The Enforcement Directorate committed gross lese majeste by daring to summon Rahul and Sonia Gandhi for questioning in the National Herald case. At least it is so in the minds of Congresspersons. The protests outside ED offices by the Congress can be interpreted in two ways. First, it is an attempt to intimidate the ED; secondly, the matter is being exploited for political gains by making Rahul Gandhi, who appeared for questioning on Monday, appear a martyr. There could also be the fear that he might be arrested, so the summoning of large numbers might be an attempted deterrent.
If it was the first, then it is a clear signal that some people are believed to be above the law. What would happen in this country if every person summoned by the investigative agencies would take along crowds of supporters in this manner? They would certainly be booked under appropriate sections of the law and action taken against them. Will the same be done to the entitled lot of politicians that were present at the protests, among whom was also Priyanka Vadra?
Will such behaviour generate sympathy for Rahul Gandhi –most unlikely. He may be all powerful within the Congress, but he does not have anything like the appeal among the masses equivalent to at least a dozen opposition leaders. People will mostly mark it down to the usual entitled behaviour associated with the Gandhis. (An ailing Sonia Gandhi will evoke greater sympathy among the people if she does appear before the ED.)
Even small-time bureaucrats make life miserable for the common people. Politicians should get out of the habit of demanding special treatment, particularly now that almost every act is captured on camera as it is greatly resented. There has to be realisation that politics has gone way beyond the ‘Sahib’ and ‘Memsahib’ culture. The proverbial Lutyens’ Delhi will be increasingly called to account in the future.