So miffed does the Bharatiya Janata Party appear over the Chinese envoy in Delhi going to the airport to wish Rahul Gandhi a pleasant pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar that a party spokesman got his targets somewhat confused and queried all goodwill in the Sino-Indian relationship.
Thereby undermining the Prime Minister’s committed efforts to ease traditional tensions courtesy his frequent recent interaction with the top Chinese leadership.
So obsessed with flaying the Congress president was Sambit Patra that, like a couple of women ministers in Mr Narendra Modi’s team, the wider significance of the anti-Rahul tirade was overlooked.
To query anybody’s love for anything only reinforces the allegation that hate is the lifeblood of the dispensation, given the fact that the Chinese system makes little differentiation between official and political statements.
The BJP motor-mouth has created avoidable complications for the external affairs ministry. Few in the Chinese establishment would have imagined that a goodwill gesture by an envoy would trigger such petty politicking.
Prudence, across the board, generally limits comments on matters with international implications to those with diplomatic expertise or experience, such sagacity is cast asunder when the BJP indulges in its favourite sport of Nehru-Gandhi bashing.
And cautioning its lesser lights against rash tongue-wagging is not a strong point of the party’s administration. In any other set-up courtesies extended to an Opposition leader would be appreciated, the BJP has yet to graduate to such graceful maturity ~ even after almost five years in the national saddle.
Does an inferiority complex frequently surface when the “family” attracts attention? Or is it just juvenile jealousy? The BJP is fully entitled to airing its views on “newly- converted” Rahul’s religious fervour, though some might ask if Hindu sentiment was not being simultaneously slighted.
Yet the BJP went overboard when equating a relationship with Beijing with sleeping with the enemy. Chinese products flood the Indian market, Chinese tourists are beginning to find India an attractive holiday destination: does the BJP, or at least Patra, include all of that in the “anti-national” charges levelled with gay abandon?
Back to Rahul. His trip to Kailash Mansarovar would have attracted limited attention, garnered only a few of the votes that the BJP so fears. Yet an indiscreet spokesman has brought international attention to what might have escaped most “China watchers”.
Now the BJP has informed the people that Rahul was so concerned with what was happening at Doklam last year that he sought a Chinese perception rather than lap up the official version.
Does that not credit the Congress president with a degree of intelligence? At least it suggests a more informed thought-process than what many would have granted him. With adversaries like the BJP spokesman, Rahul has little need for self-projection: they do a pretty good job of it for him.