Almost all political leaders, during poll campaign cross limits, make promises, often false, and tarnish the image of rivals, but they observe some established norms and they are cautious not to indulge in foul language, make statements inciting religious hatred and distort history. Even during the heat of the poll activity, responsible leaders seldom falter, but the not-so-responsible ones are carried away by emotions and are bent on misleading the people to the extent possible. Of late, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi was seen in the last mentioned class when on November 2 while addressing a rally at Fatepur in Himachal Pradesh, he described the Congress ‘a rotten thought’. He said this ‘rotten thought’ needed to be excised from the country. He used the Hindi words, ‘sadi hui soch’. Soch, thought or ideology have more or less same meaning. It is a fact that the thought or ideology on which the Congress was formed was the most sacrosanct one. In 1942 when Mahatma Gandhi gave a call for ‘quit India movement’ and asked the English rulers to pack up, the thought or main goal of the Congress was to kick out the foreign rulers from the country. On this thought only the goal of freedom was attained. Then the Congress played a vital role in framing the constitution of the country, one of the best statutes in the world. However, it is an irony that the RSS has never been satisfied with the constitution. Therefore one should not be amazed when Narendra Modi, who hails from the organization, describes the Congress a ‘rotten thought’.
Then the Prime Minister tried to defend himself and explained his stand saying that this Congress is not the one of freedom fighters and not the party of Mahatma Gandhi. When the BJP talk of Congress-free India it wants India to be free of this ‘rotten thought’, he said. The Prime Minister should think twice to separate the Congress which existed before independence and the Congress which exists now. There is hardly any change in the philosophy, the thought and the principles. There is a different set of leaders who ate the product of time and one may find fault with them, but not with the thought. One expects the Prime Minister to be able to feel the distinction between the basic thought of a party and the leaders associated with it. To support his contention, the Prime Minister gave two examples and in this process he also misled his audience.
He indirectly referred to Rahul Gandhi and said during the stand-off with China, the Congress leader from the dynasty met the Chinese ambassador. When the government is maintaining diplomatic relations, any leader can meet an ambassador posted in the country. Boycotting an envoy by any political leader is not the way to show his anger. The BJP made hue and cry when Rahul Gandhi called on Chinese ambassador during Doklam tension. It is nothing but making a mountain of a molehill. The Prime Minister also spoke of senior Congress leader Chidambaram who said internal autonomy should be given to the people of Kashmir. But it is a fact that the provision contained in Article 370 is the part and parcel of the constitution. The Prime Minister said the Congress leader wanted to give Azadi (freedom) to the people of Kashmir while the soldiers are sacrificing their lives safeguarding the borders. It is sheer misleading the people while playing on their sentiments. This level of campaigning one cannot expect from a Prime Minister.