Sharad Pawar juxtaposes his moves with Congress and also with Shivsena and Samajwadi Party!
What really Sonia Gandhi knows about the Congress party position in the States? She depends upon immature and selfish elements as well as undependable allies like the DMK.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar held a meeting with Shif Sena working president Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai. Sources in the Sena claimed the “process of political realignment has been put on the fast track”.
The Sena is already negotiating a deal with the Peasants and Workers Party. The outfit has several pockets of influence in the state. The development must be distressing for the Congress and the BJP as the state accounts for 48 Lok Sabha seats — second only to Uttar Pradesh.
Sharad Pawar and the SP leadership have been plotting a political plan to isolate the two leading national players and create a wider space for the regional parties after the polls. Although the BJP is keen on being part of the proposed Maharashtra grand alliance, both Sena and the NCP are lukewarm to the idea.
The Congress had recently rejected suggestions of the allies to fight the coming round under the UPA banner. This “we can strike out on our own” vanity has only reduced the trust quotient within the ruling side.
Letter to Sonia Gandhi
Date : 24.01.2009
The Indian National Congress,
24, Akbar Road,
New Delhi-110 011
Sub: The Congress party affairs-
Need for a new definition of liberal democracy and open society
I take this opportunity to write to you about the state of the party at the all India level and also in some states, in particular the state of the party in Tamil Nadu.
Just now, I had gone through the book, the “Indian National Congress since Independence” by Prof.Johari and the book is a compilation of all the speeches of the Congress Presidents since Independence.
I was fascinated and touched at the same time by such names and their stirring speeches of such leaders like Pandit Nehru, P.D.Tandon, U.N.Dhebar, Sanjiva Reddy, D.K.Barooah, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sitaram Kesri and of course by your good self.
This is a book that must be made a compulsory study for all ministers and the office-bearers and members of the AICC. Not the least, all the PCC presidents and even the DCC presidents and party enthusiasts and young members of Parliament must go through the pages of this timely book.
I was just recently at the TNCC headquarters, the famed Satyamurthy Bhavan in Chennai and what I saw was a pathetic sight and it almost brought tears to my eyes. I had had such close association with the premises the stalwarts who straddled those steps and halls.
The great Kamaraj and his close followers had adorned the chair there and I myself had had my political training under the great Kamaraj, who was our supreme leader and a great colossus and in his time Tamil Nadu was the bastion of the Congress ideals and visions for the entire country.
Tamil Nadu led the country in some crucial moments of Indian history, the supreme sacrifices of VOC, poet Bharati and others, the very brain power of the Tamil leaders had left its imprint on the ethos of the Indian National Congress. Rajaji and Kamaraj were all India leaders and their wisdom and experience gave the Congress party its unique imprint that touched the lives of millions of the ordinary workers as well as the tall leaders in different parts of the country.
So, when I saw an empty building where there was not a human soul was a terrible experience and a shock indeed!
To cut the story short, I, as a Congress party man for some half a century, I had the privilege of standing near Pandit Nehruji as a student at Santiniketan, I cant think of doing anything else except to give my life and time only for advancing the ideals of Gandhi, Nehru and the number of great men and women who worked for the national movement and the party and they all left their legacy behind without excpeting any rewards for their labour.
Now, I only want to request you to give some thought and even set up a committee of people who don’t have any office on date to go through a process of examination of the ways in which the party could be turned into an all Indian organisation with a new set of ideals and visions and a work schedule.
India is at a critical stage, in the world stage and also inside the country.
The Indian polity is held together not by any well-articulated vision or set of a belief system in a basic ideology.
Our democracy is falwed, there is no basic democratic process at the heart of India, and the parties are not constituted through any ethical and moral principles nor are the government constituted through democratic procedures.
No one, either at the top or at the elite or intellectual levels speaks about what holds India together? What ideology holds India as a people?
I believe we have to articulate a basic ideology. In Nehru’s time there were debates and even ginger groups, under Gulzarilan Nanda, even Indiraji had a ginger group with S.N.Mishra or even there were men of stature like Sampurnanand who discussed the nature of Indian Socialism as it prevailed then. Nehru coined the word” Vedantic Socialism”!
Now, we don’t have any articulation even about our liberal economics.
What our liberalized economic mean to the elite or to the common man? No articulation!
I would say that today Indian democracy is one or it should be one of a robust liberal democratic order.
Liberalism is an old word and we should redefine to suit our times. Or we call it a new liberalism.
Our ethical beliefs must be strong and binding.
We choose persons not based on their service to the nation! How tragic? This patchwork coalition governance where values of all sorts have collapsed. History won’t pardon us.
So my plea for more broad based state units, more broad based AICC etc.
One I think very important is to restore the inner party democracy, autonomy for the state units and a new articulation of the basic ideology of the party.
There must be an ethical core to the party’s ideals and vision.
In this regard, I like to impress upon you that in TN, as a test case, we must allow the state unit to call for a wider base of party old hands to gather and deliberate on the strategic shift we need in TN to make the party to stand apart from the current vie-like grip in which the party is held as a ransom for the DMK help to the Centre.
I don’t want to embarrass you or others. That is not my intention by the least.
But it is also my duty to point out that we can’t run the party affairs as we have managed so far.
After all, no one is immortal and the next generation would surely decide things in their own light. But we have to leave a legacy behind! We have to guide only by moral principles.
Today, the insiders of the party have become the outsiders!
Instead of accommodation and humility the new comers are resorting to disciplinary action and expulsions, or exclusion or ignoring the real people with a mass touch.
Sycophants are crowding the place and the party is losing touch with the impulse of the common people.
I intend to call a meet of the old Kamaraj loyalists. I like to request you to give your consent to gather the Kamaraj followers in the premises of the Satyamurthy Bhavan for exchange of views as to what should be the party’s future course in TN. This is mora symbolic gesture than anything else. That much I can assure you.
I hope you would give thought to what I have articulated here and allow us to gather in the historic premise as a token of our dedication to revive and revitalise the party as a great democratic force.
I have attached herewith a column I wrote for my weblog (www.isvarmurti.com) for your immediate attention.
With warm regards,
Photo Courtesy : www.blog.beboindia.com