The Congress Party (INC) Conundrum in India—Any Winnability in Sight?

It   was  quite   discernible  to  note  with  discomfort   the media  reporting    the  five  states  election results on 11th  March.  Let us quote  respected national  news papers  like  The  Hindu, “ 3 CM hopefuls bite the  dust”, “New Comers beat bigwigs”, “ Dismal  show ever by BSP” and  “  For  the  INC, the leadership  of  the  Gandhi family has become more of a burden” “ The  Punjab debacle and  the  death knell of  the INC”  are  all  eye  openers and  the writing on the  wall  than ever  before.  The BJP  dream  of  the  Congress  Mukhta  Bharath–  Congress  banished  India- is  almost   around the  corner and  now hardly only  a  few  yards  away  from its  final  realization.

Historical  Background:

 It was  in December  1885  congress  came in to being.  It was  a long  and  chequred history  of  congress  winning Indian  independence and  the  post-  independence  era  with  Nehruvian  world  legacy,  non-alignment  movement (  NAM)  etc. From  1951  to  1964  Nehru  was  the  world  acclaimed  Prime Minister  of  India. He was  an adorable  statesman. In  1964  Lal Bahadur  Shastri  become our  PM and  from 1966 Indira Gandhi  became  another tall  world  leader with  many historical  accolades  to her  credit including  her  steel  guts  to  threaten the  then  US  President in Washington DC  and  the   creation  of  Bangladesh. In  1977  Janata  Party  came  to power  with 295  seats and  congress   with only  with  153  seats in the  Parliament. After the dastardly  assassination  of  Mrs. Gandhi in 1984, Rajeev Gandhi  took over  as  the  PM  of India  with a  forward leap in science and  technology. In  1991  after   the  assassination  of  Rajeev Gandhi,  PVN Rao  became  the PM  followed  by Atal Bihari  Vajpayee and India  becoming  a known  nuclear  power.  Later on   Manmohan Singh  a  very  respected  Economist   and  Oxford scholar, became  the  PM and  finally   Narendra Modi  became  the  PM  twice  with    a few  hard  and  unfortunate decisions  like demonetization,  covid  19  lock downs  and  the most  damaging  farmer  agitations  lasting for    a little over  one  year. Despite  being very unpopular  among  the  rural masses,  he  was  a  phenomenal  success  in getting  votes  in  the recent  elections, save  Punjab.

 What ails  INC?

1)    Sadly  INC  is  not  a  political party any more  with  any cohesion,  vision and strategy thinking  process.  Petty  squabbles  are  the  order of  the  day. It is  more  like    a crowd  of  people, without  any  clear  vision  or    programmes. It  lacks both will and  vision. There  is no  tall  leader in the  party  to lead it  with  any  perspective vision  thinking and  sagacity.

2)    The  group of  23  leaders,  who  wrote  to  the  President of  INC should have  been  taken seriously and  professionally instead of resorting to  witch hunting. Even now   it is  not too late  to  consider  them  as  party core  members and try to  arrest the  withering away  of   such   talents  like Sachin Pilot unlike  Scindia,  etc.  INC  lost  very many  core  material to the  temptations  offered by  the  BJP.  The  gross   discontentment as  well  as   humiliations  lead  many well meaning  INC  hard core  people  to  think of  alternatives.

3)    It  is better  to realize  that  party is  above  people.  Men may  come  and men may go  . But  party  remains  the  same  ever in  a dynamic  environment. Unless  party is  there,  how  would   you work  for  the   masses? Even  now we  must   make   serious  soul searching as  why   core members like  Mamata Banerjee  had  to leave  congress?  Why  did  Sarad Pawar  venture to look  out  for   fresh  air? It is due  to  the  whimsical high handed treatments  of  the  top  fonctionnaires    many well-meaning  men and women had  to leave  INC  for  preserving their  self-respect  and  dignity.

4)    Corruption  and nepotism did  plague  the  INC over  a period   of  time. Corruption  was  every  where  in the  regime and  party  too. Local leaders  made  good    fortune  by  making use  of  their  clout to loot  the  ordinary  people  by  connivance  with  the  officialdom. That does not  mean  that  corruption is   fully ruled out  in  BJP or  elsewhere. But  it is  for the  party that   they  collect  funds  from  those who matter  much  not from  poor ordinary people. There is  a  sense  of discretion  even   while  extracting  money under  the  guise  of  party funds, which  INC  hardly  practiced  for  a long time. There  were   politicians  without  any  professional jobs and  as such  they  had  to make   a  good  earning  from this as  the  main job.  Unlike  Singapore  or  even Vietnam  our  politicians  make  money left  ,right  and center  by looting  the  people  who  they are  supposed  to  serve. They  are  only  full time  politicians!!

5)    INC  was intolerant  to those  who pointed out thematic  organizational  hiccups  and  started  humiliating  and  even harassing  such leaders.  Nobody wants  humiliation  and condemnation!! Hence many  such  people  either  left  active  political  life  or  migrated  to other  parties  to  preserve   self-respect.    Some  well-meaning  people  with  self  respect floated  own  political parties  as  we  all  know like  the  TMC. The  clear  example  is  the  case  Mamata  Banerjee.

6)    Sycophancy was devouring  the  INC  along  with  nepotism and  favoritism. Nobody was  daring to  call out to say  that  the king is  naked. Hence,  INC  reached  this  level  of  decay and disintegration. The birth  place  of  INC namely  UP,  in  the recently held  elections  some  98  percent of the  INC  candidates  lost  their  deposit   money  and  a few  did  not even get  votes more than  what  even  Nota  got!! Even poor  Priyanka  Gandhi with  all her  women   candidates  had  the  biggest  disappointment.  It is not argued  that  all  was  fair in  the  UP  elections. It was  observed that fair  was  foul and  foul was  fair.  It was  very strange  even in Lakhimpurkheri,  where BJP  was  at  a very  comfortable  position.  The  recent  farmer  agitations  did  not affect  the  elections   results ,save  Punjab!.

7)    INC  must make a  through  soul searching  if it  has  to  survive  during the  years  to come with  some  dignity and  peoples  acceptance.

8)    The  BJP  gained form its  development  rhetoric  comfortably. INC squandered  its chances. It  was  getting bogged  down in internal  power  struggles–  tussles. It is  no secret  that  both  BJP and  AAP have  gained momentum ahead of 2024  elections. There is no one party that can challenge the  BJP. A loose  coalition of regional parties    and the  Left parties, with or  without  INC at  the  head, might not  inspire  confidence among  voters in India in the  near future.

9)    Countering the  idea of Hindu  nationalism will  require much more than smart and  proactive electioneering tactics. New  and innovative  thinking  with inclusive  strategy is  the need  of  the  hour to  counter  the  80  versus  20 time tested  strategy  of  BJP.

10) INC  must  look  for  its  national president immediately, not  to wait  up to  September  2022.  Let  it  be brave  to  look  outside the box for  a  leader  who has ideas and thinking  capabilities as  well as  thematic  exposure. The Gandhi—Nehru  clan must  take sabbatical leave  for  better introspection and  making    their  home  work  to  come  back at  a later stage  with synergy. Revamping  the party  and motivating  the  rank  and  file is  the  need of the  hour if not for  2024  but  for saving the  country  from falling in to a fascist  regime under the  clutches of the myopia  of  narrow Hinduism. We  must  make India a livable place  for  all Indians like  Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Parses  etc.  They  all belong  to this  land—they are  Indians at large.

11)  It  is better  to  choose   a leader  like Sassi Tharoor  as  the  national leader  of  the  INC and make  him  the opposition leader in  the  Parliament. He is  well informed and   his  skills  are  the very best  for  any debates  with  stuff and  style. He is  a  proactive leader  with the  creed  for inclusiveness. And being  a  Hindu himself,  he  is  acceptable  to the illiterate  Indians in the  hinterlands of  the  country. Plus  he  speaks fluently  both  Hindi and  English apart from  other  languages  on  account  of his UN  exposure.

12) It is  time  INC  must  think  aloud  to  have tall leaders  like Gulam Nabi Azad, Kabil Sibal,   Anand  Sharma, Sachin pilot and  the  like  –a  mix  of  both seasoned and  experienced  leaders  at  the  helm.

13) INC must  woo back  time tested  tall  leaders  like  Mamata Banerjee and  Sarad  Pawar to  revamp  the  INC  with a new  vision of Hindutva that suits our  rich  heritage.

14) INC must  realize  that it  needs not just  a better  electoral tactics  but  much  more than  that  a reorientation  in vision and  strategy  formulation  if  India has  to  survive as a harmonious  nation  embracing modern Indian nationalism.  Secularism  should  survive  in India at  any cost. We must be   proud of our unity in diversity  and  a world  model to the  envy  of  others.

15) As  president  Obama has  opined in his  book, Rahul Gandhi  is  a keen  student  to impress  up on the teachers and his onlookers, but must  grow  up in stature as  a  tall  statesman. He   has  done several sacrifices  to  foster  the  INC with in his  limited wherewithal. His  sister Priyanka has been  a crusader like  her  Grand  mother  Indira  Gandhi and   we must be  proud  of  her  tenacity and  steely determination as  evidenced  by  many  of her reactions in  extreme  trying  situations. They   are  great  assets  for  the  INC and  they  are  the  promise of the   future.

16) INC  if  it wants to  be a vibrant  alternative to the  BJP, it  must  rope in Mamata Banerjee  as  its  President along  with   Gulam Nabi  Azad and  Sassi Tharoor as  number  two in command. Then only one  can  repose  the  confidence  of the  rank  and file and  to ensure the  victory  of   the  masses in  a secular  India. Dravidian  parties  from  Tamil Nadu,  Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh   along  with Navin Patnaik, Sarad  Pawar and   Aravind  Kegariwal  to   become core  members of the  united   grand  alliance  to  bring in a united  front  surely  with  the  left  parties  and  other  regional out fits. Old guards  like  AK Antony,  KV Thomas, KC Venugopal and  many such  deadwoods must retire from  active  politics to  encourage  the  entry of youth with passion and  vision to  rejuvenate  the  INC. It must  ask itself,  whether  it  has  any  answer  to  the aspirations  of  the  educated    unemployed youth in  India, unorganized  sector,  farmers, tribal,  women and   all such neglected    sections  of  the Indian  psyche.

17) For INC it is  time  for  either  ending up  or mending.

Submitted  for   your  kind  perusal. If   you need more  discussions, please  contact me at my  cell number—9947670887—Dr.  KM George—

Leave a Reply