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In Its Haste To Hail Rahul Gandhi, Congress Must Not Ignore Bharat Jodo Yatra’s Shortcomings

The Bharat Jodo Yatra, led by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, is nearing its conclusion. Throughout the march, the Congress and its leaders have lavished praise on Rahul Gandhi while disregarding the numerous issues with the narratives he promoted. It is time for the Congress to question whether the concept and execution of the Bharat Jodo Yatra are identical. The Yatra was, without a doubt, one of the Congress party’s first attempts to reach out to the masses in many years. Similarly, in a democracy as huge as India, there should be no problem with the Opposition attempting to construct and propagate an anti-BJP philosophy. However, it is essential to determine if Rahul Gandhi has anything new to say about the goals of the Congress.

Begin by recognising that the Yatra was about the Congress, its mass connection, revitalising the party, and offering an alternative narrative against the Bharatiya Janata Party. The reality, however, is that the Congress made the Yatra about Rahul Gandhi, his worldview, his economic knowledge, and his determination to unite all anti-BJP forces to oppose the ruling government. The ideology being preached by him during the march is also neither revolutionary nor fresh. The Bharat Jodo Yatra can be viewed as a one-of-a-kind attempt by the Congress, but it also demonstrates that Rahul Gandhi’s Left-liberal leanings are now an intrinsic part of the party. During the Yatra, for instance, Rahul Gandhi hosted a number of renowned individuals, including primarily elites, left-liberal thinkers, ideologues, intellectuals and activists, among others. There is little doubt that the selection of guests is a prerogative of the organisation, but the projection of the Congress suggests that the party is attempting to send a message through these renowned individuals. While it would be incorrect to imply that individuals such as Raghuram Rajan are partisan, the Congress cannot claim that their guests are inclusive.

The problem with these individuals and their views is that they consistently desire the status quo. If the Congress is interested in challenging the status quo and developing a fresh strategy to challenge the BJP, it should have abandoned the left-liberal narrative. The world today is questioning whether this ideology is inclusive or not. The Congress must also concur that the party requires a much more inclusive worldview. A few days ago, for instance, senior Congress leader AK Antony stated that it was necessary to engage the majority community and bring them along. The mere mention of this fact demonstrates that Rahul Gandhi’s idea is poorly conceived. People’s understanding of the comprehensive approach of the Bharat Jodo Yatra and the narrative that Rahul Gandhi wishes to promote is now largely complete. However, the time has come for the Congress to make the situation more realistic, where party members will discuss elections and electoral politics. The day will never arrive if the party is entirely diverted into a long-term plan to revitalise India’s politics in order to celebrate Rahul’s efforts. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss genuine political strategy. The Congress asserts that it is opposed to hatred, and Rahul asserts that his ideology is based on “mohabbat.” Will the Congress now reach out to those who voted for the BJP and inform them that they voted for hatred? If this occurs, it will also convey a message of disdain. It is admirable to stand against hatred or divisiveness, but it could be politically risky to use moral or social superiority to demonise the opponent’s voters as hate sympathisers.