DC Edit | Rahul's swipe at Modi undignified
It would take insensitivity that spans several layers for Rahul Gandhi, leader of the grand old party of Indian politics and an icon of the national alternative that is in the making, to suggest that the bad omen brought by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the stadium that was named after him resulted in the loss of the Indian cricket team in the final of the World Cup.
True, the behaviour of the fans who assembled at the stadium to cheer the Indian team against Australia, their formidable opponents, chanted the Prime Minister’s name every now and then and heckled players in religious tones that would hardly qualify as a display of sportsmanship, but that cannot be the reason for the Congress leader to come up with such a distasteful comment on the Prime Minister.
This nation’s Constitution states that it shall be the duty of every citizen to develop the scientific temper, humanism and a spirit of inquiry and reform. India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru championed the scientific spirit so much so he would call the large dams that would eventually feed India’s poor millions as the “temples of modern India”.
The world has travelled much since Nehru’s time but some Indians have not. Indian brides may still be looking for a favourable position of Mars in their horoscopes at a time when the rest of the world would be worrying how to occupy the red planet. Mr Gandhi’s statement is in line with the thoughts of those Indian brides and their parents but not with those of Pandit Nehru who happened to be his great grandfather.
The ruling BJP has made a complaint to the Election Commission as Rahul made the comment at a poll rally, but the risible reference to “panauti” goes beyond the execrable nature of what is said at the hustings. Mr Gandhi and his colleagues in the Congress Party have very little idea of the capability of their opponent whom they are attempting to discredit. Even an innocuous remark has the capacity to torpedo a career in the hands of Mr Modi. Mr Gandhi can consult Ms Sonia Gandhi or Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar if he has any doubts about this matter. It pays to be discreet at all times.