OBVIOUSLY, the honourable Supreme Court will pursue its course of action for what it sees as a distortion of its observation by Congress President Mr. Rahul Gandhi. However, beyond all the legal process, the nation has often felt agitated about the use of words “Chowkidar Chor Hai” by Mr. Gandhi as his election slogan while referring to Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi.
The common people resent use of this slogan against the Prime Minister of the land for reasons of propriety and dignity. It is unfortunate that Mr. Gandhi and his party colleagues do not realise the damage they are causing to the process of democratic discourse. We have voiced this national displeasure before, and we are doing it once again now, for the simple reason that such an abusing language is totally uncalled for and unacceptable even in the battle of ballot in which lots of limits are crossed routinely by almost all participants at all levels. Yet, to call the Prime Minister a “chor” is nothing but a sacrilege by any standard. It is quite another matter that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responded to the Congress slogan by adopting the epithet “chowkidar” officially converting the term as an honorific, suggesting that each member of the party is a “chowkidar” in the sense a protector of good things. Such a political response has its own but limited value and use.
But beyond all this, what has hurt the nation’s sensibility is the brazen manner in which Mr. Gandhi has tried to spread a false impression, in a Goebbels-like fashion of propaganda. Whosoever has advised Mr. Gandhi to do that has showed him an absolutely wrong path. When a political party adopts such a policy of brazen propaganda, it is only following the path of destruction of its own credibility. Already, the Congress party has been on a downward spiral, and it is not stopping short of any effort to push down its own prospects by adopting various methods and manners.
“Chowkidar Chor Hai” is one such tactic of self-destruction. No matter what happens in the elections by way of ultimate tally, the people have not missed the reality that the Congress party has lost a lot of ground in the past five years. It did win legislative elections in three States. When that happened, the people felt that the party would start conducting itself with a greater sense of restraint and responsibility. Instead, what the people are witnessing is an increased brazenness of the Congress leadership day in and day out. It is a matter of deep pain that the country’s premier political party is submitting itself to the process of self-destruction instead of trying to rebuild itself from the ashes. Electoral outcome notwithstanding, the fact that the Congress leadership is lowering the levels of public discourse in the country causes such a deep sense of hurt in popular mind. It is actually surprising that the Congress party stalwarts are not able to guess properly the adverse impact of its own “Chowkidar Chor Hai” campaign.
The trouble is that there is no one in the party who has the quality and courage to oppose the top leadership when it indulges in utter nonsense. But then, this has been the style of the Congress party for long. Over time, the party has given rise to an army of sycophants whose job it has been to keep the high command engaged and somehow happy. This has been happening for decades now, and therefore there was no internal opposition whatsoever to carrying out “Chowkidar Chor Hai” campaign. And even if there were some, the party leadership must have brushed it aside. When such a tragedy hits an organisation, then it is sure to follow a downward path. Judging by its own actions, it may not be out of place to suspect that the Congress party, too, is walking down such a path, electoral outcome notwithstanding. Is this how the country’s premier political party conducts itself?