Himanta Biswa Sarma is considered among the most astute politicians in the country today. His former bosses at the Congress Party must be regretting the treatment they meted out to him, and how they stifled his ambitions. Sarma is now giving the party many sleepless nights, probably more than any other politician in the country. After the electoral battlegrounds of the northeast, Himanta Biswa Sarma also majorly undermined the party’s social media game recently.
It all began when the Congress Party’s vice-president and heir-apparent Rahul Gandhi posted a video of his dog Pidi on Twitter. Rahul is heard shouting instructions at Pidi. Then he places a crumb on its nose, which it balances skillfully until, with one click of Rahul’s fingers, the crumb disappears. Rahul posted this video on Twitter, and tweeted a short message along with it.
Ppl been asking who tweets for this guy..I'm coming clean..it's me..Pidi..I'm way ? than him. Look what I can do with a tweet..oops..treat! pic.twitter.com/fkQwye94a5
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 29, 2017
The message was supposed to be a humorous response to Rahul Gandhi’s critics, who upon seeing a lot of activity from his handle of late, have speculated amongst themselves as to who really manages his social media. Rahul Gandhi jokes that it is really managed by his dog Pidi.
After the video and the accompanying message were posted on Twitter, many interesting tweets emerged. Some made fun of Rahul Gandhi, while others denounced him for making a joke at the expense of a defenseless creature. The head of BJP’s IT Cell Amit Malviya hinted that it was a veiled attempt from the top brass of the Congress Party to put his Congress counterparts in place, because they had been hogging the limelight and usurping all the credit for Rahul Gandhi’s supposed social media revival. But the tweet that caught people’s attention was Himanta Biswa Sarma’s. Sarma claimed he remembered the dog in question well, for Rahul had been busy feeding him biscuits at an important meeting with Sarma.
Sir @OfficeOfRG,who knows him better than me.Still remember you busy feeding biscuits 2 him while We wanted to discuss urgent Assam's issues https://t.co/Eiu7VsuvL1
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) October 29, 2017
Himanta Biswa Sarma has recounted this story several times during his interviews. The top brass of the Congress Party in Assam, of which Sarma was a part, had gone to meet Rahul Gandhi to discuss certain important issues of the state. The Congress Party used to rule Assam then, under Tarun Gogoi’s leadership. As they attempted to apprise Rahul Gandhi of the issues they had come to discuss with him, Rahul Gandhi continued to play with Pidi and feed him biscuits. Sarma claims that Pidi even climbed onto the table and ate biscuits from their plates, and that Rahul did nothing to stop him. For Sarma, this was the last straw. He quit the Congress Party and led the BJP to one victory after another in the northeast.
After Himanta Biswa Sarma’s tweet claiming that he remembered the dog very well went viral, politicians of the Congress Party attempted to take him on. Not only did their attempts backfire, they ended up giving us an insight into the party’s mentality and the way it functions.
The message they attempted to convey as a response to Sarma was the same, leading many to believe that the effort was an overtly concerted one. Referring to how Sarma had dumped the Congress Party and joined the BJP, these Congress politicians insinuated that Sarma could learn loyalty from Pidi.
What we learned that day about these Congress politicians, was that the concept of self-respect was alien to them. We learned that they didn’t consider the first family to be their bosses, but their masters. We learned that for them, loyalty meant dancing to the tunes of their masters and happily accepting some crumbs as their reward. We learned that the highest form of honor for them was to serve as faithful poodles, that it was better for them to be Rahul Gandhi’s dog than a man with self-respect and honor. It was amusing to see party hoppers like Khushboo Sundar attempting to use Himanta Biswa Sarma’s tweet to give him sermons on loyalty. Social media played its part, leaving no stone unturned to show these Congress politicians the mirror.
Himanta Biswa Sarma on his part only answered one tweet, and once again, his answer won many hearts. It was addressed to Congress Party’s member of parliament from Assam, Susmita Dev. Dev raked up an old tweet of Sarma’s from his Congress days, wherein he swears loyalty to the Gandhi family, and commented that the times had changed. Sarma answered that his new party had taught him to be loyal to the country and not to one family. He also wrote that he was proud of how he had changed himself in this regard.
Himanta Biswa Sarma was a victim of Congress Party’s politics of entitlement. Despite being among the shrewdest politicians in the country, the family repeatedly chose sycophants and dynasts over him. After changing lanes, Sarma is gradually realizing his potential. He has become an important asset for the BJP, and a vital cog in the Modi-Shah scheme of things. Under his leadership, the northeast which was primarily a fortress of the Congress Party, is gradually falling. State after state, constituency after constituency and municipality after municipality is turning saffron.