The newly appointed chief of the Congress party has not only stoked a heated altercation but also managed to land himself in the middle of a sordid, uncalled-for, and unwanted controversy by calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi “a Ravan with 100 heads". Kharge slammed the BJP for leaning too much on Modi in every election, addressing a crowd in Ahmedabad’s Behrampura. “We see your (Modi’s) face everywhere, in corporation elections, MLA elections, and MP elections… Do you have a hundred heads like Ravan?" he said.
The BJP dashed in readily to fire its salvo and take advantage of the situation to accuse the Congress party of jeering and disparaging the PM, for he represents the state of Gujarat and the Gujaratis. “Unable to take the heat of Gujarat election, pushed to the fringe, Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge loses control over his words, calls Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘Ravan’. From ‘Maut ka Saudagar’ to ‘Ravan’, Congress continues to insult Gujarat and its son," claims the BJP as a rejoinder in a press conference.
Taking strong objection to the remark, Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel tweeted, “Bereft of any development agenda and support from the people, the Congress is out to abuse Gujarat and Gujaratis." The statement made by Kharge ji against PM Narendra Modi is a testimony to their hatred for Gujaratis. The people of Gujarat will reject them this time too for such behaviour," Patel added. This spurted a war of words between the BJP and the Congress, but the Congress had it coming!
Not only scurrilous and pejorative remarks but calls to assassinate PM Modi also have been rampant amongst the opposition (all recorded in media). There has been an orgy of slanders and libels, the list is tedious, but to quote and ascribe a few:
1. Sonia Gandhi, 2007: Maut ka saudagar (dealer in death with reference to Godhra riots of 2002)
2. Salman Khurshid, 2014: Napunsak (impotent)
3. Imran Masud, 2014: Boti-boti kar denge (will chop him into pieces)
4. Priyanka Vadra, 2014: (PM) Neech rajneeti karte hain (deplorable politician)
5. Rahul Gandhi, 2016: (PM) Sainiko ke khoon ki dalali karte hain (brokers the death of soldiers)
6. Mani Shankar Aiyar, 2017: (PM) Neech aadmi hai (depraved man)
7. Sanjay Nirupam, 2018: (PM) Anpadh-Gavaar hai (illiterate and uncouth)
8. Rahul Gandhi, 2018: Chowkidar chor hai (PM is a burglar)
9. Nellai Kannan, 2020: Exhorted Muslims to exterminate PM Modi
10. Madhusudan Mistry, 2022: Aukat dikha denge (patronising PM for his humble roots)
11. Mallikarjun Kharge, 2022: Ravan with 100 heads
Everything must be fair in love, war, and politics, lest there be a backlash! The BJP taking potshots at Rahul Gandhi is a profitable deal for the former, whereas the latter targeting the BJP-RSS is invariably a nightmare for the Congress and its allied ecosystem. This is basic maths that the nation doesn’t want to know! For example, the much-touted and disproportionately hyped “Bharat-Jodo Yatra" which was launched to “unite Bharat" without a political tone, entails vilifying Veer Savarkar via a press conference and recording conversations on vanquishing the alleged RSS ecosystem, which only erodes the event’s credibility.
Clearly, smearing the Prime Minister never helped the opposition’s cause and only served to strengthen Modi’s position. The more one tries to clobber him, the more he will pulverise his opponent, for he can turn one’s ammo in a matter of time. Out of the litany of elections where the Congress was made to bite the dust, the major losses include the 2007 Gujarat elections with 59 seats, the 2014 and 2019 general elections with 44 and 52 seats, respectively, and the UP elections with 52 seats. And now this “Ravan” barb—undisputedly a self-goal—by none less than the Congress president, is about to create another inflexion point in the political history which this writer believes that the BJP is going to roast for the coming years in its favour.
It is high time that Congress should retrospect and introspect for a better future. This is not the first time, not the last either when cussing and dissing PM Modi has been the mandatory ritual for Congressmen. They should acknowledge and learn from their follies and ignominies. Multitudes of reasons have been attributed to this demented behaviour. Some believe it helps accrue and amass anti-Modi votes. Some say it bolsters one image in the liberal-woke-secular lobby, a.k.a. the Lutyens’ cabal. And some ascribe this to a purported “grand exaltation" in the anti-BJP commune, which includes the lobby that coronates the likes of Hindu baiters by means of distinct “international accolades". Many also attribute such condescending behaviour as disdain to his humble roots.
But by virtue of its age, so to speak, the self-anointed “grand old party" has certainly been treading the path of becoming incorrigible. It fails to learn from the mistakes of the past, condemning itself to continue down the same path with consistency and suffer unjust consequences. Electoral damage is the least of the concerns; the major one is the existential crisis. Just in a lighter vein, someone needs to apprise Mallikarjun Kharge that Ravan is said to be a 10-headed demon. A randomly jibed number 100 seems a bit inane.
Yuvraj Pokharna is an independent journalist and columnist. He tweets with @pokharnaprince. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the stand of this publication.
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