If appeasement is an art, the Congress party is the Picasso of it. Ahead of the Telangana assembly polls, a so-called ‘proposal’ submitted by the Minority department of Telangana Congress Committee has sparked a new controversy against the Congress party. The proposal titled ‘Congress Christian Manifesto’ seeks privileges for the Christian community. The manifesto raises the need for protection of Christian bishops, pastors & evangelists. It further is in the favour of salaries to be paid to Pastors. In order to appease the Christian community, the idea of Christian Bhavan in state and Christian community halls in districts have also been included. Christian Manifesto further talks about giving lands to Churches, graveyards & seats in Parliament for Christians. The BJP government recently abolished the Haj Subsidy, but here the Grand Old Party in its manifesto has mentioned the allocation of subsidy for Christian pilgrimage.
— Gopal Krishna Agarwal (@gopalkagarwal) November 10, 2018
The BJP has launched a blistering attack against the Congress and raised questions over Congress’ proposal. It sees the Christian Manifesto as a blatant minority appeasement stunt before the Telangana state assembly polls. Under attack from the BJP, the Congress tried to downplay the proposal. The Congress claimed that it was worded wrong.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) November 10, 2018
However, last month, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President Capt. N Uttam Kumar Reddy also made similar promises. Addressing the meeting that was arranged by the Christian leaders, he had said, “The Congress is needed for the state and the country. The Congress will provide Scheduled Caste (SC) status to Dalit Christians. We will give importance to Christians, unlike Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We will not target religions like Mr Modi is doing. Many Christian organisations faced trouble soon after Mr Modi assumed power.” He further added, “We will give free education to children of pastors, priests and Imams. The religious heads will be given free houses soon after the Congress forms the government. We will provide free electricity to the places of worship. The Christian Corporation will be provided with funds to the tune of hundreds of crores of rupees for their development.”
According to a Times of India report, he also promised to establish a Christian Study Circle for students and subsidy for those going on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. In addition to this, he also promised to construct hostels and skill development centres for Christian students, loans for self-employment schemes and monthly unemployment allowances.
By going through promises made by TPCC President to woo Christians, the recent claim of Congress, with respect to the controversial document titled ‘Christain Manifesto’ of it just being a proposal, is hard to digest. Minority appeasement is the real face of the Congress. It seems that the Congress party and its leaders are hell-bent upon bringing the rule of a particular community in Telangana.
The Congress party and its leaders are well known for their appeasement tactics. One of the main reasons behind the defeats of the Congress party in almost every election since 2014 is its minority appeasement politics. The Congress party had set up the AK Antony Committee, tasked to delve into the reasons behind the party’s rout in the 2014 General Elections. The committee in its report noted minority appeasement as one of the reasons responsible for the poor run of results, the INC experienced. The committee said minority appeasement politics as well as comments made by some Congress leaders demanding the quota for Muslims antagonized and alienated the majority community in the country.
Instead of introspecting and changing its strategy, the Grand Old party is indulging even more blatantly into appeasement politics. By practising such blatant minority appeasement, the Congress is only digging its grave. The Opposition parties are already attacking the Congress over its ‘Christian Manifesto’ and the attack is likely to get more intensified in the days to come.