is now 40, is being projected as the prime minister. This is done at the cost of other potential and equally qualified candidates such as Pranab Mukherjee, but Rahul Gandhi’s supporters seem to suggest that this should be done without delay, even before the general elections, in an effort to suppress other voices and proposals. Aware of the consequences of ruffling Mother Hen’s feathers, the ToI article suggested in passing that Pranab Mukherjee had indeed been acting PM during Manmohan Singh’s bypass surgery in 2009.
4. While Smt. Sonia Gandhi’s speech refers in general about the public perception of the state of affairs in the party without naming anyone, the “ToI” report makes no secret of the fact that it sees the elevation of Rahul Gandhi to the pre-eminent position in the Party and Nation without considering other potential candidates such as Pranab Mukherjee as pressure tactics adopted by the supporters of Rahul Gandhi to force the party to accept RaGa as the prime ministerial candidate even before the next elections. Heck, even PraMu’s initials are PM!
5. While it would be unreasonable to expect the INC and the UPA in general to be more specific in their concerns, these have come to the fore in the context of the recent stepped- up efforts of the supporters of RaGa—many of them medium-level sycophants in the INC— to see that RaGa is accepted by the INC and the UPA as the prime ministerial candidate.
6. Since the beginning of last year, I have been drawing attention to the Maoist Red Guard-like methods adopted by many followers of RaGa to impose their will on their party and then the nation. Anyone aware of the methods used by the Maoist Red Guards to force the Chinese people to accept Mao Zedong as their leader would be struck by the similarity of the rhetoric and PSYWAR methods used by these pro-RaGa elements whom I have been referring to as the RaGa Brigade.
7. They do not call themselves the RaGa Brigade, but they make no secret of the fact that they support RaGa as the next Prime Minister of India. Their worrisome methods, reminiscent of the methods used by the Red Guards, consist largely of state control of media, smothering other points of view, abuse, vituperation, disinformation, character assassination and psychological pressure. Whereas the Maoist Red Guards did not have the benefit of the media nearly as much due to its battles with the PLA and the CCP, the RaGa Brigade, which has established a dominance over the means of propaganda through Mainstream Media in the absence of any opposition to their methods from secular and non-populist elements, has been even using the re-naming of prominent public venues in their PSYWAR (Rajiv Gandhi Chowk in New Delhi, for one).
8. Nobody can object to their campaign in favour of RaGa as the Prime Minister despite his perceived inexperience and misdeeds of the INC in the past. But one has reasons to be concerned over the ways adopted by these elements in an attempt to enforce their will on the nation. If they succeed due to lack of adequate public knowledge of the sinister implications of their strategy and the inadequate attempts to counter their methods, the nation may have to pay a heavy price.
9. India needs a strong, efficient and effective ruler, but not a Mao. That ruler has to be chosen by the people through their free will and not imposed on them through stage-managed and orchestrated pressure.
10. It is time to sound a wake-up call about the dangerous implications of the pressure tactics and Red Guards methods being used to force the INC, the UPA and the Nation to accept RaGa who is being sought to be projected by these elements as God’s own choice to rule India at this critical juncture.
11. While it is up to the political parties to draw up their respective strategy to ensure that such methods do not find a place in our political landscape, it is important for others too to educate public opinion on the activities of these elements and the great harm that they can cause to our democracy.
12. The new strategy to be worked out should focus not on the past misdeeds of RaGa and the INC, but on the future misdeeds that are likely to be committed by these elements if their methods succeed. ( 10-6-12)
( The writer is one of India’s beleaguered “mango men,” an aam aadmi. Acknowledgement of a presence on twitter may mark him a troll.)