An Example To Follow: Congress Counters Chidambaram, Tharoor

In response to senior leaders P Chidambaram and Shashi Tharoor’s comments on Rishi Sunak’s selection as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Congress stated that India does not need to learn from other countries. 

Avatar photo
By: Anand Singh | NEW DELHI
Updated: 25 October, 2022 5:31 pm IST
Rishi Sunak is the first non-Christian to become PM of the UK (Pic Courtesy Twitter @RishiSunak)

The “democratic” Congress agreed to disagree in public once again as the party countered two of its senior leaders – P Chidambaram and Shashi Tharoor – saying that India does not need to draw lessons from any other country when it comes to electing persons from the minority community for the country’s top posts.

Earlier, Chidamabaram and Tharoor, both former union ministers, hoped that India would follow Britain’s example of electing a person from a minority to the top post.

Reacting to the comments, party general secretary of communications, Jairam Ramesh, said, “In our country, Dr Zakir Hussain first became the President in 1967, then Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed became the President, and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, and if I keep giving you examples, Barkatullah Khan became chief minister and AR Antulay also became the chief minister.”

Ramesh, who is also a Rajya Sabha Member, said, “You should ask them. I am only talking about the Bharat Jodo Yatra, and I would not speak about what other leaders have said. You should ask them what they have said. I will not speak on any other leader’s remarks.”

“The Congress is a democratic party,” he said, adding the Bharat Jodo Yatra is blowing the trumpet of democracy while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is blowing the guns of autocracy.”

“Those who get a mandate will become Prime Minister. Democratically, if someone is elected, we don’t have a problem. England’s party has made him the Prime Minister. We welcome it,” he added.

Ramesh said India has set an example across the world in celebrating diversity and respecting it.

“But, in the last eight years, what we have seen, I don’t think we need to draw lessons from somewhere else. Our society is united in diversity and we have seen for many years that we respect diversity and give them equal rights. We don’t need to seek lessons from any other country. Our society will be strengthened through diversity,” he noted.

The Congress general secretary said if we suppress diversity and try to bring uniformity, we will not be able to strengthen our society. “Our strength is unity in diversity. I will go a step further, as we will remain united through diversity. Bharat Jodo Yatra’s purpose is this only, to unite the diversity of different languages, castes, and religions,” he said.

His remarks came after Chidambaram and Tharoor welcomed the election of Sunak and hoped one day this practise would be adopted in the country.

“First Kamala Harris, now Rishi Sunak. The people of the US and the UK have embraced the non-majority citizens of their countries and elected them to high office in government. I think there is a lesson to be learned by India and the parties that practise majoritarianism,” Chidambaram tweeted

On the other hand, Tharoor, in a tweet, said, “If this does happen, I think all of us will have to acknowledge that the Brits have done something very rare in the world, placing a member of a visible minority in the most powerful office. As we Indians celebrate the ascent of Rishi Sunak, let’s honestly ask: can it happen here.”

Meanwhile, speaking about the party’s ambitious Bharat Jodo Yatra, Ramesh said that one-third of the 3,570 km yatra is over and, at this pace, it will reach Kashmir, the last destination, by February 20 or earlier.

The Congress leader said that the yatra is now moving towards the difficult states of central and northern India, which will be covered in the next 50 days.

The foot march will resume from Telangana’s Mahboobnagar district on October 27 after a short Diwali break. It has so far passed through Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and will enter Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh after Telangana.

He said on November 7, the yatra will enter Maharashtra’s Nanded and it will be welcomed by NCP chief Sharad Pawar and also by Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray.

Also Read Story

TNI Editorial | Musharraf doesn’t deserve India’s misty-eyed goodbyes

India dispatches relief assistance to earthquake-hit Turkey

Former Israel PM secured protection for Zelensky from Putin 

No decision on Delhi Mayor amid ruckus in House