The selection of Kamal Nath by the Congress as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh is a burning instance of how the so-called ‘secular’ party cares about the victims of a communal pogrom. Kamal Nath is accused of instigating mob against Sikhs during the 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom in Delhi, organised jointly by the Congress and the RSS, following the assassination of the former prime minister and Congress leader Indira Gandhi. More than 18,000 Sikhs were butchered in the whole country, including more than 3,000 in Delhi itself, under the patronage of the Congress-ruled state machinery.
Kamal Nath, in the role of a minuscule Narendra Modi, played a notorious role in organising mob violence against Sikhs in Delhi. Kamal Nath is accused of instigating, leading and encouraging the mob of Congressmen and RSS supporters to kill Sikhs in Gurdwara Rakab Ganj in the vicinity of the Indian parliament building. He was found distributing rods and kerosene to the mob, which burned alive two Sikh men in the Gurdwara and defiled the place in November 1984.
His role against the Sikhs during the pogrom earned him status and helped him bag the Lok Sabha tickets consecutively and a cabinet berth in different Congress-led governments from 1991 to 2014. Though he was an accused before the Nanavati Commission set-up to investigate the anti-Sikh riots, he managed to stay aloof from the law and legal repercussions by using money and flexing muscle power. No wonder, alike other careerist Congress leaders from the elitist background, Kamal Nath is also an unapologetic billionaire. He was found to be the richest Member of Parliament with an asset of Rs 2.73 billion in 2011.
Other Congress leaders who are accused of abetting the gory atrocities against the Sikh community in New Delhi are Jagdish Tytler, HKL Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar, Lalit Maken and other criminals. They all operated under the patronage of Rajiv Gandhi, the heir apparent of Indira Gandhi and an ardent soft-Hindutva supporter, who wanted to polarise the Hindu and Muslim voters using a sympathy wave for the dead prime minister and sweep the election, covering up the atrocities committed by Indira Gandhi during her rule, especially during the National Emergency between 1975-77, and utilise the sympathy to portray her as a ‘martyr’, which she wasn’t.
When Kamal Nath entered the cabinets from 1991 onwards, it was clear that he won’t be indicted by the Indian judiciary, which is largely Hindu and Brahminical, for the genocide he and other Congress leaders presided. Numerous commissions, including the Nanavati Commission, formed to investigate the role of the perpetrators of the genocide, whose footsteps were followed in organising the Gujarat pogrom by the Sangh Parivar in 2002, didn’t bring justice to the victims and their families. Kamal Nath kept acquiring wealth, status and power in the neo-liberal economic framework and despite their outcry and crocodile tears shed for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh genocide, even the BJP’s government took no punitive action against him and the other perpetrators for the fear of the exposure of RSS’ role in organising the mob during the genocide.
When Kamal Nath will be sworn as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, he will definitely be cheered by those so-called ‘seculars’ who despise Narendra Modi for organising an official pogrom of Muslims in 2002 and Yogi Adityanath for his boorish unabashed anti-Muslim slurs and communal vitriol. They despise the RSS because the RSS’ communalism isn’t as ‘liberal’ as their own. They despise Modi because he is crass and not as erudite as a Doon-educated Kamal Nath who also has a valid degree of higher education from St Xavier’s College, Calcutta University.
If 1984 anti-Sikh genocide is any less condemnable, more forgettable and forgivable than the 2002 Gujarat anti-Muslim genocide or 2013 Muzaffarnagar pogrom, then it’s the right time to condemn those very ‘seculars’ who endorse such views and hype Kamal Nath as a crusader against communalism and Hindutva, when the 50 per cent of the Congress propaganda in Madhya Pradesh was centred around soft-Hindutva, cow and Brahminical supremacy.
To fight and defeat Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath, it becomes imperative to fight the likes of Kamal Nath, Sajjan Kumar or Jagdish Tytler, the notorious men who showed and led the path through which the saffron camp later polarised the people on communal lines. Any compromise on Kamal Nath will certainly impact the battle against Hindutva fascism and its tyrannical rule on India. For a new democratic, secular, just, free and socialist India, it’s imperative that the collective struggle of the working class, the peasantry, the toiled and marginalised people dethrone these perpetrators of genocide and communal hatred and banish the curse of communalism from the society forever.