One feels completely aghast, appalled and ashamed to witness the most dastardly and orchestrated hooliganism at senior Congress Leader and eminent Supreme Court lawyer – Kapil Sibal’s house after he demanded an open dialogue in the party on the political situation in Punjab and Goa. What wrong has he said? Why can’t he say so? Is he not a very senior and eminent leader in Congress party?
This ruckus that one witnessed outside Kapil Sibal’s house was bound to provoke a storm of criticism not just from leaders in other parties but also within the Congress party! It was reported that several Congress leaders of the “Group of 23”, who had last year in 2020 written to party chief Sonia Gandhi demanding most rightly an organizational overhaul and elections for Congress party President strongly condemned the dastardly attack on Kapil Sibal’s house calling it “orchestrated hooliganism”. This is certainly no way to protest!
It must be mentioned that even former Finance Minister P Chidambaram who is also a senior and eminent Supreme Court lawyer and who was never a part of G23 also lamented strongly saying that, “I feel helpless when we cannot start meaningful conversations within party forums. I also feel hurt and helpless when I see pictures of Congress workers raising slogans outside the residence of a colleague and MP. The safe harbour to which one can withdraw seems to be silence.” Never in my life have I ever seen Congress party in such dire straits! What one is now witnessing in Congress has no parallel in history!
While diverting from the main topic, it must be mentioned that we all know how just a short time before his death, RSS had invited and honoured late Pranab Mukherjee and he too had warmly accepted the honour and felt gratified but Rahul Gandhi compares “RSS” with Islamic organization “Muslim Brotherhood” which is declared in some countries as a terror organisation which is most shocking, to say the least! I don’t know who is guiding Rahul Gandhi but one thing I know: Rahul Gandhi’s views on RSS can never be accepted by any sane person ever! I have never seen in my life his father late Rajiv Gandhi who was my favourite leader when I was in school or his grandmother late Mrs Indira Gandhi ever terming RSS in such derogatory language or criticizing RSS so strongly!
As if this is not enough, a strong nationalist Captain Amarinder Singh who since last 4 and a half years was Chief Minister of Punjab and who enjoys an impeccable nationalist reputation feels humiliated time and again in Congress and ultimately resigns as Chief Minister and Navjot Singh Sidhu who earlier enjoyed an impeccable reputation but once he went to Pakistan and controversially hugged Pakistani Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, his reputation nosedived as this was not liked by any good Indian as Pakistan has been waging cross border terrorism against India since last more than four decades! Even eminent Congress leader, former Union Minister and senior Supreme Court lawyer Manish Tewari too condemned the hug unequivocally and said most strongly that, “Do such people have right to stay in country?” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra eloquently said that, “Not only that, Sidhu’s press conference today was trying to implicate India for what is happening between India and Pakistan.” Yet Sidhu was promoted and made State Chief much against the wishes of Captain Amarinder and Sidhu still was not satisfied and so ultimately Captain Amarinder resigned after feeling humiliated in party!
Coming back to the subject of vandalism in Kapil Sibal’s house, another very senior and eminent Supreme Court lawyer Vivek Tankha too while expressing his utter shock said that, “People may disagree with him. Even protest. But not damage his car. At least in my life, I never encouraged or promoted hooliganism.” Shashi Tharoor who is another most eminent Congress leader too called the incident shameful. He said that, “As a democratic party we need to listen to what he has to say, disagree if you must but not in this way. Our priority is to strengthen ourselves to take on the BJP!” It merits no reiteration that what has happened outside Sibal’s house cannot be justified under any circumstances by anyone!
Eminent Supreme Court lawyer Manish Tewari described the violence as an effort to defend “command performance”, an apparent reference to the party high command. While condemning the attack, he said that, “Those who masterminded assault must bear in mind that he fights for @INCIndia both inside and outside courts of law. You may find his views uncomfortable but that cannot be a license for violence.” Absolutely right! No denying it!
What provoked so much of ruckus was that Kapil Sibal had the guts, gall and gumption to question the party’s decision making process and cautioned that they are G-23 but not “Ji Huzoor 23”! What wrong has he said in this? Kapil Sibal also said that, “We don’t have a President. So, who’s taking the decisions? We all know and yet we don’t know. We want a CWC meeting for a dialogue to take place.” Who can deny or dispute this? No man or woman in his/her right senses will ever deny or dispute what Kapil Sibal has said so outspokenly! Sibal further demanded introspection and internal dialogue to address the turmoil in the party in Punjab and the exodus of senior leaders in Goa where former CM Luizhenio Falerio joined the Trinamool Congress and said that the party was functioning without transparency.
It deserves mentioning here that Anand Sharma who is also a Congress leader and served as spokesperson also for a long time too while asserting that differences of opinion and perception are integral to democracy said that, “Congress has a history of upholding freedom of expression…Intolerance and violence is alien to Congress values and culture.”
It would be also relevant to mention here that former External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh commenting on the current crisis of the Congress party said, “It’s not alright at all, there are three people responsible, one of them is Rahul Gandhi who doesn’t even hold any designation, and he is calling the shots.” He said, the party is in “very poor shape”. He also further lamented that, “What sort of Congress party do you have now? The Congress he (Amarinder Singh) joined is quite different from what it is now. It’s in very poor shape. I don’t know whether he will leave the Congress, but the fact of the matter is that at one point, the Congress was one of the greatest democratic parties in the world. Today, it’s in a pathetic state.” Natwar Singh had left Congress in 2008 after being in the party for a long time!
In short, one certainly feels most ashamed, aghast and appalled to see what has happened outside the house of such an eminent Congress leader like Kapil Sibal who is also a former Union Minister as also a senior Supreme Court lawyer who has the courage to speak truth to power! It was none other than Kapil Sibal who as Union Law Minister had recommended that High Court Bench should be created in West UP at Meerut but the then CM of UP Akhilesh Yadav was not prepared for it as was disclosed by another former Union Minister RPN Singh while talking with media! Ghulam Nabi Azad who is also a senior Congress leader and is also the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir described Sibal as a “loyal Congressman fighting for the party both inside and outside the Parliament” and said that, “Any suggestion from any quarter should be welcomed instead of suppressing.” No denying it!