Those misusing their power to divide citizens on the grounds of religion, language, caste and gender are the real anti-nationals, former Congress chief Sonia Gandhi wrote in an op-ed article in The Telegraph on Friday.
On Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, Gandhi said that the country must remember his prescient warning that the success of the Constitution depends on the conduct of the people entrusted to govern.
The Congress leader criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government, saying it is misusing and subverting the Constitution as well as weakening its foundations of liberty, equality, fraternity and justice.
“Liberty is threatened by misusing the law to harass people rather than to protect their rights,” she wrote. “Equality is assaulted by favoured treatment to chosen friends in every sphere, even as the vast majority of Indians suffer economically. Fraternity is eroded by deliberately manufacturing an atmosphere of hatred and polarising Indians against each other. The resultant injustice is amplified by pressuring the judiciary through a sustained campaign.”
Opposition parties, including the Congress, have accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of favouring Gautam Adani’s embattled business empire.
Hindenburg Research, a United States-based firm, published a report on January 24 alleging that the Adani Group is pulling off the “largest con in corporate history”. The report claimed that the Indian conglomerate was involved in stock manipulation, accounting fraud and money laundering.
In recent months, the Supreme Court and the Modi government have also been engaged in a standoff on judicial appointments in the country.
In Friday’s article, Gandhi said that people must act to defend the Constitution from the “systematic assault” by the ruling government.
“All Indians, wherever they stand – political parties, unions and associations, citizens in groups and as individuals – must play their part at this critical time,” she wrote. “Dr [BR] Ambedkar’s life and struggle teaches critical lessons which can serve as a guide.”
The former Congress president also said that despite the Centre’s efforts, the sense of fraternity runs deep in Indians.
She cited the example of citizens protesting against religious divisiveness, raising their voices for the livelihoods of farmers and helping each other during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We must always nurture this sense of brotherhood and defend it from attacks – in our households, communities, and organisations,” Gandhi wrote.