Given Kashmir’s peculiar political circumstances, the young here may find shades of irony in the fact that the Congress was the brainchild of a retired colonial British civil servant who became its first general secretary.
The purpose here is not a lesson in history, but, for reasons that may become clear in due course, to reiterate that the party was born as far back as in 1885.
The other major political force aiming to, and succeeding in leaps and bounds in, stamping its ideological imprint on India through a proxy is relatively young – the RSS is said to have come into being around 1925.
The political and administrative culture in India has evolved mainly out of the doings of the duo, as have most of the country’s afflictions since 1947. And for several long months now, the wisest in the nation expect a new-born to have instant answers to the ills manufactured, nursed and nourished for three quarters of a century.
In this period, and in perfect accord with India’s political “mainstream,” the country’s mainstream media has pounced on the fledgling like a pack of hungry wolves, magnifying its lapses, dissecting its moves, highlighting its contradictions, and offering it to be devoured by so-called commentators on this or that side of the political line.
If calumny was not enough, words like anarchy were liberally associated with what eventually came to be known as the AK 49, and astutely choreographed attempts made to paint it into a corner on the shibboleths of Indian patriotism.
Torrents of learned words have flowed out of the mouths of the upholders of constitutional rectitude after the media’s unremitting focus on a minister “shouting” at police officers to carry out a raid on a site of suspected illegal activity.
But no eloquent media star or pundit bothered even to annotate this slanted coverage-and-commentary with what the Congress and the BJP have done with the police.
The minister, since sidelined, wanted the police to act, and was impaled on the tridents of “proper-channel methods” and “official procedures,” but those who asked the police to look the other way while hundreds were being butchered, burned and raped, have almost been sworn in as Prime Minister.
Surely, a media used to police guarding mass murderers, mafia dons and history-sheeters, most of them in the country’s highest councils, would have found highly irregular law-enforces being asked to uphold the law.
Going through the motions of an election would now seem to be a needless exercise, except for the financial windfalls in candidate projection. The verdict is already out. Splashed and emblazoned over a media known for fierce loyalty to democratic principles, objectivity, and journalistic rectitude.