New Delhi: One thing common between an aging Rahul Gandhi, 50, and a fossilized China is that they both have short memories and refuse to learn from their own disasters!
Still basking in its so-called 1962 ‘glory’ China continues to threaten India, conveniently forgetting its multiple defeats in skirmishes from 1967 onwards. Similarly, Gandhi, still basking in his party’s past glory, conveniently forgets that he, of all people, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2008 to “consult on important issues”, in the presence of the current Chinese President, Xi Jinping, and, of course, Sonia Gandhi!
Trying to fight his advancing physical age sans any tangible political gains of his own, he shot off twitter missiles at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Chinese aggression issue. He even called the PM “Surrender Modi”—forgetting what happened to him and his party in the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 when he gave the battle cry of “Modi Chor Hai”.
Twitter warrior Gandhi, as is his wont, questioned Modi on various counts, including whether the Indian soldiers martyred in Galwan Valley of Ladakh were sent “unarmed”! Always clueless about what he said, he was as incoherent as he ever was. His mother, Sonia Gandhi, also unsuccessfully tried to score a few brownie points in a pathetic show of cheap politicking on an issue of critical national security, at a time when the entire Opposition is standing solidly behind the government and the army.
His anti-Modi tirade was quickly highlighted by the official media in China and Pakistan and seen as trying to demean the soldiers’ sacrifices and put India in a poor light.
No wonder many, including eminent lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani, have now demanded a thorough investigation into the Congress-CPC deal which the Grand Old Party is now finding hard to wriggle out of. The Indian National Congress’s kid-glove treatment of an invading China and its enemy-like posture against the PM himself made many wonders if it represented Chinese interests in India?
So what was this MoU all about? And why not between the two countries but between their ruling parties?
Apparently, the Gandhi family has chosen to remain silent on Chinese aggression because of the August 7, 2008, agreement signed by the Sonia Gandhi-led INC and the CPC in Beijing for ‘exchanging high-level information and cooperation’. The deal provided the two parties with the “opportunity to consult each other on important bilateral, regional and international developments”.
Rahul Gandhi also forgot that a certain Rahul Gandhi, then the General Secretary of the INC, had signed the MoU in the presence of his mother and party chief Sonia Gandhi, Xi Jinping and Union Minister Anand Sharma.
The same day, before they signed the MoU, the two Gandhis had a long meeting with Xi and other senior leaders of the CPC.
But why was China—that is its CPC—cultivating Rahul Gandhi? Because the Left parties were going hammer-and-tongs against the Manmohan Singh Government on the nuclear issue. So, China, wearing a Communist mask to camouflage its capitalist designs, created another front of support in the Congress at a time Indian economy was growing by leaps and bounds. In other words, China found in the Gandhis their new friends in India!
The Congress even forgot that the Communists had once denounced India’s first PM, Jawaharlal Nehru, as the “running dog of imperialism!”
Plagued with selective amnesia, and blind opposition to Modi, Rahul Gandhi’s secret bonhomie with the Chinese officials in New Delhi in the midst of the Doklam imbroglio in 2017 became highly controversial.
When his secret meetings with Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui was exposed, his nationalist credentials became suspect. So, at first, the Congress denied any such meetings and claimed the reports as ‘fake news’. To its chagrin, China spilled the beans and quickly put the Congress in a spot when the Chinese embassy itself confirmed the meeting between the then Congress vice-president and the Chinese envoy.
In September 2018 also, Rahul Gandhi had another meeting with some Chinese ministers during his visit to Kailash Mansarovar.
Interestingly, during the standoff in May, when Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, praised the Indian forces and tweeted against China for its attempts near the LAC, his own party forced him to eat crow and delete his tweets!
Anand Sharma, who was a witness to the signing of MoU, said the INC recognized and valued the “special strategic partnership” between India and China,” and added that Chowdhury’s views “did not reflect the party position.”