Sunil Jakhar is a seasoned and outspoken politician. The 67-year-old former Punjab congressman is also known to weigh his words, choosing them carefully. So when he published a cryptic tweet on Saturday about Rahul Gandhi finding an “Alexandrian solution” to the “Gordian knot” into which the Punjab congressional crisis had turned, it prompted political experts to take note. Experts believe there is a lot to read between the lines in Jakhar’s tweet.
Hours before Capt Amarinder Singh submitted his resignation as Chief Minister of the Punjab, Jakhar tweeted: “Congratulations to Shri Rahul Gandhi for adopting the Alexandrian solution to this Punjabi version of the Gordian knot. Surprisingly, this bold move by leaders to resolve the Punjab congressional entanglement did not captivate congressional workers but gave Akalis a shudder. “
Well done to Sh @RahulGandhi for adopting the Alexandrian solution to this Punjabi version of the Gordian knot. Surprisingly, this bold move by leaders to resolve the Punjab congressional entanglement not only captivated members of Congress, but also made Akalis shudder.
– Sunil Jakhar (@sunilkjakhar) September 18, 2021
Often used as a metaphor, a “Gordian knot” refers to a very complex problem, which is apparently almost impossible to solve. The origin of the expression dates back to ancient Greece, 333 BC. Black Sea. Phrygia was centered on the Sangarios River.
The story goes that after his father was declared king, Midas dedicated an ox cart to a Phrygian god and tied it to a pole with an intricate knot. Walking through Anatolia, Alexander the Great reached Gordium, which was the capital of Phrygia, and he was shown the knot. He was told that whoever unties the knot, will conquer and rule Asia. Legend has it that Alexander first tried to untie the knot and, failing to do so, cut it with his sword. The expression “cutting the Gordian knot” has thus come to denote a daring solution to a complicated problem.
Alexander almost went to conquer Asia. When he reached the banks of the Hydaspes River (now River Beas), King Porus, who ruled the region that is now Punjab in India and Pakistan, challenged him. Porus fought valiantly but lost. However, an impressed Alexander had allowed Porus to retain his kingdom.
The importance of Jakhar’s tweet
Those who know Jakhar say he’s not the type to talk for no reason. Alexander cut the Gordian knot in the hope of reigning over Asia.
The Congress Party ruled the country for the longest period after independence, but is now going through perhaps its worst political phase. Congress rule is currently limited to just three states – Punjab, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh – and party units in all three states are marred by internal feuds with rebels opening the front against the respective chief ministers.
Thus, Jakhar’s tweet, on how the Congressional high command under Rahul Gandhi, dealt with the imbroglio in the unity of the Punjab party, which led to the ousting of its most powerful CM, points out that will the party’s fortunes turn for the better and the party will rule the country again? At the moment, that seems unlikely given the current state of affairs in Congress with its base having eroded and several big names having left the ship. However, how developments have unfolded in Punjab – starting with Amarinder having tendered his resignation on Saturday and Chanranjit Singh Channi, a Dalit Sikh being appointed his successor on Sunday, it remains to be seen whether Jakhar’s ‘prophetic’ tweet will see the light of day. party fortunes turn for the better in Punjab in 2022 and nationally in 2024 or stay that way.