The Congress protested unprecedentedly against the BJP in background of the Augusta Scam. Though the party had no defence to the accurate allegations made against it, Congress made a desperate attempt to derail the issue and project itself as the savior of democracy against a Fascist Government. The Congress leaders could not have been more correct when they said that India’s Democratic set up is under a serious threat today and no one would know better about it. The reason being the biggest threat to Indian Democracy is the grand old party itself. The INC has made serious attempts to destruct all the democratic institutions of India in the past several decades including Judiciary, Federalism, free press and the list is endless.
Morally speaking, the Congress has no right of even speaking about democracy. We therefore, present a timeline of events when the Congress dealt severe blows to our democratic set up and why we should take the cry of ‘Save Democracy’ seriously.
1 President’s’ Rule:
What almost every Congress leader mentioned in their speeches today was the imposition of Presidents’ Rule in the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The matters are still sub judiced and can be commented upon only after the Supreme Court passes a verdict on the same. But one thing is for sure, Congress’ tryst with Presidents’ Rule does not narrate a glorious past. Not only has the party imposed Presidents’ Rule several times whenever it has been in power but it has also been time and again admonished by the highest Court of the land for having made attempts to demolish the Federal Structure of the Constitution.
The Congress leaders were right when they said that the Federal structure is in danger for if and when they come back into power; expect a State or two to succumb to Congress’ well known greed for Governmental power.
2. Taming of the Judiciary:
NJAC was a threat to judicial independence? Well we have faced times when one of our former Prime Ministers, ‘Indiraji’ treated the High Court and Supreme Court Judges as civil servants and tamed Judicial Independence. Any Judge who dared to give a bold judgment and rightly so against the Government would either be transferred arbitrarily by the Government or denied the legitimate expectation of becoming the Chief Justice of India, as it happened with Hon’ble Justice HR Khanna post his dissenting judgment in the Habeas Corpus Case.
This attempt by the then Congress Government at the Centre had a significant implication and was an antithesis to Democracy, we fortunately did not succumb to this coward attempt by the ‘saviours’ of democracy as the Judiciary stood its ground and collegiums system was formulated.
Without an iota of doubt, the proclamation of emergency by the Indira Government because the Opposition leaders opposed her was the greatest test through which our democracy passed. The needless step was taken by the then Prime Minister even without consulting or even informing her own cabinet. What happened during emergency can still shook the conscience of an ordinary citizen. In what appears to have been a clear attempt to do away with the democratic set up and establish a dictatorial regime the Government tamed the Judiciary, took away even the Right to Life, established fetters upon the media and did not leave a stone unturned to monopolize each and every organ of the Government and even the machinery of public opinion.
4 Restriction on freedom of speech:
There is not an iota of doubt that there must be ample freedom of a speech if the democracy has to deepen its roots. The Congress has thus stuck at the roots of our democracy time and again. Whether it was the act of cutting electricity supply from Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg (where most of the National Newspapers are printed) almost permanently during Emergency or it was the tabling of a controversial anti-defamation law by the Rajiv Gandhi Government which tried to impose unprecedented restrictions upon the media, the congress has always been a sworn enemy of free speech.
Today, the Congress connects everything including blatant sedition with free speech to corner the Government but as an ordinary citizen I can’t forget that these ‘saviors’ were actually the authors of Section 66A of the IT Act on the basis of which several ordinary citizens were arrested merely for liking a Facebook post.
I cannot also forget that they were the ones under whom thousands of peaceful protestors were brutally beaten up in the Ramlila Maidan at the stroke of midnight and what was then described by the apex court as a ‘violation of a human right’.
5 Hijacking of Parliament:
The Congress was handed a massive electoral defeat in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, as an ordinary citizen I thought that the democratic set up is safe from its disguised saviors, the Congress. It was only when the Congress continuously held the Parliament, the institution that stands at the core of any Parliamentary Democracy to ransom, I realized that even a single Congress leader in the temple of Democracy is dangerous proposition.
When the Congress appeals to ‘Save Democracy’, we should not ignore the appeal. A Congress Mukt Bharat is the only way of making our democracy safe for Congress is one such outfit that did not even allow the nation’s Prime Minister to speak for ten years on a trot even as the Nation continued to perish.