Dear Sri Motilal Vohraji,
Sub: The working of the Congress party and the image of the government-regarding
I hope this letter finds your attention, given how busy everyone of us is!
I am a Congressman for long, since the time of Pandit Nehru days. I worked under Kamaraj at the AICC when the party headquarters was at 7, Jantar Mantar.
Now, I used to write to Mrs.Sonia Gandhi and one such letter asking her to visit the Tamil Nadu headquarters of the party led her to pay a visit in last March. Till then, no Congress President ever visited the headquarters after the Congress was defeated in the state in 1967!
CWC must think of party and government image. The party is chaos in important states. In TN, it is a big mess.
Now, I want to draw the attention of the CWC members and impress upon them about the long-term consequences for the adhoc ways in which the party functions and the party lost its ideological pretensions whatever!
No big picture unites the workers, they are adrift and there is no effort to keep any touch with the grassroots workers.
It is better we have separate Congress-in-charge for the state parties, as the current ones are all busy ministers and the seniors can’t devote time and energy to do justice. This, the CWC must seriously consider.
Now the UPA-II failing in a steady manner, one crisis or other is gripping the government. One year of the UPA-II is fine but it is not in its full form.
The Prime Minister’s one year end press conference came as a great disappointment, the media and the public opinion so said.
Now, the party is also facing new challenges, old allies are so friendly and new allies are not so reliable. Time only can tell.
As for the government, the Bhopal gas tragedy came in as a new challenge. Now, the PM seems not very keen (or capable?)To come before the country and state the government position. All who matter remain so silent for days together! What sort of government is this, people wonder?
As it is said by noted commentators, the Bhopal could become a Babri Masjid for the Congress!
Now, the PM is on a visit to Canada and who would believe when it is given out as he would patch up with Canada and he would sign a civil nuclear agreement! Now, civil nuclear agreement, or agreements have become an excuse for our non-performance on the foreign front. Our foreign policy lacks all focus and drive and energy.
Political and electoral reforms
As for the other domestic issues, the critical new initiatives are all buried under the carpet, so to say. Economic reforms: where is it and what are they? Political, electoral reforms, even the much-desired Constitutional reforms? They, the reports on these critical areas are lying unattended.
Election corruption, now paid news scandals and many more pressing issues, if unattended, could only accentuate the tensions, could accelerate violence and even perpetuation of the oppressions of the ruling regimes in the states.
Corruption corrodes our ethical and moral stance. Both in politics and in the business, in the corporate world. There is an underlying conspiracy of silence at all levels. This is creating lot of tensions at the levels of intelligentsia and the middle classes.
Just now, I read that when it comes to tackling the biggest corroding factor, namely, corruption India is seen as more a country prone to corruption, the latest, breaching the Home ministry security, the touts to procure even Rajya Sabha nominations for a fee is simply so disgusting, to say the least.
In fact, the latest Rajya Sabha nominations saw such a scramble that it looks Rajya Sabha is a “Rejection Sabha”; all who have been rejected elsewhere are getting nominated. The election is just a farce. Why renominate the same persons for the 20th and even the 30th and scandalous, even for the 40th year of service and loyalty?
What is loyalty? To the party, ideology or the individual?
It is the party ideology, its Centre-Right or Centre-Left positions that need to be defined afresh. The Congress Party today is dominated by new oligarchs; the corporate hold on the party is so visible! The outer layer of aam aadmi, now social sector agenda is really a patchwork of some “pick and choose” populist crumbs!
These populist crumbs are well exploited to the full by the non-Congress state parties, say, like the DMK. The DMK, as other, has fully destroyed the Congress party in Tamil Nadu. So, this trend might only continue, if the Congress party doesn’t have an all India ideological rethink.
I myself am speaking at various state level Congress-sympathetic workers, in Tanjor and Chennai during the coming Kamaraj birthday events.
But then, the real agenda, the real priority of issues and reforms must come from the top.
As I mentioned corruption, I read just now that the OECD, the European economic think-tank, says that India is not a member of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. And India is a highly corruption-prone country and the OECD addressed the G-20 countries about tackling corruption internationally and even the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCaC) can help India.
We all know, the whole country knows how the CBI and other anti-corruption agencies are used and misused in India. This is not doing the Congress party any good, rather too much negative image!
The Congress party is seen as pro-big business, a party of big friends and big funds flow unchecked or unaccounted. OECD says the big foreign investment flows into India also contributes to big bribery.This is true in TN as well.
Yes, big investments flow along with the corrupt state governments
The DMK, the richest party, has bought off all the Congressmen! TNCC leaders are all in the pockets of the DMK!
How the Congress can hope for revival in the state? Reviving the party: who is thinking about this?
The all India leadership must give serious thought to the revival of the party in the state which had given birth to India stalwarts like Rajaji and Kamaraj and others!
So, I urge upon the CWC to establish a monitoring mechanism to monitor the PCCS which should have periodic elections and must have a democratic functioning.
Any person or persons holding on to party posts for too long is an unhealthy practice.
In all my tours I mention openly among the party workers the senior most Congress leaders of the district as the moral mentors of the party and movements.
That way, I bring in the seniors into the party and give them all due recognition and respect by the 125-year old grand party.
Please consider some such monitoring mechanism and consciously remove the known bad elements! That is the only way for the party to grow and get credence and credibility!
We see, as in TN, the parties are all too corrupt, flush with big unaccounted funds and there is no way the Congress can come before the people and present a clean image or a clear ideological commitment on any major issues.
The hidden agendas are all too blatant and other parties only imitate the strategies and tactics of the party.
So, what great appeal the Congress party can have, except the money power and the old appeal as a historic force.
Can India remain a united country? Great question, asked by so many great minds!
Is somebody thinking on these lines and asking some critical questions?
Silence is not an option for leaders! This I have written for long in the weblog, twitter and in our media products. The youth are thinking differently, and there is no guarantee that the party can hope to win elections as we seem to be imagining. Leader must lead from the front. Now, they don’t. Leaders must articulate (now they don’t, they are seen as mum) and inspire and give the people a sense of purpose and commitment for some great ideals and aspirations.
With warm regards,
Copy to all CWC members
Image Source : pccpondy.org