A touchy question. No one asks and no one seems to be anywhere near to come near attempting an answer either!
The party is in clear decline. It is a leaking boat or a sinking ship. The signs are ominous.
Mrs.Sonia Gandhi is clearly not interested in the job.
See, even after one month passed since it got a drubbing in UP and Uttarkhand and also lost the opportunity in bidding for power in Goa and Manipur, she never bothered to call for an immediate meeting of the CWC or the other bodies to deliberate the causes and take suitable remedial measures.
She just vanished away from public view. And yet we are also seeing everyday antics, if we can say so, by Congress party members in the Rajya Sabha where the senior members haven’t done any great thing except to draw the wrath of the Chairman or Deputry Chairman for not following established rules of the House business.
Also, as if to add to our dismay we see some weak remarks, neither in the name of any new idea or any substantial reflections from the former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh.
Yes, Singh is an expert, his expertise in economics, finance etc. Not in politics and governance. Even the latest Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report of Parliament indicted the former PM for being “evasive” on many crucial decisions ,from the Commonwealth Games to other big projects and so the heavy loss to the exchequer.
In a book release function in Delhi the learned scholar-turned political leader has warned of “disastrous consequences, by quoting, of all people, the great inscrutable Mao Zedong! To tell the Indian audience that the Chinese leader said something about the French Revolution! And we should be beware of such a warning.
What does that warning mean?
Does Singh imagine that India might face a situation like 1789 French society and politics? A Revolution? Singh’s fears or predilections? We can just ignore such lazy talks or murmurs!
Such serious topics demand certain gravitas and certain deeper reflections! Not harmless book release functions that are dime a dozen in Delhi!
It is an irony, no, a tragedy of great day and time when the country cries for a robust democratic polity, the Congress leaders are indulging in small nitpickings!
The Congress today has become almost an ICU case from which there doesn’t seem to recover so easily.
Take the party’s functioning in the states. In many states, the party doesn’t exist. my own state, Tamil Nadu, a state once known for the great leaders like Rajaji and Kamaraj and many luminaries in law and administration, both in the pre-independence and post-independence times is today in a pathetic position.
The recently seen AIADMK party split led to many comical scenes. A by-election was held in a Chennai city constituency where the split units contested elections that was marked by large-scale money distribution to voters.
The dominant wing of the AIADMK mobilised funds as much as Rs.90 odd crores, the distribution was so meticulously planned that the Income-tax department raided the premises of the ministers and caught the funds distribution red-handed and so the election was post-poned by the Election Commission.
Where was the state Congress party? What its leaders were telling the voters?
The PCC President, a rank outsider and turncoat to boot, said that the DMK would be winning! Is he a PCC leader or an agent of the DMK. The Congress party in the state is now led by party defectors and actresses! In Delhi one actre, namely Nagma participates for the protesting farmers and in the state the party is inactive and simply witnessing the Armageddon of blatant money distribution that led to the cancellation of the very election!
AIADMK, a new phenomenon!
In fact, I like to tell the readers outside Tamil Nadu, that a candidate like T.T.V.Dinakaran who contested the by-election, I don’t see as an individual. He is a phenomenon, along with the incumbent minister, the duo make up the new phenomena in Indian electoral politics.
So, even after the demonetisation and the huge claims made by the Prime Minister Modi and his colleagues, we can say with some certainty that it is still possible to mobilise big black money hordes as done by the AIADMK heavyweights.
Now, the Income Tax Dept has indicated that it would call some six ministers to find out how they had so much money collected to distribute to the voters. Including the incumbent Chief Minister is cited as one more member in this list of ministers to be examined by the Income Tax Dept!
So, there must be now real action at the electoral reforms after all this comical election battle, if we can so call it! We have surely reached the lowest common denominator in Indian election politics. So, it is time to really act and do something radically. Who would take the lead? In all fairness, we can say that the Congress party must do this job.
Their leaders, some of the most competent lawyers and experienced politicians are ideally placed to come out with some definite electoral reforms. Manmohan Singh can lead from the front. That would also add legitimacy to their image as a party of some weight and character.
This, the Congress party must now do as a top priority. Instead, they seem to be preoccupied with some other agenda. May be they are hesitant by the fact that Sonia’s mind is not in such activities. She might be only intent on promoting her son and that is what is limiting the initiatives on a wider front.
It is for independent voices to articulate what needs to be done to reform the electoral system and punish and prevent the freebooters like the ones who manage to collect huge some, all black and unaccounted and that goes unnoticed by those who care and who are committed to do things as the situation demands.
Where are the leaders from Delhi?
What Sonia Gandhi is doing? Where is Manmohan Singh?
They didn’t stir out for one full month after the disastrous defeats in the Assembly elections?
Are there people yet in India who chooses to put their trust in Sonia Gandhi’s capabilities?
Can anyone even within the party can come out in the open and say this?
It is time she makes a graceful stand-aside and makes way for a change for others.
And the very former Prime Minister talks in a glib manner about French Revolution and Mao Zedung. The book that was released is all about cultivating hope in a challenging democracy! Irony and it is a supreme irony indeed.
The author of the book is none other than an one-time minister who had the audacity to correct the CBI report on the role of the then Prime Minister in the coal scam!
What we want to say here is that the leaders, however big or powerful he or she might be, must be persons of some basic credibility. They in their own roles, in various capacities and various roles must be observing some basic ethical and moral standards. Every one of us needn’t become the Mahatmas. We should at least be seen as persons of some moral calibre.
You lie blatantly, you do the wrongs knowing well this may rebound on you one day and also seen as leading a very self-imposed restrained life and look and do things in an ethical manner. You should not give yourself seemingly some undeserved luxuries of government bungalows and security that doesn’t really deserve your present position, right? Only when you go around in Delhi you realise how much public money is squandered in the name of protocol and keeping up forms and show!
I can’t be a mute witness to the destruction of the party that was built by great sacrifices. So, I am a bit restless and bitter in some respects. I can’t keep myself silent beyond a point.
Hence these rather seeming some harsh words. I have no intention to hurt anyone’s feelings and self-image. But then my self-image is not made by me alone. It is also made by others who view me and judge me for what I am really worth.
The outward image of the high offices would go away one day ,for sure. I would then be viewed for what I have done or what I had false imagined that I am worthy of what I imagine myself to be a person of some intrinsic value.
Sonia Gandhi seems to have arrived at her last phase as the leader of the Grand Old Party. It is time a new leadership change is brought about.
The way the party is agonising at the dilemma it finds itself is very discomforting to say the least. I look at the Indian history in a long-term perspective. The long past and also the long future.
India has now emerged as the world’s largest democracy. But the world’s largest democracy at what height glory?
As I have said often that when Pandit Nehru was at the helm it used to be said that India counted in the world forums. India mattered. But now? When India has grown strong economically and expanded in many areas of technology and trade, when the world itself had transformed what is the stature of India?
India has suddenly fallen silent, even after Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come about and gone around the world. Why this stoppage and what are Indian foreign policy priorities?
Take for instance the latest bombing of Syria on its own citizens. The chemical bombings killed some 90 off people, mostly civilians and children the visuals of which had shocked the whole world. A great democracy, India, didnt raises its voice! For that matter the heirs to Pandit Nehru’s legacy, the Congress party leaders, the seniors and learned persons like Manmohan Singh even dint give any statement.
What sort of message the Congress party is sending out? It is still in confusion whether to raise Rahul Gandhi as the new leader or postpone the decision? How long can you postpone? You have been indecisive for far too long. It reaches a breaking point, right now!
Time and tide don’t wait for anyone, right?
With a deep sense of moral responsibility and commitment, I say here these words.
It is of course hard to digest but the reality is so bitter. I feel that Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and now they, the party insiders, also throw in now and then the name of Priyanka Gandhi as the three key strategists for the party to draw up plans for the next round of elections. This is unacceptable for a wide section of the part. They are lightweight. Let us see things realistically. The family might have predigree but no credibility or capacity whatever to lead the party any further. The BJP is strong and could only become stronger. Modi’s stature has grown and his oratory, commitment and leadership qualities already are drawing people, more so, from the Congress party, to make BJP almost invincible for quite some time.
Neither have they any moral stature nor any education and other qualifications to articulate new ideas or policies. Modi is already talking about, not 2019,but 2020!
As it is, they are heavily protected and hidden from public view and interaction. They are also already becoming inaccessible. They have to live like that for the rest of their lifetime, it seems..So, what chance is there for them to come out and interact and mingle with the crowds and otherwise.So9,let us see common sense and start deliberating honestly.
Otherwise, other events might push things in an unpredictable manner. This is history that could only repeat itself!
So, the time has come for the party to face the realities. Some leader or some rebel must break this self-imposed punishment and come out openly against Sonia Gandhi and context for a new leader who should be elected as the new party President.
Please don’t create an impossible situation that can’t be tolerated anymore.
All subtle and not so subtle warnings have gone unnoticed. This time it might prove to be rather explosive!