Congress leaked by WikiLeaks

A few of ‘secret’ US diplomatic cables on India released by WikiLeaks hit Congress hard.

Saswat Panigrahi

Julian Paul Assange has given sleepless nights to several world leaders by releasing a series of ‘secret’ US diplomatic cables on his website Wikileaks. A few of those cables on India hit the Congress party hard. Let’s read those ‘secret cables’ between the lines.

US cable dated August 3, 2009

A secret US diplomatic cable dated August 3, 2009 released by the whistle blower website quoted Congress general secretary and party’s ‘potential’ prime ministerial face Rahul Gandhi as saying “There was evidence of some support for (Pakistan-based terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba) among certain elements in India’s indigenous Muslim community, the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalized Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community.”

“Attention required on the risk of extremists grown at home and they are reacting to terror attacks coming from Pakistan or from Islamist groups in India,” he added.

Look at the context in which the senior Congress leader made such comments. According to the diplomatic cable, the observation was made on July 20, 2009 -- less than eight months after 26/11 – when Indian establishment was busy in pressurising Islamabad to bring the perpetrators of Mumbai attacks to justice and US’s support was crucial to bend Pakistan internationally.

Gandhi made those observations during a conversation with US Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer at a luncheon meeting hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence in honour of visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

While making such sweeping observations, the senior Congress leader forgot that he was talking to the Ambassador of that country whose support India sought to bring the perpetrators of 26/11 to justice and that the comment had the potential to weaken India’s 26/11 case internationally. Rahul Gandhi’s statement outlines his deficit of knowledge in international diplomacy. Well, America has its own counter terrorism agencies to make their assessment. Hope, it did not pay much heed to Rahul’s ‘sensational’ claim.

Gandhi’s comments also demonstrate that he has failed to recognise the real challenge the country is facing. What is more outrageous is that Rahul went to the extent of singing a ‘popular’ Pakistani tune on terrorism that could give a big leverage to the propaganda of terror groups operating from its soil.

Such rumblings undermine national interest. It will encourage terrorists and weaken India’s fight against terrorism.

LeT is a threat to India as well as to the world. It executed the Mumbai terror attacks which snuffed out the lives of at least 166 innocent people and wounded more then 300.

It is pertinent to mention that recently, allegations have been made against a few hardline Hindu groups about their involvement in bomb blasts in Mecca Masjid and Ajmer and Congress has exploited these charges by labelling them ‘Hindu terror’. Even if there is truth in these allegations, it is felt that Congress by pointing a finger at these groups is aiming at satiating a narrow political goal than bringing out the truth. Hindu groups argue that there is a deliberate effort to paint terrorism in religious colour and that they are being dragged into it to make that ‘balance act’.

In this context, Prof Surendra Jain, All India Secretary of VHP while talking to said, “Rahul Gandhi’s comment was part of a well calculated move to defame the Hindus. This vindicates the fact that Congress is deliberately implicating Hindu organisations with terror allegations. The Hindu society out rightly rejects Gandhi’s claim. The strategy of tarring Hindu organisations with fictions will definitely boomerang on the Congress.”

US cable dated December 23, 2008

Earlier, WikiLeaks revealed that how Congress may have played communal politics post 26/11 to garner the Muslim vote bank ahead of the 2009 general election.

According to a confidential memo by then US ambassador to India, David Mulford dated December 23, 2008 released by WikiLeaks, a section of Congress leadership was seen playing religious politics post 26/11, after one of its leaders, AR Antulay, implied that Hindutva forces may have been involved in the Mumbai terror attacks.

"The Congress party, after first distancing itself from the comments, two days later issued a contradictory statement which implicitly endorsed the conspiracy," Mulford wrote in his secret cable to the state department by adding “Hoping to foster the support (of Muslim community) for upcoming national elections, the Congress party cynically pulled back from its original dismissal and lent credence to the conspiracy.”

There was a row over that revelation when Congress general secretary and a known ‘Hindu-basher’ Digvijay Singh claimed that just two hours before the Mumbai attacks the slain ATS chief told him in a telephonic conversation that his life was “under threat” from ‘Hindu radical groups’. Singh first claimed “Karkare called him”, then claimed “he called Karkare” but Maharashtra government says there was no existence of record of the purported telephonic conversation between Digvijay and Karkare.

The sum and substance of Digvijay Singh’s remark suggest that “Hindu groups were also linked to the 26/11 terror seize." Such a comment is utterly disgusting and has embarrassed the country. Rahul Gandhi’s comment is no better and was just a flow from the same thought.

As Digvijay continues with his baseless claim, Congress distanced itself from his comment and called it a “private conversation between two individuals” and “the party has no role in it”. But Congress’s silence over Digvijay’s utterly unsubstantiated allegation speaks volumes of the party’s anti Hindu line.

US cable dated Aug 4, 2006

Ever since Sonia Gandhi took the baton of Congress, minority appeasement is very much synonymous with the Congress brand of politics. The reason: Congress is bitterly paranoid of the rise of BJP. The Congress over the years have been blatantly cultivating minority vote bank to checkmate the rise of its prime rival BJP whose sizable chunk of vote base consists of middle class urban Hindus.

WikiLeaks has reiterated the very fact by releasing another US diplomatic cable dated Aug 4, 2006. In the cable titled `A Garrulous Sonia Gandhi opens up to Maria Shriver`, marked `confidential` which details Gandhi`s meeting with the first lady of California, she stated, “The right (wing) was becoming strong in India and Congress weak, tipping her hand and compelling her to enter politics to protect the Gandhi family legacy”

Stung by Wikileaks revelations Congress, the party now says the discloser “is not worth to be dignified”. But imagine, had it been against BJP, the Congress’ reaction would have just been the opposite.