MINUTES AFTER the contours of victory began to take shape in the recently concluded Assembly polls in four of the five states, an old narrative of divisiveness was revived. Its foremost revivalist, an alleged master strategist close to Rahul Gandhi, posted on X (formerly Twitter) that the “South-North boundary line (is) getting thicker & clearer!” The post has since been deleted following a tidal wave of backlash.
The said strategist was the same person who had been the target of extensive outrage in Congress circles for leading Rahul Gandhi’s party to a handsome 55-seat tally in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
But now, others in Congress and its extended family of far-Left liberals faithfully picked up the strategist’s narrative of North versus South India, making it seem as if they belong to two separate hemispheres. Its essence is straightforward: Congress was decimated in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh because voters out there are illiterate, uneducated, averse to eating meat, speak Hindi, and are… Hindu. By the same logic, Congress bagged Telangana because of the absence of these debilitations among its voters. But judged purely in the light of these electoral debacles, this narrative is akin to a coping mechanism for Congress—consolation is any day preferable to mourning.
However, common sense as well as a sense of history reveal that the present consolation is merely the political face of an old ideological coin that had won splendid victories for Congress and had enabled it to retain its political dominance for more than half-a-century.
It’s quite remarkable that even after the fatal summer of 2014 when Congress was bombed to near-extinction on the national stage, it still managed to make impressive recoveries in various states from time to time. But it has also repeatedly lost even these states in the same duration. Its fate over the last decade resembles the embers underneath a charred ruin. Some sparks catch fire and feebly blaze awhile before reverting to their original state. The current electoral humiliation must be viewed as such, and it has occurred due to an intrinsic weakness that has a considerable vintage. This intrinsic defect is precisely what makes Congress governments stand just a step away from implosion. Anything from a minor rebellion or a wholesale defection to an electoral loss can cause it.
Perhaps the wizened veterans of Congress have forgotten the history of their own party. There used to be an era when there was no state in all of India that did not have a Congress government. That terrifying power was also the Achilles’ heel of its undoing.
Studying the archival material of that era is profoundly instructive. Even at the height of such absolute power, Congress diehards, wise observers and stoic commentators were unanimous about the aforementioned vulnerability—Congress’ power was entirely sustained by a near-total absence of an equal contender. And these contenders eventually emerged like trickles, first flowing out of its own ranks, and then from regional groupings before the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shattered the Congress stranglehold.
In this historical light, Congress had already lost all these states decades ago, and its recent losses are simply the continuation of that same trajectory. Its clones in the form of regional parties remain unbeatable by Congress, proving the classic illustration of the parasite consuming its host.
The same historical light also shows that as it stands today, BJP is the only truly national party in the sense of representing and standing for the sovereign unity and integrity of the Indian republic.
The most alarming phenomenon of the last decade is the transformation of Congress as a hub of the global extreme left. This transformation explains Congress’ embrace of the divisive North vs South narrative
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By purveying a sinister and lethal brand of dynasty-centric politics for seven-plus decades, Congress has reduced the ‘Indian’ and ‘National’ in its name to mere dead letters. Not stopping at that, it began, over the last seven years, to actively work against the Indian national interest. Perhaps the most overlooked, under-analysed and alarming phenomenon of the last decade is the swift and thorough transformation of Congress as both a hub and a vehicle of the global extreme Left.
Among other things, this transformation clearly explains Congress’ embrace of the divisive North vs South narrative. Its roots are anchored in the spurious, colonial theoretical brew known as the Aryan Invasion Theory. It’s earliest and also most vocal proponent was EV Ramaswamy Naicker who was the first to demand a separate Tamil nation.
In the early 1940s, this (Tamil) separatist call was embellished by the communists who added another major ingredient to it: the so-called two-nation theory. As the ardent champions of securing Pakistan for the Indian Muslim community, they published a toxic tract titled Pakistan and National Unity authored by Gangadhar Adhikari in 1942. This soon earned substantial notoriety as the ‘Adhikari Thesis’. It was an open call to balkanise India into multiple independent nations along every conceivable faultline—caste, sub-caste, language, region, religion, and even along something called an “expression for independence”.
A variant of this ‘thesis’ was revived in 2016 in a pamphletesque essay titled ‘United States of South India’. The essay is clothed in phoney academic language but is fundamentally an amalgam of the Aryan Invasion Theory, the Dravidian rhetoric of linguistic separatism, pseudo-economics and even worse statistical jugglery. A good portion of its key themes are now being peddled as talking points on TV debates and as political rhetoric by, say, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Congress, and the ultra-Left ecosystem. The history and tactics of communism—and the Left, broadly—are at play here once more. It first concocts a wishful theory and then builds on the theory, and using circular logic and every possible logical fallacy, ‘proves’ the theory as a settled truth. The alleged ‘United States of South India’ is the latest offering of this theory-building boutique.
But reality tells us that this North vs South narrative is just one more tactic to somehow unseat Narendra Modi. It is their ideological response in the face of serial and prolonged electoral losses that their ecosystem has suffered.
From another perspective, it is both an admission of anxiety and a declaration of war. To state the blunt reality hiding in plain sight, large parts of southern India have been de-Hinduised at an unprecedented pace and with greater success than the rest of India combined. As I noted in my column on Udhayanidhi Stalin, anti-Hindu forces in south India have acquired committed political leadership, especially in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. This leadership shows no qualms about pushing the de-Hinduisation agenda using the full might of the state apparatus.
And so, in one sense, the South vs North narrative that has been revived in the aftermath of Congress’ three-state loss is fundamentally a Hindu vs anti-Hindu narrative. The rest is just glitzy makeup that attempts to conceal this agenda.
Sandeep Balakrishna is founder and chief editor of The Dharma Dispatch. He is the author of, among other titles, Tipu Sultan: the Tyrant of Mysore and Invaders and Infidels: From Sindh to Delhi: The 500-Year Journey of Islamic Invasions. He has also translated SL Bhyrappa’s Aavarana from Kannada to English