MEIRA KUMAR, THE CONGRESS CANDIDATE FOR the upcoming President of India election says her nomination by the Opposition “united” against the ruling National Democratic Alliance was a ‘matter of ideology and giving it a communal or caste colour was unfortunate.
If you don’t take it as the joke of the decade, you may ask:What is the ideology involved?
The NDA announced its candidate, Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit (belonging to oppressed and downtrodden castes) first. Till then the “united” opposition was speaking in different voices. THEN it announced the name of Meira Kumar whose qualification is the daughter of Jagjivan Ram, for decades the face of the Dalits in the Congress.
Both caste and dynasty qualifications fulfilled.
Earlier the “united” opposition toyed with the idea of putting up Dr. M.S.Swaminathan, an eminent scientist and father of India;s green revolution. A victim of North-South politics when he was director general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (popular as Pusa Institute) from 1972 to 1979, he became the Director General of the International Rice Research Institute (1982–88) which is located in Philippines by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN as India, the rightful claimant as the major rice-producing country, did not show interest and pursue the matter.
Perhaps seeing this as a ploy to create a North-South rift for political gains, Dr MSS showed no interest and did n
ot pursue the matter. On the other hand Meira Kumar, a former Speaker of Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Indian Parliament) met Congress president Sonia Gandhi to indicate willingness to be the candidate.
That she would lose the contest is obvious. That she was selected as a Dalit to take on the Dalit candidate put up by the NDA and projected as ‘daughter of Bihar” indicates caste and regional considerations and not “ideology”.
The Bharatiya Janata Party heading the NDA is ‘communal and casteist’ in nominating a Dalit, but the Congress countering the move by nominating a Dalit is “ideological”! How ‘united’ the Opposition is was indicated by the chief minister of a major Opposition party supported by the Con
gress, the Janata Dal (U) Nitish Kumar refused to endorse her, as she was chosen to be a loser as she was the ‘daughter of Bihar’ a state made ‘sick’ and backward by decades of Congress rule. Nitish is the proxy CM of Bihar, ruled by Lalu Yadav of cattle-feed scandal fame convicted and barred from holding an elective post.
What was the ‘ideology’ involved in the Congress trying to promote Bhola Paswan Sastri to end Jagjivan Ram’s status (then) as the sole face of the Dalits? A threat to the dynasty rule if he became too popular?
What was the ideology involved in Jagjivan Ram himself leaving the party and joining the post-Emergency Janata Party government headed by Morarji Desai? Or in the Congress not supporting the ‘anti-Dalit’ BJP’s move to make Ram the Primje Minister when the Janata split over Desai’s leadership?
Still unable to see the ‘ideological principles’ involved? It is the only ‘ideology’ in which Congress believes in: Dynasty rule. Jagjivan Ram can be sacrificed if the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty is threatened.
After all Meira belongs to the Ram dynasty.