Bangalore
Date : 10.07.2014

Sri A.K.Anthony,
8, Krishna Menon Marg,
New Delhi

AK-Antony-Pardaphash-88547Dear Sri Antony, Namaskar.

Just within 24 hours after I met you in New Delhi I   am writing this letter to you.

I am writing this letter to yourself as chairman of the committee you head for enquiring into the causes for the defeat of the Congress Party in the 2014 elections.

It was very good of you to have received me and my wife without any prior appointment and when you were so preoccupied with so many other important things. So, thank you for the very nice gesture on your part.

Though brief was our encounter you are no stranger to me. You might have forgotten but we have met more than once long time ago at the AICC. It was of course a long time ago. Of course I know most of the Kerala leaders, both Congress and the Left leaders. May be more intimately and fundamentally, the great leaders, EMS, E.K.Nayarnar and C.A.Achutha Menon.

As for others I know many of the literary and artistic people. Some of them were with me in Santiniketan in the 1950s, 60s like A.Ramachandran.

All this to tell you I am no stranger to Kerala and Kerala affairs. Now, as for the Congress affairs, I have to again to tell you I know all the old Congress leaders, I “worked” at the AICC under Kamaraj, Atulya Ghosh and Sadiq Ali and others. I wrote the 1967 General Elections propaganda pamphlets!

Anyway, now, after seeing so many changes in the party, after the massive rout and now in the post-defeat mood how do I see myself?

I call myself the Last Congressman!

Now, I am writing a book in English on the Decline and Fall of the Congress and how to revive it. I had already sent you a letter detailing what your committee should be doing. Obviously, you didn’t
remember or recall that letter when I met you yesterday. Of course, the chance and sudden encounter might have not given enough time to recall or see anything what I had written to your committee. Anyway, here is the copy of the letter attached.

Now what you said about what your committee is doing and what your committee is doing really shocked me to say the least!

How can you find out the causes for the defeat by just enquiring the Delhi unit and others in states like Karnataka?

You said you didn’t visit Karnataka but there was news in the papers about your visit. May be I am mistaken. However, what you further said about the “mandate” you are given to enquire just the “list”(of people) by the AICC just seemed very disturbing.

I have also attached here with the letter I wrote to Mrs.Sonia Gandhi, of course a very stinging letter, written in the heat of the shock we all received as old and long-standing Congressmen had some harsh truths to tell. The party president and the vice-presidents must have resigned and nominated an interim president to carry out the   reorganisation of the party structure, from the top to the grassroots.
All I can say now, as I told you briefly in person, is that unless you tackle the most important and most traditional Congress bastions like TN, W.Bengal and UP and Bihar, how can we hope the Congress party can be revived and it can at least imagine a comeback?

These are serious questions of moral responsibility, less a strategy, more a question of credibility.
I won’t go further than this much.

I am glad to tell you I also met Sri Motilal Vohra and got his views.

May be I may incorporate more of my views in the forth coming book.

I like to thank once again for your kindness to receive me and also your honesty of purpose and simplicity and total unpretentious personality.

With regards,

V.Isvarmurti

1.Copy of previous letter(A.K.Anthony)

2.Copy of letter to Sonia Gandhii

Don’t be casual and non-serious!
This time the crisis is very formidable!

Letter to Mr.Antony sent by Courier

Dear Mr.A.K.Antony

anthonyToday I read in the newspapers about the Congress party appointing you heading a panel to probe the causes for the poll debacle. How many Antony committees have done this sort of probes and they came to nothing. From what you have done starting in Delhi already shows this too seems a ritual. Please take note this time the crisis facing the Congress party is too serious requiring radical thoughts and action. Are you aware of the challenges, we ask you.

How to communicate to you I don’t know. As an old Congressman and knowing your seniority in the party and also your previous many Antony Committee probes, one wonders why one more Antony Committee? How it will be different?

You must have already read we are sure; See Naqvi’s edit-page column in the Deccan Herald dated June 19, 2014. He has almost ridiculed the many Antony Committees of the past! Mr.Naqvi says:”Antony, an acute Gandhi loyalist never in the course of his numerous probes turned the search light on his political masters. But this time he may be left with no room for maneuver. The Gandhis will be on the dissection table.

Reports of irreversible poor health may be leaked. What better way to stop the leak than sink the very idea of the Antony Committee. The mother and son team have undertaken to probe the party’s rout implies that their leadership was not flawed that the fault for the debacle lies elsewhere. “The Gandhis still believe, says Naqvi, there still is a party under their leadership”.

Honestly, we, the ordinary Congressmen and women, old and new, spread all over India believe that this time you have to do a better job.

I am a Kamaraj man

Now Mr.Antony, please understand that I am an old Congress man, an associate of Kamaraj, Atulya Ghosh and Sadiq Ali, among others. I worked at the AICC at 7, Jantar Mantar Road then and I knew you, I had met you of course briefly at the AICC on Akbar Road sometime and  therefore  I don’t assume you know me at all.

Why this much introduction?
I used to write to Sonia Gandhi many times in the past narrating the Congress downhill marches. In TN and elsewhere. Believe me, Mr.Antony, never for once Sonia cared even to acknowledge the letters!

I wrote now to Sonia Gandhi
Only this time she acknowledges!
A very stringent letter in which I said many things but I also said frankly it is time that she and Rahul Gandhi must resign and put in an interim president and announce elections to the Party within a year.

I have now almost finished writing a book in English on the decline and fall of the Congress party and how the Congress to be revived.

It would naturally be a part-autobiography and part political history, what I had done so far etc.
If I may put it so, I was born in the era of Gandhi certainties, grew into adulthood in the Nehruvian optimism and of course inherited my intellectual certainties and beliefs in the Oxford Logical Positivism! Where truth and proofs for truth have to be vigorous and logically provable.

Alas! I grew up in such certainties and today where are we, where are our credentials? And yet, we try to pretend  that life will be the same again? We have to understand history! History is ruthless, unpardonable!

So let us all try to be honest and truthful to ourselves!
I was an elected MLC; I won in a stiff fight against a candidate put up by none other than C.N.Annadurai in 1968 to the Madras Legislative Council. It was when Kamaraj was down and out after he himself lost the 1967 elections. So my election victory ,Kamaraj claimed was his own!

So, you now please kindly listen to what I have got to say. There is no way except to face the reality. The Congress party, as it is, under the one-person driven, sycophantic crowd-fed illusion of a false existence. It lost its moorings. It lost the confidence of the people.  People walked away from us, right? It lacks all the moral force it had once. It is not at all inspired by any new world before it. So, where to start?

I have just read the biography of R.C.Dutt (Romesh Chandra Dutt (died in 1909). He was one-time Congress President in Luck now in 1899.

Now my suggestions for the recovery of the Indian National Congress are to identify 100 selfless Congress men and women who won’t seek any political office. They would be named and honored as the moral guardians or mentors of the Congress party. Give them the responsibility to revive the party in their respective States.

Dissolve the CWC instantly

The CWC must be dissolved; new members from each state suitably selected. The CWC members too must be of the 100 selfless workers. 50% CWC members must be elected by an open contest.
Also, give autonomy to the states; to the PCCs. PCC members too as far as possible should not expect any political pecuniary benefits. Audit the party funds openly and transparently.

More important, pass a resolution that dynastic succession will not be the Congress formula for succession. Also, CWC decisions, why, even the president’s decisions must be taken by a vote! The Congress constitution must be radically amended to create confidence!

There are so many other ideas I have put forward in my forthcoming book.
One is to pass a resolution that no party office is for more than 2 years, from President to other state and central office holders.

Annual sessions: every year a new distinguished Congress person should preside as in the past years.

This will lend prestige to the sessions and the party president could be for running the party routinely.

You must have seen the Kishore Chandra Deo interview in the Outlook magazine He says why so many people are continuing at the AICC?

Don’t you also know all these deficiencies?
I am the only Congress man; you know who hasn’t changed the party once in my lifetime? How many had gone out and come back?
Congress men and women have become greedy, land grabbers and violators of all known morals and scruples.
How the party paid such heavy price for keeping the unelected PM for so long? We started blundering from the very start by adopting all unethical practices. Anyway, I leave it at this stage.

You please better don’t fall victim once again! Please come out with really some radical changes. Please understand the enormity of the present crisis and be prepared for a long haul by which time you and me may not be there to see the Congress bouncing back to power!

Kill the thought that the Congress can be revived with Sonia or Rahul or even brining in Priyanka, at the helm this time!

Yours sincerely

V.Isvarmurti

Letter to Mr. Milind Murli Deora

To
Mr. Milind Murli Deora
Mumbai-400 026

Dear Mr.Deora,

I wanted to write this letter to you as soon as I saw your tweets on Congress’s disasterous defeat in the 2014 elections. In Maharashtra and in Mumbai the defeats are telling. We, the old-time Congresssmen, why, even as otherwise, as former timers we appreciated such leaders like George Fernandes and even Minoo Masanai and others, however they were ideologically diverse and different as personalities, one thing that characterized the Mumbai electoral contests was the high level of the idealism and political commitments and the stature the candidates brought to their own calling. I know most of the old time leaders, why even now I can claim I am a close friend of Saharad Pawar and Antulay besdies, knowing such personalities like Minoo Masani and even Rajni Patel.

I was a close friend of such writers and artistes like Mulkraj Anand and K.A.Abbas.The poet Dom Moraes was with me at Oxford. Oh, so many faces and so many memories of Mumbai, the great cosmopolitan city. To know more about me please see www.isvarmurti.com

Now, as for your tweet, I congratulate you for your courage and candour.Knowing you eminent father as well I have to say so openly and so candidly it is your moral fibre  that drove you to say what you have said.

Of course you have been a bit discreet even then.

What is there to hide when it is really your bounden duty to the country and to the party to which you owed all your credibility?

In fact, you must now take some thoughtful stand and come out with some constructive thoughts for reviving the Congress party.

I am now engaged in writing a book on how to revive the Congress party.
Now, lot of nonsense is being bandied about in the guise of saving the party. Party discipline is invoked to gag free expression of opinion and ideas regarding what to be done next.

I say: kill the thought of continuing with the status quo.Can this be a sensible thought?

Already I feel that any continuation of this thought blocks us from taking on the new government. Every day when we hear of news about the Gandhi family members, it evokes a sort of nausea and discomfort.

So, sooner or later we have to cross the bridge, so to say. You can’t dither and look back anymore.

Let us go by time-tested methods. Resign and make way for others to come out with democratic, open and transparent and honest ways. Please ponder over what I have said.

You can see how deeply l committed to I am with the Congress party and its ideologies.

You one of the younger age groups must do serious study of history and parliamentary history of Britain and other Western democracies how the parties there operate.

We have to have a research and analysis wing at the AICC and must come out with periodical pamphlets on the lines of the old Fabian Society. I was once a member of the Fabian Society and also Oxford Labor Club. They were great learning experiences. I also debated on the platform of the famous Oxford Union Debating Society.

So, how can we take things as we find them just now?

I wonder whether Sonia Gandhi and Rahul have grasped the enormity of the defeat they had caused?

Can they imagine continuing to hold on to the positions they are now in?
It is time we have to warn them and ask them gracefully to step down and make way for a new leadership.

It is a painful decision, I admit.

Otherwsie, the party might face unexpected revolts and splits and some other forces might come into play.

Time and tide wait for none!

Politics is such a ruthless power structure that any vacuum or non-performance invites counter-forces!

Looking forward to seeing you sometime when I am in Mumbai next time.
With warm regards,

Yours sincerely,

V.Isvarmurti

Encl: Some magazines we publish and they may give you some idea of our thinking processes.

Letter to Honble Mr.Siddaramiah,

Siddaramaiah_PTI_360x270_a18To

The Honble Mr.Siddaramiah,
Chief Minister,
Government of Karnataka

Sub:  My letter to Mrs.Sonia Gandhi on the Congress defeat and what should be done:

Mrs.Sonia Gandhi and Mr. Rahul Gandhi must resign and make way for new comers

I write this letter as a senior Congressman to a fellow Congressman.
I am based in Bangalore though my field of political activity is concentrated in Tamil Nadu, I myself coming from Coimbatore.

I know most of the Karnataka political leaders, S.Nijalingappa, Ramakrishna Hegde, Veerendra Patil and even J.H.Patel and many others.

I was an elected member of the Madras Legislative Council from 1968-76.I defeated the candidate put up by the late redoubtable Tamil leader, C.N.Annadurai and know most of the Dravidian leaders very closely.

I was a close follower of Kamaraj and in New Delhi I knew almost every great Congress leader, besides such ones like George Fernandes to Chandra Shekhar and other great Socialist leaders.

I was a member of the Congress (O) till the last days of Kamaraj.

Now, I am keenly following the politics in Karnataka and I am in close touch with many leaders, most, closely with our much respected M.V.Rajasekaran, MLC and former Union Minister. This is for your information.

I was a close associate of many Congress stalwarts, among them was S.Nijalingappa and Kamaraj in the Sixties. When I worked at the AICC under   the galaxy of leaders like Atulya Ghosh and Sadiq Ali were my mentors. To know more  about me please see www.isvarmurti.com

Now after the 2014 debacle, there are factions active and there is not much clarity as to the future of the Congress party’s chances in the face of the BJP challenge.

The purpose of writing this letter is regarding the goings on in the KPCC and also about the nomination of members for the Rajya Sabha.

There is now a raging controversy going on in Tamil Nadu where I am engaged in the revival of the Congress party. Where there is a self-destructive faction fight against P.Chidambaram, the former finance minister, it is alleged seeking nomination from Karnataka.

Apart from what the Karnataka MLAs feel about the PC nomination, there are other controversies in TN where the former finance minister didn’t contest, he also didn’t canvass for Congress candidates in the state and only concentrated on his son’s constituency which was also lost.

So, in these very disappointing moments, what is the rationale if the Congress High Command rushed now to nominate P.Chidambaram, ask the TN Congress critics of the former finance minister who, they allege, was in fact responsible for the defeat of the party at the all India level also. Because of the handling of the economy and prices.

Whatever may be the other considerations, I want to bring to your attention that Congress in Karnataka too must show some roadmap as to how the party can be revived all India level..
Senior leaders in Karnataka, also new entrants like Nandan Nilekani must stand up and speak out and show the way for revive the Congress.

Karnataka has a progressive political tradition and also a Gandhian legacy. Also there is an enlightened intellectual class that takes bold public stands on issues as well as the new corporate class that also engages in progressive steps to engage themselves in the electoral battles.

In such a scenario what is the far-sighted suggestion or suggestions to take the national political movement forward?

As such the state is well-poised to come out with suggestions and practical and strategic solutions to revive a healthy Opposition party as well.

Let the Congress be built on a much more fundamentally sound and transparent basis, not just on dynastic politics or sycophantic culture.

Let there be a debate and a new articulation.otherwise, there is the danger that a re-emergence of the BJP with new power might completely wipe out the Congress from the state.

This danger must be well-recognized and there can’t be any camouflaging this reality any longer.

I have attached herewith my latest letter to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi which explains my point of view.

Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi must resign graciously themselves and make way for a new interim president so that new initiatives, new ideas and new thinking can come into being and the Congress can hope to look in a new light.

You come from a different political and ideological background and we, as Congressmen must stand united by progressive ideals and casteless and classless ideologies only.

There has to be an entirely new thinking and new approaches and new strategies.

With regards,

Yours sincerely,

V.Isvarmurti

Encl: Mrs. Sonia Gandhi letter

Letter to Sri. Honble.Sri.  Oommen Chandy

ToKerala-CM-rules24878
Sri. Honble.Sri.  Oommen Chandy
Chief Minister of Kerala

Dear Honble Mr.Chandy,

Sub: State of the Congress party:

I write this letter as a Congressman of long standing to the fellow Congressman of a very progressive state. To know more about me please see www.isvarmurti.com

First, I must congratulate you   for leading the state against a formidable assault by a determined BJP party and its relentless campaign. It is something of a great feat you have managed to turn the tide in favor of the party.

Now, I have seen the KPCC had passed a first resolution attacking the leadership and then a toned down version.

I have attached herewith a copy of the letter I had sent to Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. It speaks for itself.

Let us all be clear about one thing.

Has anyone fathomed the enormity of the Congress fall to this abysmal level?
How, after leading the party for more than a decade and leading it to this ruin Sonia Gandhi can imagine leading the party again?

Any person of common sense must have voluntarily stepped down already and so too Mr. Rahul Gandhi.

There must at least be some interim president to sort things out.

And what a shame the Congress Working Committee meeting in Delhi was?
It was men like Fatedar and R.K.Dawan, two courtiers, who only openly stood up at the Committee for Mrs. Gandhi! Others, at least some state leaders of some standing and consequence must have spoken out or come out and enlightened   the party workers and the public. If even now the Congress seniors don’t feel free and come out and speak how can the  Congress party can hope to recover, if at all?

How long we can hope for pulling on with this setup?

Congress in Kerala has a special history. Both in Malabar and   in the Travancore state the party had a number of dedicated leaders from the very beginning.

I am glad to see even now the Kerala Congressmen has nationalist streak that has stood up with the party workers and this is the glue that binds the Congress organization in the state.

Please for heaven’s sake let the KPCC and yourself and your senior colleagues take courage and ask for a change.

We have all to be grateful to Mr.T.H.Mustafa for taking courage and came out boldly against Mr.Rahul’s style of non-serious campaign. It is something that average Kerala Congressman is above averages other Congressmen!

At least your committee members started this rebellion and a mutiny of sorts. They will be applauded soon as the path makers for a new Congress resurgence.
For your information, I may state that in TN, we had had a great Congress tradition you might know well.

Great leaders like Rajaji and Kamaraj were the twin pillars.Rajaji went on in his later years to form the Swatantra party to spite Nehru and even later, sadly, joined hands with the DMK, with Mr.C.N.Annadurai and let the Drtavidian party social respectability and acceptability among the middle classes and we had seen all the long-term damages.

As a result, today we see TN as the very accumulation of all corrupt politics at its worst forms.

I for one, as a long time Kamaraj follower, started a political movement, Kamaraj Congress and we conducted some meets in some districts.

All the old time Kamaraj loyalists rallied around this movement. But given the intense factionalism the TNCC nurtured by no less than the total neglect of the unit by both Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, we see today even such leaders like P.Chidambaram stand discredited.

The saddest part is that in the 2014 elections Rahul Gandhi, of course with Sonia’s neglect too they abandoned the TNCC and the result we all saw. All the Congress candidates, except one, lost the deposits.

So, where do we go from here?

The questions we, the Congressmen, not just in the state, may be, with help from other states like Kerala can draw plans to make Congress get revived in State levels.

Otherwise, we would be only contributing to further deterioration in the ranks of the party and anything, any split or unpredictable developments could overtake us. Sure!

Better we act in time rather than wait for events over take us.

With warm regards,

Yours sincerely,

V.Isvarmurti

Encl: Mrs. Sonia Gandhi Letter

Copy to:
1. Shri.V.M. Sudheeran
2. Sri.P.C Chacko