For the last few days the nation is witnessing a gradual change in thought process of its oldest party. The Indian National Congress (INC), which often harps on about its ‘secular’ credentials, seems to have lost its cool. All Congressmen are bent on portraying Amitab Bachchan as an untouchable- at least politically. The urge of defining this new class is so much that they are questioning his involvement as the brand ambassador for Gujarat tourism. The congress spokesperson, Manish Tewari, went a step further and asked BigB to clarify his stance on the Godhra riots and the alleged role of Chief Minister Narender Modi.
Has the Congress lost its wits? How can they ask these kind of political questions from a nonpolitical man? He is not a spokesperson of the saffron brigade or a part of Modi’s cabinet. What Congress needs to understand is that he is just promoting the tourism of Gujarat and not Modi or BJP. He will do the same if any other state or any organization would have asked him to.
The incident which triggered this controversy was when Amitabh shared the dais with CM of Maharashtra for the inauguration of a sea link. Within hours of this function the CM was questioned as to why Amitji was invited. A person who is respected all over the globe and has been the ambassador of UNICEF, was disrespected as if he was an unwanted.
Now if the Congress can ask questions from Amitabh Bachcan just because he is the state ambassador and had shared the dais with him, then even the people of Gujarat who had elected Modi as their leader would be questioned and therefore must be boycotted. The PM and the President who have also, on several occasions, shared the stage with Modi must be boycotted. Furthermore, the CJI itself must be boycotted because he was with Modi in Gujarat yesterday.
This is nothing but a vote bank politics played by the Congress to win over the vote banks who over the years have shifted their base to regional parties such as SP and RJD. And as the elections are coming in the states of Bihar, UP and Bengal, in order to give a clear message to these communities, the Congress is boycotting Amitabh so that a message spreads that if you are supporting “Maut ka saudagar” then you will be boycotted. The second reason is the two decade old rivalry between the friends turned foe family. As we all know that Gandhi’s and Bachchan’s have had a rift in their relationships.
But what is more interesting is that the Congress has backtracked from it’s own stance by saying that it will not tolerate what MNS is spreading. And now, what we are witnessing is a complete contrast from that very statement. They areÂ forgetting that India is a republic state where one has the freedom to choose, speak and to promote. What they should try to understand is that in a democracy one can oppose one’s views or ideology but you cannot boycott it. This step of the Congress, to cement their vote bank can certainly back fire and prove to be a collateral damage in the upcoming elections and might also tarnish the image of Rahul Gandhi.
The writer is the sports editor and the political consultant of Youth Ki Awaaz.