Date : 06.01.2007
Indian National Congress,
10, Jan Path, New Delhi-1100001
Sub: Indian National Congress-122 year celebration-regarding
I take this opportunity of sending you the greetings on the occasion of the 122 years celebration of the Party, that took place at the AICC headquarters.
My thoughts ranged far and wide, as I had had my years, though a brief few months, but nevertheless the momentous time when the great stalwarts were presiding over the party. I served under the then President, the great Kamaraj, the treasurer of the party, Atulya Ghosh, and the General Secretary, Sadiq Ali and others.
I was privileged to work during the 1967 General Elections and as such I was moving closely with all the great persons, Mrs.Indira Gandhi and Moraji Desai were very much regularly attending the Working Committee meetings. Oh, that was perhaps, the last great time when the party was united and presented a formidable front. Alas! Then things changed, the party lost in many states, Kamaraj himself lost to an unknown student!
So, the point here is not to waste your precious time.
I am forwarding herewith the two issues of my journal, School, where I have dealth with the Congress party’s 12) odd years many phase of evolution. The lectures of the Rt.Hon.V.S.Srinivasa Sastri in a book form offered me the opportunity to review the same and the thought occurred that I should share with you some of my present thoughts, more so as they pertain to Tamil Nadu.
I see the party is nowhere in the state and the TNCC leaders are now the most embittered lot, so divided and so aimless and they have in effect fallen victims to the machinations of the wily Mr.Karunanidhi, the Chief Minister. The CM has a proven track record to destroy the Opposition parties; the current turmoil in the MDMK is one instance, the latest. What pained me more is the fact that the TNCC President is now going around as if he is one more propagandist for the CM! He undertook a jeep-driven propaganda, of all topics, for the VAT regime which is opposed by the strong merchant community of the Nadars, one key component in the OBC politics of the state.
There is also the dynasty building; around the TNCC headquarters I found the banners in which you and Rahul Gandhi along with the TNCC President and his son projected as if the emerging reality in the state! It all looked vulgar, to say the least!
I hear so many senior Congress leaders tell me in private that you haven’t visited the headquarters for years etc. Now, the point is that after all TN was once the bastion of the Congress movement and even now, there is an undercurrent of nationalism in the state, it only gets suppressed by the barrage of TV and tabloid propaganda of the CM’s family owned Media Empire. Yet, given a chance, we could recapture power in the state, if certain minimum number of things done, minimum conditions is created.
One suggestion, only one suggestion that I want to put before you is this:
Why don’t you introduce at least, say, a 50% elected elements in the composition of the TNCC and the DCCs? Such a step will give impetus to party workers and grass roots workers to stir themselves into action. As of now, no one works no incentive for any spontaneous work for the party!After all it is human nature that persons who would work would expect some recognition, some reward.
One more suggestion: TN is a highly distorted state with Tamil language pride as well as a separatist political rhetoric. This we can’t wish away. So, my suggestion is that we must constitute a broad based non-party but nationalist sympathy-driven advisory group from Tamil scholars, writers, intelelctuals, experts and journalists and others with women, youth adequately represented. That would create a conducive climate for the party’s many broader objectives.