While many were wondering where the typically British-communist view of India shared by former INC president Rahul Gandhi was coming from, Twitter users have made it obvious and the BJP has found yet another stick to beat their archrival’s mascot with. UK MP and former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was seen in a photo frame flanked by Rahul Gandhi and Sam Pitroda, and the Twitterati came down like a ton of bricks on Rahul Gandhi for his association with the British politician infamous for his anti-India and anti-Hindu stance and for advocating the separation of Kashmir from India.
After a much-followed scientist and media personality Anand Ranganathan tweeted, “This jackass (middle) was part of the Red Action group that offered full support to IRA terrorists. He later refused to meet the victims of the IRA. He unabashedly calls Hamas and Hezbollah as his friends. He advocates for Pakistan on Kashmir. What is Rahul Gandhi planning?” INC supporters pointed out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met with Jeremy Corbyn too. But Ranganathan had an answer to that.
Ranganathan wrote, quoting the reminder, “Modi was obligated to meet UK’s new opposition leader in 2015 as per official protocol… Corbyn’s IRA past came out in 2017… Corbyn demanded Kashmir’s self-determination in 2019 4. Rahul has met him AFTER knowing all this.”
Meanwhile, targeting Rahul Gandhi was relentless from the BJP’s end. One of its rabble-rousing activists in Delhi, Kapil Mishra made a rare tweet in English (he posts usually in Hindi).
“What is Rahul Gandhi doing with Jeremy Corbyn (guy in the middle) in London? Jeremy Corbyn is infamous for Anti India Anti Hindu Stand. Jeremy Corbyn is openly advocating separation of Kashmir from India,” BJP leader Kapil Mishra questioned, tweeting the photograph that has stoked a massive controversy.
BJP national spokesman Shehzad Poonawala slammed Rahul Gandhi for his meeting with the British MP and questioned why the INC leader was meeting with “anti-India elements”.
He also shared the image of the INC leader with Jeremy Corby.
“Whether it is meeting with anti-India elements like Jeremy Corbyn who echo Pakistan propaganda on Kashmir or signing MoU with Chinese and taking Chinese money into RGF or meeting Chinese during Doklam, why is Rahul Gandhi’s hands always against with those against India.”
“Whether it is meeting with anti-India elements like Jeremy Corbyn who echo Pak propaganda on Kashmir or signing MoU with Chinese & taking Chinese money into RGF or meeting Chinese during Doklam- Rahul Ka haath hamesha Bharat virodhiyon ke saath! Modi virodh me desh virodh kyu! (sic),” Poonawala tweeted.
Curiously, the INC itself had disowned the views of Jeremy Corbyn outright on Jammu and Kashmir and his willingness to enthusiastically embrace the aggressive line dictated by Pakistani-origin MPs.
Jeremy Corbyn is one of the most controversial leaders in Britain. Earlier ousted from the Labour Party’s leadership for his ‘anti-Semitic’ views and leadership style, Corbyn has openly supported the Pakistan narrative on Kashmir and has been a critic of the Indian Army.
INC-turned-BJP leader Tom Vadakkan also raised questions over the Rahul Gandhi-Jeremy Corbyn meet and said that the Wayanad MP was under a wrong kind of influence. “Corbyn has been known to be Anti-Indian. I think this is a group that is encouraging Rahul to speak what he speaks. I think these are the influencers influencing Rahul and more will be exposed in the future,” Vadakkan said. Further attacking the Congress party over the issue, the BJP leader said that the grand old party was supportive of “anti-national elements” like Corbyn and PFI.
Journalist Aarti Tikoo questioned why the INC leader was destroying his legacy with such meetings. She slammed Jeremy Corbyn and said that he was a supporter of the JKLF that killed innocents in Kashmir. “It is disappointing that Rahul Gandhi, who is presenting himself as the voice of the opposition is meeting Jeremy Corbyn,” she said.
Speaking about Jeremy Corbyn, Tikoo said, “he is the same politician who was supporting the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front. JKLF has always been a terror outfit that killed hundreds in Kashmir. JKLF was almost like a motherboard of terrorism in Kashmir, and Corbyn was their supporter,” Tikoo added. She went on to add that Rahul Gandhi was demolishing the image of his legacy by standing next to someone, who justifies terrorism.
A question arises, of course, about whether Rahul Gandhi is embarrassed about this association or is at home with it. When someone from the audience questioned him a day after his controversial “India is a union of states” comment, the INC leader was surprised to know the idea of India preceded the constitution and that the Sanskrit for “nation” was “rashtra“. He can be heard replying in the following video that “rashtra is Hindu” and “nation… is a Western concept”.