Before heading into the news, here is a little anecdote. Have a read:
“Who was the first journalist in the world?” Asked my History of Journalism teacher.
“I Don’t know, Madam” I replied. I was not that bright student during the second year of my bachelor's degree.
“It is Narad Muni,” she said authoritatively. Almost boasting his knowledge over the subject.
“Are you sure? He is a mythical character. The holy book is a myth, according to science. And we don’t know the exact dates.” I was not a bright student, doesn’t mean I can’t be a rational student.
“Even if you think he is a mythical character, he did some journalistic work. He spread news from here to there and there to here. And, also, we don’t want to indulge in ‘Theiesm vs Atheism’ debate. Do we?” My teacher was not in a mood to do the debate.
“Yes, Mam,” I said almost like a soldier saluting to his superior. I know she was going to give me internal marks. Marks vs Rationality was the option. Marks was what I chose.
The gist of the above anecdote is that we Indians have a natural tendency towards spiritualism over materialism. We believe in Deities more than Humans. All of this is good at home or in Temples-Churches. But in Classrooms, in parliament and politics – we are supposed to have a scientific temper.
Rahul Gandhi, the president of Indian National Congress, is supposed to do a rally on February 3, i.e. tomorrow. And in preparation of his welcome, Congress workers glued posters in Patna with a face of Rahul Gandhi on Lord Rama. Digging at Bhartiya Janta Party, the poster read, “Let them keep chanting the name of Ram, you be Ram himself.”
Along with Rahul, Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Manmohan Singh and some state Congress leaders are seen in the poster.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bihar: Congress President Rahul Gandhi portrayed as Lord Ram on a poster in Patna. <a href="https://t.co/La4ZcL64GY">pic.twitter.com/La4ZcL64GY</a></p>— ANI (@ANI) <a href="https://twitter.com/ANI/status/1090178904122220544?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 29, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Congress leaders didn’t utter a word about it, whether it is right or wrong to do so.
Rakesh Dutt Mishra, the general secretary of the Bhartiya Jan Kranti Dal, has filed a formal complaint in the court. He said that his religious sentiments are hurt with these posters.
The complaint said that they urged Bihar Congress chief Madan Mohan Jha to remove the posters but he denied.
And when media talked to a Congress worker Vijay Kumar Singh on the issue, Singh said, “Rahul Ji has all the qualities of Lord Ram and not Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is only doing politics in the name of Lord Ram.
Congress has been working for the development of the country for long and all the important revolutions and schemes had been implemented by the Congress.”
He even claimed that only Congress can resolve the issue.
When it comes to being religious over the board, the Bhartiya Janta Party is blamed. But is Congress any less when the opportunity strikes.
Had Rahul been a strong opposer of such religious fanaticism, he would gifted all the Congress workers a copy of Indian Constitution in Article 51A(h) of which, it is clearly written, “It shall be the duty of every citizen ... to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.”
Leave the constitution aside (I don’t mean that) for a minute. Had Rahul been aware of his own Great Grandfather’s writings, he wouldn’t have allowed his party workers to do such a ‘cardinal sin’.
India celebrates National Scientific Temper Day on August 20 every year. And the term scientific temper was coined by Rahul Gandhi’s own Great Grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru. In his book The Discovery of India, Nehru describes scientific temper as “the refusal to accept anything without testing and trial, the capacity to change previous conclusions in the face of new evidence, the reliance on observed fact and not on the pre-conceived theory”.
But that is all above the politics of contemporary Congress. Let’s face what is in present and not praise what was in past. Let’s all sing in chorus. “Let them keep chanting the name of Ram, you be Ram himself, Mr Rahul Gandhi.”