After the 2014 election results a likely coalition Prime Ministers can be either Nitish Kumar or Naveen Patnaik!

Letter to Sonia Gandhi

Mrs. Sonia Gandhi,
President,
The Congress Party, 10, Janpath,
New Delhi

Announce  a Kamaraj Plan

Let key ministers resign and go on a mass contact programme, undertake padayatras etc!

Dear Mrs. Sonia Gandhi.

Yes, I am so embarrassed and also deeply pained to write this letter, after the Congress party suffered such an ignominious defeat in so many states.

There will be so many debates and so many honest and dishonest debates too.
We have come to such a stage in our national politics where such undeserving people, such corrupt elements and blatantly disloyal persons have become heavy-weights in Congress politics.

Even on the day of the defeat messages were pouring through the TV screens some faces came openly, faces that evoked revulsion and anger.

As some leaders, allies and others have said so, these “jholawllahs”, these overnight instant activists and self-seekers and call by whatever name you like, these amateurs made a mess of things.

But how can you, as the President of the Congress party, could not have been unaware of such developments that were indicating enough the party would face total decimation?

This is the question that pains and make one wonder what is the future for the party and the country from now on.

You said there would be introspection in the party. But already, on day one, what we, the people, see? Is there an intellectually honest and truthful introspection? Fringe elements started to orchestrate the chorus of announcing Rahul as the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate? Is this all the introspection the party had made?
Where are the seniors and others? The really credible voices?
Please don’t rush to do things without widest consultations.

There are three perspectives: short-term, medium-term and the long -term.

It is easy to see the long-term. The Congress party is a 128 year old political movement that has seen many periods of ups and downs and also evolution. So, this time also, in the midst of such gloom I see a long-term future.

India is an old country, old civilisation and also a great and diverse people.
So, after long periods of conquests etc India has emerged as the largest democracy in the world. We have a place in the sun.

So, the Indian people, I am as confident as a student of history that India would grow into a great nation on the earth.

Now the medium-term? The 2014 general elections?

As some have pointed out the time frame is short and not big changes you can make in strategy or persons. But some things are clear or must be clear.

Rahul has to step aside for some time and let others take charge. Rahul’s team is described by none other than Sharad Pawar    made up of pseudo activists who have no grasp of the ground level reality. They are all some unknown names and were also seen as ineffective and proved unequal to the task.

Rahul has to articulate his thoughts with consulting people more experienced. That is there is a great deal of Congress loyalists, old and not so old and yet they have been deliberately left out for various reasons.

There is utter disconnect. Neither the PM, nor the party President or the Vice-president care to respond, meet or reach out to the visitors.

There is perceived over-arrogance, indifference and even a sort of false confidence.
It is clear, as again pointed by allies that anger of the youth also showed up. Why the youth voted for AAP and not the Congress? Both had enough young faces?

In each state there is vast reservoir of loyalists. Why, there are also many in the other parties, movements and even in civil society banners.

In one word, we have to reach out to a broader spectrum of people who are honest, incorrupt and not self-seeking but nationalists, patriots and with deep commitment to values and generally optimists.

Next Prime Minister
Who can be the next Prime Minister? Surely, the current incumbent must be shown the door. At once! Any delay or vacillation could produce some undesirable repercussions within the party.

What a decent and nice lady is Sheila Dixit! He was sacrificed at the later of sheer blindness of power.

She herself should have opted out of the race. Made way to some other, more younger. Four terms in a row is too much. In a democracy like ours where already the scope for active politics is being narrowed steadily to a small coterie?
So, a new, interim PM should be announced. A.K.Antony fits the bill for this interim arrangement. No other is there! All have some blemish or other! Let us be honest and even a bit blunt!

The PM candidate for the 2014,post election period, in case the two major parties don’t cross the 150 count, it would most probably be a coalition with some non-Congress ally as the Prime Minister.

Either Nitish Kumar of Naveen Patnaik fit the bill, as far as the Congress party is concerned. There could be others. A leader like Mr.Chandrababu Naidu fits the bill, as far as I am concerned. I know him a bit and also his public roles as a person of great deal of experience in coalition building.

The point is the Congress party cant no more assume it can be a small family party, dynastic party or a party of the privileged few presided over by a weak Prime Minister who seems to be now hardening his position to accept responsibility or vacate for others to provide a change.

The PM’s role in the elections is also not honourable. He neither showed his face, as in New Delhi nor cared to assume moral responsibility.

People are watching, let the Congress leadership make not make anymore mistake. You would do so only at your peril!

Whatever I say now had already been said by others. It is not my intention at all to take on names and hurt anybody’s sentiments.

I had grown under the shadow of Pandit Nehru and stalwart Congress leaders like Kamaraj, Atulya Ghosh and Sadiq Ali (when I worked at the AICC at Jan tar Mantar Road in the 1960s.

Why I say this is that I am perhaps the only Congressman (from 1962) who had not deserted the party! I was elected as an MLC of the Madras Legislative Council in 1968 and remained loyal to Kamaraj style political culture till his life.

The point is that the Congress party must go back and bring back old ethos.
There must be a generosity of mind, old world loyalties and trusts.

The Congress party today has become a sort of synthetic mix, anybody can walk in and get rewarded and get acceptance as a tic Congress person. There are so many outsiders, rank party defectors, criminals etc.
How odd and how disconcerting!

The short-term measures need to be taken quickly without any further waste of time.
Already some resistance is said to be coming from within. Many have said it many times in past. But now even the weak seem to become bold and bold enough!

Please take a collective decision and remove the deadwood. Don’t carry them till the next elections that might prove to be much more irreversible!

Even in economics, we have to restrict over our sure-fire populism. Experts (like Ruchira Sharma) notes that India in inflation rate is as high as 142 in ranking out of 153 emerging markets. PM can’t have it both ways. He can have the cake and eat it too?

This is a testing time for the Congress and the party must act. Act decisively.
That is the role ideologues within the party must play. Where are the ideologues in the Congress party today?

All you have are time-servers, selfish elements; they accumulate money and wealth within the entire families. One can make a list that would startle anybody. Is Sonia Gandhi listening? This is how questions are asked. All over the country and within the party!

Of course, I have ideas and solutions to revive the party to somewhat old glory.
We must have an active AICC. An intellectually inspiring body of thinkers and activists, a vision and a research and innovative thought wing so that there are some publications that must give the party a cohesive ideological direction.
What is the Congress ideology?

No one knows. All we have are worn out words and phrases people are bored with.
Even now experts say how we perform even on economy, not to speak of foreign policy nor on critical and sensitive issues like secularism etc.

Let us at least now say, nay, proclaim that the Congress party stands for democracy and freedoms. We have to prove to the people and the outside world that India practices genuine democracy and protects freedoms of the citizens.

Already, the USA is said to have written off of the UPA! Other countries might follow.
This could be much more demoralising than the internal squabbles by party insiders and outside elements. Please do not ignore us, the old Congressmen and loyalists of long standing.

Announce a Kamaraj Plan!

Please announce a Kamaraj Plan and let some key ministers and party office bearers, ticket seekers go out and do mass contact programmes and undertake pada yatras!

Please send out men and women to all the states to meet and canvass support on a wider base. In the next few months left, we have to undertake a vast mass contact programme, pada yatras etc. Let a Kamaraj Plan be announced and key ministers resign and go to the grassroots.

In fact, I would say leaders like Sheila Dixit are ideal to bring back the old glories by expanding the core Congress base on a wider circle, the youth, middle classes and the intellectuals and the elite. The Congress must get back credibility and clean image.

I in fact started to say some blunt things. But I refrain for the time being when the wounds are really raw. Let me wait, I say to myself.

On a later date I am willing to travel to the AICC to make a presentation of what sort of revamp that can work for a grand old party like the Indian National Congress. Jai Hind.

Yours sincerely,

V.Isvarmurti
email:help@vcs.com

Any political alternative in India must have a well-defined ideology
Ofcourse, the ground-level realities in the State too matter!

India is at a vulnerable point of time!chandrababu-naidu-295
In the domestic sphere. In the international arena
Our Prime Minister on  one more US jaunt
His countrymen don’t know for what purpose or goal?
No open articulation, no public opinion building either.
Every citizen is in the dark.

An open democracy, an open society should be doing things differently.
Why the system has degenerated?

What else? There is a paucity of talent at the highest level.
Leaders are groping in the dark and no one is able to articulate, think or speak or share ideas and opinions. This, in my view, is a dangerous trend. When we, the people back in the country are reading about the targeted snooping of USA National Security Agency. The Snowden’s latest files revelation shows, reported The Hindu newspaper (September 23,2013) that among the Bric countries, India tops the list in such, if we can say, illegal and unfriendly manner.

And we see that among the Bric countries the one took offence at such unfriendly acts is Brazil and the Madam President, after  20 minute conversation, we believe that Obama initiated,the conversation came to an end without the visit taking off. So, the The Economist magazine article concludes we can take it as the summit, long before planned, was called off.

What about India?
We don’t have the   guts nor even the minimum protest and on the contrary we rush off at the mere mention that our PM might meet only on the “sidelines” a word often used by our diplomats that might mean anything, depending upon your own sense of self-importance or otherwise.So,this is India and it is where we are today in the international arena.

Do we have friends and ideological cousins in the outside world?Who they are,if any?
As I see around and survey the world I find no one is outwardly of course discourteous, who would. No one, of course. But that the same time to any sensible and self conscious Indian of some standing and some pride for being Indian, I find the way our leadership is leading India gives me so many disquiet feelings.

For the simple reason I find that India doesn’t have any well-defined or well-definable set of values to stand by. I was almost to say that we have no values to cling by!

Yes, such is the disarray in which India finds itself.First, the unsettling day to day developments. For instance, take the coal gate files miss case.  Where are we now?

Judiciary in India and China
Is the Supreme Court of India independent enough to pursue the case to its logical end? The guilty would be fixed? The guilty would be published?

See what is happening in a supposedly Communist country like China.
The high profile Bo Xilai is brought to the open court, the trial was conducted in open court, he is now punished and given life sentence,hand-cufffed and led away!

Has the world’s most open and biggest democracy ever brought a minister to book?

The two high profile corruption cases today are the 2-G and the Coalgate files missing cases. The whole country is waiting in bated breath, so to say.

Where do we go from here?

From now to the coming 2014 general elections?
The Opposition BJP party is in a tearing hurry to capture power. Fine. But then there are also emerging dissidence within the Opposition ranks.

Mr.Chandrababu Naidu, the Andhra Leader, had met the President of the BJP Mr.Rajnath Singh and the next day he had also met the non-Congress party leaders  Mr.Sharad Yadav,the president of the JD(U),the Janata Dal and also the CPI leader and also, the senior Communist leader.
Mr.Naidu,is a past master in the negotiations with the Third Front formation and as such many expect Mr.Naidu to forge a Third Front this time too.

The very important point, ideas and thoughts, here before me are: will the Third Front this time produce any viable, real alternative to the Congress and its allies and also to the BJP and its allies?

I have always felt, of course as a long time Congressman myself, that the Indian polity is such, such as it has matured, has also fallen back on some rational political evolution as far as political ideologies are concerned.

Yes, the Congress has a long, 128 year history and traditions.
In its long innings, first it was petitioning body, then after 1900s, under Dadha Bhai Nowroji, R.C.Dutt it came out with a sense of ideology, the long exploitation of Indian economic resources.
This was a powerful theme.

Then came Gokhale and Tilak.This was the second phase. The third phase was when Mahatma Gandhi launched his non-co-operation movement and the breakaway of the three stalwarts who formed the Swarajya Party.

The fourth and last phase, according to my study of events and issues, was the Second World War and the 1942 Quit India movement and the coming of the Cripps mission, finally the partition and freedom.

I have been reading a lot lately about the Second World War, the role of the countries and also the two theatres, one in the West, the other in the Far East.

After a recent visit to China and Philippines only I find lots of new information about how the Second World War was fought and won. The role of Japan, China, Philippines, Burma and India. Here I have so many misgivings.

How our freedom  fighters failed to negotiate with the British   and there is a view, strong view  that India should have properly assessed the war as progressed in the South East Asia, America’s role.

If only India had met and negotiated with the Americans, with Roosevelt (as very much wanted by the Chinese sidesChiang Kei Shek and even Mao who wanted to do so desperately) etc. who knows that India would have remained united today!

Now, why such a long story?
I believe that India, right now, is passing through a poor patch of leadership shortage.India is a mature democracy. Our youngsters of voting age are now in the majority in the population.

But they are young. They might not be quite aware of the very serious news of the trauma that India went thought because of the tragic happening of the India-Pakistan Partition. There is so much pent-up anger at the very many communal passions. The anti-Muslim sentiment is also on the rise, owing to certain recent developments.

McCarthyism: no reconciliation to issues?
I needn’t elaborate.Also the 1984 Sheikh riots are still there.
On the other side, there is no maturity in the present leadership ranks, in both ranks, either to seek reconciliation or some peace initiative.Instead, they talk of temple building or rewarding the suspected rioters.

In this atmosphere, there are also dire warnings from outside the world. In a recent article, a book review (Frontline,Oct 4,2013) A.G.Noorani warns about poor diplomacy that led to many disasters. One he refers, reviewing a book on the US diplomat (John Paton Davies Jr) assigned China in the 1930s to Chiang Kai-shek, the Americans didn’t understand and so the Nationalists lost, the Communists won. Even lately, the Taliban wanted to befriend Mac USA but the Americans (Karl Inderurth) spurned and so they went with the Al Quaeda.

The point is that how India should conduct its diplomacy with the USA.
USA can’t be taken for granted, right?

Our PM’s diplomatic skills?

Or, our own diplomatic culture? Mr.Noorani has much to say and it will pay much for the intelligent reader to know and benefit. The point is that the BJP is very McCarthyism, a sort of divisiveness, not for any reconciliation.

The Congress party on the other hand is becoming more and more authoritarian, more arbitrary and of course totally undemocratic in its functioning. No one individual need to be accused, as it is too late in the date. The situation today is such in both the camps. Now, for the Third Front.

I know Mr.Naidu brielfy, once I had met in Hyderabad and talked with him when he as the AP CM. I was impressed and my impression to this day is that he is the most balanced leader. So too Mr.Nithish Kumar. There are others too.

Third Front ideology:Janata Dal to recapture the democratic values
The point is that the Third Front must have clear articulations about its basic ideology and also its agenda of action, if it is voted to power. The ideology, if I can say so, is what the original Janata party, and then Janata Dal stood for. To do away with thrill that came to haunt the Congress under Indira Gandhi. To restore the old values, democracy, freedoms, secularism etc.

So, a right or left-centrist economics and social agenda. Public- Private Partnership capitalism, of course. To restore the confidence of the foreign investors. To compete with China in economic growth. Inside India and outside India.

Our domestic policy in shambles. Our foreign policy, the less said the better. India is nowhere in the international scheme of things. On any of the major international issues. Why Indians are shy and tongue-tied all the time?

I have already indicated the nuclear deal can wait after the elections. So too the pursuit of corruption in high places cases to their logical end. Pass the Lokpal bill, restore Lokayukta to all states.

With these commitments if the parties approach the electorate, then, it is, in my opinion, a very credible alternative and agenda. I hope this articulation finds echoes across the political divide.

Any political alternative in India must have a well-defined ideology

India is at a vulnerable point of time!
In the domestic sphere. In the international arena. Our Prime Minister on a one more US jaunt. His countrymen don’t know for what purpose or goal?
No open articulation, no public opinion building either. Every citizen is in the dark.
An open democracy, an open society should be doing things differently.
Why the system has degenerated?

chandrababu-naidu1What else? There is a paucity of talent at the highest level. Leaders are groping in the dark and no one is able to articulate, think or speak or share ideas and opinions. This, in my view, is a dangerous trend.

When we, the people back in the country are reading about the targeted snooping of USA National Security Agency. The Snowden’s latest files revelation shows, reported The Hindu newspaper (September 23, 2013) that among the Bric countries, India tops the list in such .if we can say, illegal and unfriendly manner.

And we see that among the Bric countries the one that took offence at such unfriendly acts is Brazil and the Madam President, after 20 minute conversation, we believe that Obama initiated, the conversation came to an end without the visit taking off. So, the The Economist magazine article concludes we can take it as the summit, long before planned, was called off.

What about India?

We don’t have the guts or even the minimum protest and on the contrary we rush off at the mere mention that our PM might meet only on the “sidelines” a word often used by our diplomats that might mean anything, depending upon your own sense of self-importance or otherwise. So, this is India and it is where we are today in the international arena. Do we have friends and ideological cousins in the outside world? Who they are, if any?

As I see around and survey the world I find no one is outwardly of course discourteous, which would. No one, of course.

But that the same time to any sensible and self conscious Indian of some standing and some pride for being Indian, I find the way our leadership is leading India gives me so many disquiet feelings. For the simple reason I find that India doesn’t have any well-defined or well-definable set of values to stand by. I was almost to say that we have no values to cling by!

Yes, such is the disarray in which India finds itself. First, the unsettling day to day developments. For instance, take the Coalgate files miss case. Where are we now?

Judiciary in India and China
Is the Supreme Court of India independent enough to pursue the case to its logical end. The guilty would be fixed? The guilty would be published?

See what is happening in a supposedly Communist country like China. The high profile Bo Xilai is brought to the open court, the trial was conducted in open court, and he is now punished and given life sentence, hand-cuffed and led away!

Has the world’s most open and biggest democracy ever brought a minister to book?
The two high profile corruption cases today are the 2-G and the Coalgate files missing cases. The whole country is waiting in bated breath, so to say. Where do we go from here? From now to the coming 2014 general elections?

The Opposition BJP party is in a tearing hurry to capture power. Fine. But then there is also emerging dissidence within the Opposition ranks. Mr.Chandrababu Naidu, the Andhra Leader, had met the President of the BJP Mr.Rajnath Singh and the next day he had also met the non-Congress party leaders Mr.Sharad Yadav, the president of the JD (U), the Janata Dal and also the CPI leader and also, the senior Communist leader.

Mr.Naidu is a past master in the negotiations with the Third Front formation and as such many expect Mr.Naidu to forge a Third Front this time too.

The very important point, ideas and thoughts, here before me are: will the Third Front third time produce any viable, real alternative to the Congress and its allies and also to the BJP and its allies?

I have always felt, of course as a long time Congressman myself, that the Indian polity is such, such as it has matured, has also fallen back on some rational political evolution as far as political ideologies are concerned. Yes, the Congress has a long, 128 year history and traditions. In its long innings, first it was petitioning body, then after 1900s, under Dadha Bhia Nowroji, R.C.Dutt it came out with a sense of ideology, the long exploitation of Indian economic resources.

There was a powerful theme. Then came Gokhale and Tilak. This was the second phase. The third phase was when Mahatma Gandhi launched his non-co-operation movement and the breakaway of the three stalwarts who formed the Swarajya Party.

The fourth and last phase, according to my study of events and issues, was the Second World War and the 1942 Quit India movement and the coming of the Cripps mission, finally the partition and freedom. I have been reading a lot lately about the Second World War, the role of the countries and also the two theatres, one in the West, the other in the Far East.

After a recent visit to China and Philippines only I find lots of new information about how the Second World War was fought and won. The role of Japan, China, Philippines, Burma and India.

Here I have so many misgivings. How our freedom fighters failed to negotiate with the British and there is a view, strong view that India should have properly assessed the war as progressed in the South East Asia, America’s role.

If only India had met and negotiated with the Americans, with Roosevelt (as very much wanted by the Chinese sides<Chiang Kei Shek and even Mao who wanted to do so desperately) etc. who knows that India would have remained united today!
Now, why such a long story?

I believe that India, right now, is passing through a poor patch of leadership shortage. India is a mature democracy. Our youngsters of voting age are now in the majority in the population. But they are young. They might not be quite aware of the very seriousness of the trauma that India went thought because of the tragic happening of the India-Pakistan Partition.

There is so much pent-up anger at the very many communal passions. The anti-Muslim sentiment is also on the rise, woing to certain recent developments.

McCarthyism: no reconciliation to issues?

I needn’t elaborate. Also, the 1984 Shikh riots are still there. On the other side, there is no maturity in the present leadership ranks, in both ranks, either to seek reconciliation or some peace initiative. Instead, they talk of temple building or rewarding the suspected rioters.

In this atmosphere, there are also dire warnings from outside the world.
In a recent article, a book review (Frontline, Oct 4, 2013) A.G.Noorani warns about poor diplomacy that led to many disasters. One he refers, reviewing a book on the US diplomat (John Paton Davies Jr) assigned China in the 1930s to Chiang Kai-shek, the Americans didn’t understand and so the Nationalists lost, the Communists won. Even lately, the Taliban wanted to befriend Mac USA but the Americans (Karl Inderurth) spurned and so they went with the Al Quaeda.

The point is that how India should conduct its diplomacy with the USA.
USA can’t be taken for granted, right?

Our PM’s diplomatic skills?

Or, our own diplomatic culture? Mr.Noorani has much to say and it will pay much for the intelligent reader to know and benefit. The point is that the BJP is very McCarthyism, a sort of divisiveness, not for any reconciliation. The Congress party on the other hand is becoming more and more authoritarian, more arbitrary and of course totally undemocratic in its functioning.

No one individual need to be accused, as it is too late in the date. The situation today is such in both the camps. Now, for the Third Front.

I know Mr.Naidu briefly, once I had met in Hyderabad and talked with him when he as the AP CM. I was impressed and my impression to this day is that he is the most balanced leader. So too Mr.Nithish Kumar. There are others too.

Third Front ideology: Janata Dal to recapture the democratic values

The point is that the Third Front must have clear articulations about its basic ideology and also its agenda of action, if it is voted to power. The ideology, if I can say so, is what the original Janata party, and then Janata Dal stood for. To do away with the ills that came to haunt the Congress under Indira Gandhi. To restore the old values, democracy, freedoms, secularism etc. So, a right or left-centrist economics and social agenda. Public- Private Partnership capitalism, of course.

To restore the confidence of the foreign investors. To compete with China in economic growth. Inside India and outside India. Our domestic policy in shambles. Our foreign policy, the less said the better.

India is nowhere in the international scheme of things. On any of the major international issues. Why Indians are shy and tongue-tied all the time?

I have already indicated the nuclear deal can wait after the elections.
So too the pursuit of corruption in high places cases to their logical end. Pass the Lokpal bill, restore Lokayukta to all states. With these commitments if the parties approach the electorate, then, it is, in my opinion, a very credible alternative and agenda.

I hope this articulation finds echoes across the political divide.

Sir,

I read Ft regularly. The latest issue of Saturday July 13, 2013 I read on my blog as well in print the next day in India.

On Amertya Se and Jean Dreze, I am afraid what Ramchandra Guha says is only partly relevant and the rest is readable for what it is worth. The book by Sen and Dreze is neither pure economics nor purely policy analysis.

It is also doesn’t boldly face the realities that is India. Now, at this point of time after some 9 years of Manmohan Singh tenure to ask for a more activist state is something of a Leftist bogey. Nor to leave out the real achievements is also to score points over the fellow economists who are now a large number.

India is now compared with China, Sen himself has been doing this for long. China is a Communist country while India is an open democracy. This no one points out again openly. Of course, there are deficiencies in the Indian context. But this is mainly owing to the peculiar nature of the Indian polity where the Congress party head, Sonia Gandhi is exerting disproportionate influence over the governance of the state. It is now governance by ordinance. What India needs is a revival of the governance traditions with of course, the current issues taken into account.

Indian democracy getting stronger with regular five-yearly elections. This is the strongest case for the state as it is evolving. Private sector is gaining ground and this is what is making the economy more stronger.

Even in education and health, two issues on which Sen puts so much emphasis, what he misses is the growth of the private sector. Private schools at the elementary level have given much competition and also in health services, there is a vigorous private medical sector. And more important, there is the latest statistics to show that poverty in India is in steep decline, to almost 16 per cent in some states.

The most backward states include Sen’s own state and where there too his own district (where I went to college at almost the same time as Sen!)it is still much backward where school teachers don’t come in time!

But you see, Sen and Guha confuses what is being done by the government by way of heavy subsidies to a range of services to what is getting done in the pure economic sphere where there is a growing inequality, disparity of wealth. Then, this is a worldwide phenomenon; billionaires are growing in all emerging economies! The point is that there is widespread economic growth in all part of a vast country like India. Let us recognise and welcome this positive development.

V.Isvarmurti,
Chairman,
Vadamalai Media Group
Bangalore, India

Bangalore
Date : 29.06.2013

The Hon’ble Sri Nitish Kumar,
Chief Minister,
Government of Bihar,
Secretariat,
Patna,
Bihar State

Sub: Your break from BJP alliance: what next?  “Nitish Kumar at historic cross-roads!”

Dear Sri Nitish Kumarji,

This is a letter from one of your many admirers and sympathisers. As I often introduce myself to strangers I want to say that I grew up under the shadow of Pandit Nehru and Kamaraj.

I was elected as an MLC to the then Madras Legislative Council, from 1968-75. I had known most of the old time Congress leaders and also most of the then Socialist leaders too. I was a long time friend and associate of the late Chandrasekhar.

Now, I am active in TN politics, very much a Congressman, though the Congress in TN is totally in disarray, more so just now after the Congress came around to vote for the DMK in the Rajya Sabha elections, Mrs.Sonia Gandhi came all the way to TN in a special flight to admit him into the Congress Party!

I may not know about other states, more so in the North. The point is that we live in such a degenerate political culture and you now have to shine like a lonely star on the planet!

So, there must be many to be sceptical as to what is your next direction, your next alignments?

As a thinker and intellectual I can say straightaway, you at a deeper level must stand for some ideas. As one philosopher writes in an introduction to Plato’s Republic that “people live by ideas and the rise and fall of ideas by which people live. Ideas are like freedom and democracy, or justice, citizenship or knowledge “Simon Blackburn: Plato’s Republic” 2006. Again the critical point is that today ideas don’t matter in politics. It is real politik; it is the Machiavellian pursuit of naked and even aggressive power for the sake of power.  So, to come to the point that Rahul Gandhi will be the dynastic heir to the Congress party, a party that had grown for 128 years and survived. If you look at the India’s long past history, this is a drop in the ocean and we can’t be sure whether India will remain united for long. This is a historic question that has to be asked by everyone who wants to play the role of political leaders today.

But then what are your choices?

You have an unenviable task and a challenge. My point is to ask questions and also give some tentative answers, though very tentative to be of any immediate use. You have to articulate your ideological vision. You come from the Gandhi-Nehru tradition and also the JP, Lohia and other Socialists path.

Today, we can’t talk of an egalitarian society vaguely. We have to pitch our tent in a highly corrupt corporate world. Corporate corruption both fostered and protected by an aimless power-seeking enterprise the Congress party has become today.

Most central Congress figures are outsiders, some plain traitors to the cause and most are adventurers. So, you have to have a very broad canvass to seek out regional, ego-centric leaders. They won’t come so easily. The Congress will be your toughest challenger than even your own Third Front partners! Much tougher than even Mr.Narendra Modi.  How to impact the public perception?

About becoming more sensitive to growing corruption and also utter cynicism to do anything about it?

You may have to draft even such public faces like Anna Hazare and other prominent civil society members. How to rouse the middle classes and the youth?

Of course, I am optimistic and also we can draw up an action strategy keeping in mind the new tools of mobilisation, like Face book and other tools. We have also been seeing what is happening in other countries like Turkey and Brazil where popular agitations have taken a new dimension. We have to defend democracy, democratic changes, Constitutional Reforms and Electoral Reforms etc.

A perceptible change is also taking place in public opinion for a serious and credible change in the polity, for a clean and open society in India.  So you might have to work hard at many levels.My one suggestion is to call a think-tank of sorts of broad-minded intellectuals and draw up a civil society-inspired development vision. Secularism and anti-corruption might lose their appeal once the din of power seekers assemble.  So, we have to have some refreshing jargon and new priority agenda of action. Lokpal too has to be carefully put forward. Let the ideas come from the front leaders, from individuals. CMs and other state level heavyweights. So, there must be a broad-based thinking and even some contradictory ideas might do contribute to some orchestration, so to say.

I have attached herewith some of the recent letters I exchanged with some senior leaders here in the South. You might go through the same.

My other journals are also attached herewith for your perusal.

With warm regards,

Yours sincerely,

V.Isvarmurti

Copy to :
1.  Sri Sharad Yadav.P, President, Janata Dal(United), Jantar Mantar, New Delhi
2. Chandra Babu Naidu, Hyderabad, AP.