Sunday, December 7, 2014

Link rivers to revive Congress


          It will not take Rahul Gandhi more than 100 days to lay a solid foundation of Congress' revival if he decides to link the rivers. Seems a joke? Finds funny? But be little serious and go to the road map I am suggesting.

          Rahul must plan a nationwide tour to revive the Congress party and begin its first phase from 'Ganga to Sabarmati' on the day of Makar Sankranti on 14 January, the day Sun moves to Capricorn and becomes uttarayan. Makar Sankranti commemorates the beginning of the harvest season and announces the arrival of colourful vasant in our country. River Ganga is considered sacred and finds mention from Bhagwat Purana  to Skand Purana and Rigveda too. Sabarmati river also has a rich history that is spread over from Aravalli Hills to Arebian Sea. During this 1400 km long journey Rahul can cross 4 states Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajsthan and Gujarat. He can interact thousands of people en route that can cover the areas of Mirzapur, Allahabad, Banda, Jhansi, Shivpuri, Baran, Kota, Chittorgarh, Udaipur and Himmat Nagar before reaching to Gandhi Nagar. Starting a road journey from Varanasi that reaches Ahmedabad on 30 January, the day Mahatma Gandhi was killed, Rahul would be able to rejuvenate thousands of Congress workers.

          Then can come the second phase of 'Congress Kayakalp'. Let this time Rahul Gandhi link the rivers Narmada and Kaveri. Narmada is fifth longest river in Indian subcontinent and third longest that flows entirely within our country. It originates from Amarkantak and forms the traditional boundary between North India and South India. The name Narmada means giver of pleasure. Kaveri river has its origin in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. Legends tell us that Kaveri was born as daughter of Brahma, the creator of universe. Kaveri has served as a lifeline for centuries to the ancient kingdoms and modern cities of South India. The journey can begin from the tribal area of Shahdol in Madhya Pradesh and end at Thanjavur in Tamilnadu, where asur Tanjan was killed by God Neelmegha Perumal. This 1800 km route covers 7 states--Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamilnadu. The areas of Raipur, Nagpur, Wardha, Adilabad, Nizamabad, Hyderabad, Anantpur, Banglore and Salem could be covered on the way.

          Third phase of Rahul's venture can link 'Chenab to Chambal'--from Srinagar in J&K to Mhow in Madhya Pradesh covering the states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajsthan. Chenab river is known to us from Vedik period and reminds us of the love tales of Heer-Ranjha and Sohni-Mahiwal. What river Chenab is for us is like Danube for Hungarians and Austrians or Rhine for Germans. Chambal river originates from Manpur, near Mhow, the birth place of
Baba Sahab Bheem Rao Ambedkar and finds mention in our ancient scriptures. Rahul can measure this 2000 km long route by crossing the towns of historical importance Udhampur, Dharmshala, Pathankot, Amritsar, Faridkot, Bathinda, Hanumangarh, Ratangarh, Ajmer, Nasirabad, Bhilwara, Mandsaur, Ratlam, Badnawar, Ujjain and Indore.

          Here comes the fourth and last phase. It could be for linking the rivers of Yamuna and Brahmputra. Yamuna, the largest tributary of Ganga, is mentioned at many places in Rigveda and Atharvaveda. While the Ganga is considered an epitome of asceticism and higher knowledge and can grant us Moksha or liberation, it is Yamuna, who, being a holder of infinite love and compassion, can grant us freedom. Brahmputra is a trans-boundary river and perhaps the only river in our country that has a male name whereas all other major rivers have female names. According to legends, Brahmputra is the son of Lord Brahma. Let Rahul Gandhi cover a distance of around 2100 km from Delhi to Guwahati for giving a final boost to his political army. He will be passing through Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam in this phase if he decides to take a 'Discovery of India' tour. The final leg of his endeavour can surely refill the areas like Faridabad, Mathura, Vrandavan, Aligarh, Etah, Mainpuri, Kannauj, Lucknow, Faizabad, Basti, Gorakhpur, Darbhanga, Forbesganj, Basantpur, Khairabari, Jalpaiguri, Gosaigaon and Bongaigaon with new energies.

          This way, Rahul Gandhi would be able to cover 18 states while travelling around 7500 kilometres which might take him only 75 days in total and take it from me that he can infuse a entirely new life in the decaying body of the great movement called Congress after 129 years of its inception. Rahul must remember that he is the great grandson of  Jawaharlal Nehru who travelled around fifty thousand miles in provincial assembly elections in the winters of 1936-37 to create a strong foundation of the Congress party using aircrafts, trains, cars, elephants, camels, horses and bullock carts. Elections were held in eleven provinces of British India--Punjab, Sindh, Bengal, North West Frontier Province, Bihar, Orissa, Central Provinces, United Provinces, Madras, Bombay Presidency and Assam--after mandated by Government of India Act in 1935.  Results were declared in February 1937 and Indian National Congress formed the governments in eight provinces. Bengal, Punjab and Sindh did not go with Congress, but Muhammad Ali Jinnah's All India Muslim League failed to win any province. Nehru himself wrote about all this mentioning how he always used to keep a loudspeaker with him and a minimum crowed of twenty thousand gathered everywhere to listen to him and there were many occasions when he addressed the gathering of one lac people.

          The actions of the Congress party must inspire others to dream more and do more. This is not the time to find faults. This is the time to find remedies. Rahul Gandhi has the tremendous hidden potential of a faithful, sincere and trustworthy influence on people. Rahul Gandhi has already spent a long time understanding the politics of India as well as his own party and it is not necessary for him to wait till his black hair turn grey to openly show that he is serious to lead the Congress party from front and sooner the better when his senior and junior colleagues realise the metal he is made of.

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