The Sinking Congress
The Congress’ ‘first family’ is precipitating the fall of the grand old party, Congress, which is moving away not only from its cadres but also from citizens. Questions are being raised by senior party leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal and others, who said that the organisational structure in the Congress has completely collapsed. In addition to this, the five-star culture has rooted in the party, because of which the party is constantly getting away from the common man. The statements of disgruntled leaders in the party are being considered against the future Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who resigned after the worst performance of the party in the 2019 general elections and announced not to hold the post of Congress president in the future also. Since then his mother Sonia Gandhi is the acting president of the Congress. In fact, the country’s oldest party is probably going through the worst phase of its history. The party, which has been claiming its most important contribution in liberating the country from foreign slavery, is unable to free itself from the slavery of a ‘family’ today. This is the reason why it neither participates in any positive debate on important issues related to the country, nor makes any logical suggestions, but takes to the streets in protest, as is being witnessed in Lakhimpur. It seems the Congress acting president is not sensitive towards India or its people’s problems. She is blindly following Dhritrashtra of Mahabharata in promoting her unwilling and incapable son for ruling India. Against this backdrop, it cannot be gainsaid that Indian National Congress, which has now converted to be Mother-Son Congress, has become irrelevant to India as a Nation State. What is more, the internal bickering in Punjab and Chhattisgarh is appearing in the media on the subject of leadership change and transparent organisation elections are definitely both a concern and a worry for the Congress.
The concept of a ‘high command’ is now an accepted entity in political discussions. It is totally detrimental to the very idea of democracy, which is expected to act as a method to crystalise the will of the people. The Congress had never had internal democracy. Even during the days of pre-Independence, the will of Gandhi, Nehru and a small number of persons dominated the decision making, which resulted in the departure of Subhas Chandra Bose and the like. It is only the Indian psyche that accepts the rule by the Maharajas and Maharanis, which allowed this party to continue to wield power for such a long time. This party has done considerable damage to the Indian polity. In 2014, the people were so fed up they would have accepted anyone as an alternative to Congress. And things have not changed since. The political environment within Congress seems to be far more stifling of dissent. The decades-long vice-like control of the party by the Nehru-Gandhi family and its sycophants is the main reason for this repressive atmosphere. With the worst form of nepotism prevailing in the party, it has likely written the political death warrant of India’s grand old party. The Congress seems to have become so organisationally decrepit that it is difficult to imagine that it can revive itself. For the Congress to rejuvenate itself and project itself as a credible alternative, it has to do two things: one, permanently cast away the bondage to the ‘family’, two, unmindful of the short-term pain, the new and capable leaders should work sincerely to get the party growing from grassroots level.
By Deepak Kumar Rath