Voices are now emerging from the non-BJP eco-system against the excessive turn protests have taken, ostensibly on the CAA issue. Die-hard Congressman Kapil Sibal (supported by Salman Khurshid) has pointed out how it would be unconstitutional for state governments to declare they would not implement the law. Basically, the protests needed to be largely symbolic – such as passing of resolutions and attempting to forge public opinion against the government move. This should correct the ‘anything goes’ attitude that seems to inspire those resisting the CAA. Possibly, as a citizen of Delhi, Sibal also empathises with the pain of commuters whose lives have been disrupted by the Shaheen Bagh takeover of government roads!
Historian Ramchandra Guha has come closer to the crux of the matter when he has warned against the extreme Left hijacking the cause for its own purposes and colouring the protests with its radical hues. His comments on the Congress party dynasts also point to the need for reviving the opposition to ‘Hindutva’ through more robust, people-based politics. It is true that only sycophants and those paying off past favours continue to support the direction being taken by the party. In this process, it is taking on fellow travelers that would not only undermine its potential support base, but also alienate the mainstream.
Guha may have felt pressured to issue clarifications, later, by those wanting ‘solidarity’ in the ‘battle’ against the BJP, but heed must be paid to his advice. This is not a feudal age and recent actions taken by Meghan and Harry of the British Royal Family should serve as a lesson for those stuck in the claustrophobic confines of dynasty. It is true that India’s youth, in particular, is confident of its own abilities and looking to make its mark on the global stage. Genuflecting before someone merely because he or she belongs to a political family is certainly not in its temperament. If the Congress persists with its present policy, it only indicates it intends to keep Indians backward and feudal.
There are those, however, who do not wish the Congress to change and these are its enemies. Guha has pointed out that offering Rahul Gandhi as the alternative will ensure Prime Minister Modi’s return in 2024. The radicals riding the back of the opposition, too, want a weak-minded Congress. Will these warnings by those who still retain some objectivity continue to go unheeded?