Editorial: Another Stain on Congress’s Hand
Organiser   30-Apr-2018

"Political rivalries have to be resolved in the great hall of democracy when the electorate votes its representatives in and out of office. Courts resolve disputes about legal rights and entitlements. Courts protect the rule of law. There is a danger that the judicial process will be reduced to a charade, if disputes beyond the ken of legal parameters occupy the judicial space.”
 — WRIT PETITION (CIVIL), NO 19 OF 2018 popularly known as Judge Loya Judgement in the Supreme Court of India
Even though as a part of the appeasement politics and to prove himself as more ‘secular’ than his party, one of the prominent Congress leaders while speaking at the Aligarh Muslim University accepted that, “Congress has the stain of Muslim blood on its hand.” The fact is Congress has many more such stains on its hand, using the Muslim community as a vote-bank and trapping them with the fear factor of the ‘other’ for electoral gains is just one of them. Most of those stains pertain to scuttling the democratic process and throttling the Constitutional ethos while being in power. While being in the opposition the approach is not different.
The Nehru clan that led the country for most of years has three types of stains on its head and hands. The first one is of nurturing the dynastic and undemocratic political culture. The Congress culture that revolved around the Nehru dynasty killed the internal leadership development mechanism within the grand old party and became a role model for other political groupings, especially the one based on regional aspirations. Use of power to strangle any voice of opposition, whether in the party or media, has been its trait almost since adoption of the Constitution. The proclamation of Emergency was, of course the pinnacle of it.
The second stain on Congress is playing the divisive card to retain power. Dividing voters on regional, caste and religious lines and manipulating the first past the post system for the party advantage are the truth of the Congress culture. In the process many divisive propositions of the colonial rule were not only retained but further strengthened. The North-South divide, Aryan Invasion theory, furthering Caste divisions in the name downtrodden while handing over the power to dominant castes, fuelling communal strife in the name of ‘secularism’ and most importantly, negating whatever is indigenous in the name of modernity are the sins which the dynastic party cannot wash away. Naming and shaming Hindus by coining the terms like ‘saffron terror’ is an addition of the last tenure.
Some may like to give credit to the family run Congress for consolidating the democratic institutions, the reality is it was the inherent strength of our society and civilisational ethos that sustained these onslaughts even after the independence. The independent institutions like Judiciary, Election Commission etc were instrumental in saving that ethos during the crisis.
Now in opposition the relentless attack on the institution of Judiciary to settle the political scores, seems to be a new political ploy of the Congress. What the Rahul Gandhi led Congress is doing while being in the opposition is as dangerous as what Smt Indira Gandhi tried to do while being in power.
First create doubts on the appointments of judges among common citizens, then, create and manipulate divisions within the judiciary, lobby with media, NGOs and PIL gangs to pressurise the judiciary to give or not to give verdict in a particular way or at a particular time. All this is nothing but using the credible institutions like Judiciary for political purpose. The judicial system or individual judges may have certain flaws but there are mechanisms to address them. The system of checks and balances is inherent in the Constitution and one should not disturb that for the political gains or losses.
The question is not whether judiciary or judges can be questioned or not, the real issue is whether judiciary should be made the political battleground. By doing so, Congress has added another stain of subverting faith in the judicial system for petty political considerations.