20 October, 2020

Winging It Rightward

Modi scapegoats Congress to push the larger Hindutva design

Illustration by Sorit
Winging It Rightward

Living through the past quarter of a century, in which the Congress was just one among many contenders for power, one thought that anti-Congressism had run its course. But it seems that the old division of political forces into Congress vs its opponents still has some relevance. Of course, dislike of and suspicion about the Congress continued even during the post-Congress phase (from 1989 onwards)—mainly as a strategy to forge non-Congress coalitions. The high moment of this non-­Congressism came in 1989, when the National Front government was propped up by both the BJP and the Left Front. Now, when the Congress is fighting to retain a semblance of a contest in the Lok Sabha polls, anti-Congressism is back in the political discourse. In the run-up to the ongoing election, the BJP’s PM candidate, Narendra Modi, has revived anti-­Congressism—and more str­i­dently than others in the recent past.

What does Modi’s idea of a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ mean? Demagoguery often precludes the possibility of substantive argument....



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