View-point: Can Rahul win the urban upwardly mobile classes with his spontaneous revolt against the Ordinance?
Faraz Ahmed Delhi
Rahul Gandhi has tried to act too clever by half. By demonstrating his apparent anger and annoyance over the Ordinance, meant to forestall the impending disqualification of Lalu Yadav, he has tried to win over the urban upper caste upwardly mobile class of people to whom Lalu Yadav has been an anathema for long and who are dying for last two decades to somehow disenfranchise the leader of social justice who changed the idiom in his home state Bihar.
This class/caste of people, be they journalists, bureaucrats or judges, leave alone the Sanghi politicians cannot hide their hostility against Lalu. Lalu had petitioned right up to the Supreme Court against the Bhoomihar judge presiding over his case in the Ranchi court, suspecting the inherent bias of the presiding officer. Ordinarily in the interest of fair play and justice any higher court should have granted him relief. Normally our judges have in the past shown signs of being overawed by the veteran criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani. When Ram defends Amit Shah, every court readily grants him relief. But when the same Jethmalani pleads for Lalu Prasad, the court contemptuously dismisses the appeal, without bothering to comment on the grounds of Lalu’s apprehension and why? Of the two Patna High Court judges who singled out Lalu Yadav for their vituperation in late 1990s, both Brahmans, in the so-called fodder scam case, one is now the honourable member of the apex court and shortly due to become the Chief Justice of India.
This is the background of the Supreme Court judgment, which anticipating what Ranchi court is going to order against Lalu Yadav, days before that passed an order summarily disqualifying MPs and MLAs who were to be sentenced, never mind if the higher court overturns the lower court’s verdict. The argument on which such a judgment was delivered was patently flawed and contrary to the well established principles of jurisprudence that any person, even a murderer is not guilty till he has and is exercising the option of appeal right upto the highest court and then the apex court has upheld the lower court order. But in this case, the class and caste to which most of our honourable judges belong have been gnashing their teeth at their impotence in finishing off Lalu Yadav politically. As was evident in the Anna Hazare/ Arvind Kejriwal agitations that is also one of the reasons for their annoyance with Sonia Gandhi, for ostensibly “protecting corrupt politicians like Lalu Yadav.”
When Ram Jethmalani defends Amit Shah, every court readily grants him relief. But when the same Jethmalani pleads for Lalu Prasad, the court contemptuously dismisses the appeal, without bothering to comment on the grounds of Lalu’s apprehension and why?
Sections within the Congress, with proximity to this class of Indians, have also been equally hostile to Lalu for as long as he ruled Bihar, and even though they had to wily nily support him often times lest they be seen standing along with the BJP and earn sobriquet of soft Sanghis, they have not quite forgiven Lalu for leaving the Congress with no mass base in Bihar. Besides since Sonia Gandhi assumed Congress leadership, she has surely been soft on Lalu Yadav.