Making India Whole Again

bharat jodo yatra

”Bharat Jodo” meant uniting in love a country torn by hatred and malice.The word ‘whole’ had once been associated with health,and so the divisions and distrust are also threats to the health of the country. Definitely a most desirable end and spiritually uplifting objective.

But the divisions are too complicated and stubborn to be overcome by a noble intention though it is a great achievement to have awakened people to the danger and to a resolve to overcome it.But it requires unsparing and unrelenting effort to keep it alive in their hearts, to keep it warm and pulsating in their hearts.Rahul Gandhi alone had the imagination and the warmth to build that fire.

Yet it seems to be dying under gusts of cold realities of our divided and contested heritage,once again overtaking the reclaimed land.There are powers that keep dousing the warmth. Point is who are going to take it to the numerous villages and towns?Can the poor and sightless workers of a political party,dulled by routine and immersed in daily awareness of so many conflicts and divisions of interest and passion on the ground, resume this vision?Sadly no.Rahul Gandhi must pick up the chores again and resume leadership on the ground.Though comparisons are odious,the task is like that of the Mahatma.Very much in the party,but working unceasingly outside it in the streets,among the people.It is that alone that can unite the mistrustful mutually warring groups.With the vision of India as a whole,starting with the most unfortunate,deprived and suffering sections of the people.

Lighting that fire of trust,resolve and effort to win back hope of those dalits in slum-like areas as well the few who make it to the higher precincts of learning,only to feel forlorn and desperate under the ceaseless jeers and taunts of the privileged elite,the tens of thousands of migrant workers trudging back home under a scorching sun but with a firm purpose not to give up,millions of street vendors with vacant look “who are also self-employed”.Congress once,long,long back also has belonged to them.And the Adivasis with the prospect of losing everything that keep them alive.Now the mountain of rubble and waste that had come between them and the Congress has to be climbed or bypassed and left behind by kindred souls,the young and the women folk and the genuine patriots fired by this vision.If Rahul retires early then the smog,the darkness and the confusion will come back and push farther forward.No easy task.Not at all.

Now the Congress has been in the main street of big business and big finance for decades,and of late been relegated to a nook for the motley favour seekers.It still by and large craves for the position of the most favored political organization for the money-spinners,but those in charge there have other calculations.

So can it really turn its gaze outwards,away from the gloss and the glitz of power, from amassed wealth,towards those whose hard lot it is to labour and still dream of another world.Once they strike roots there other parties might still come running back towards them,this time begging for alliance!

But the task is awesome and it makes the faint-hearted wobble in their knees.I feel nothing but sympathy for Rahul as he faces alone that terrible task.I am not amused that he should seek to shift the burden to many other shoulders,or that he should seek refuge in his comfort zone where communication is so much easier.

The only trouble is that the task remains unaccomplished, and the bitter truth is that without that,the country is fated to tumble and roll on uncontrollably to a horror-ridden unimaginable catastrophy.I do hope he realizes this.It is no good appealing to the good faith and conscience of the West.They know everything but are only keen to keep business open.He alone is doomed,or blessed, with the undone task to be accomplished with firmness of purpose and mind,with unwavering grit,with undying hope that his countrymen will understand and will join him in time.At the end of the journey which may be tortuous and stormy there will be millions of comrades with him.

But for regaining that lost heritage he must part company with the big bosses of amassed wealth and power and their lobbyists for good,leave the soothing comfort zone and undertake the momentous but certainly arduous task until it is accomplished and over.One wishes,Godspeed.And one hopes fervently,he will accept the challenge of his life-time and that of the country.

Hiren Gohain is a political commentator

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