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Another Misstep


The Congress Working Committee could not get up the gumption to seriously enough address the party’s leadership problem and went into default mode, appointing an interim president in the person of Sonia Gandhi. It seems that, as in the case of its approach to Article 370, it believes arrangements of temporary nature should acquire a permanent status! How do politicians making a claim on the nation’s leadership expect the people to believe they have the capability to take the hard decisions necessary when they can’t make their way through the existential dilemma of the kind they how face after the catastrophic defeat in the recent Lok Sabha elections?
The meeting held to take the decision was little more than a farce anyway. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi recused themselves supposedly to allow free expression of opinion but how was that to happen in the presence of Priyanka Gandhi, a General Secretary who would report whatever occurred, particularly regarding those who committen lese majeste? Everybody knew the meeting was an exercise in futility but the make believe continued anyway.
So, the party is back to square one – all that talk about a generational change with Rahul Gandhi at the helm consigned to the dustbin. Unfortunately for India, so many of the other parties aren’t in a better state to offer a national alternative to the BJP. The Congress needs to reboot itself fast if even a semblance of parliamentary democracy is to remain. It should focus more perhaps on formulating its ideological response to the present day establishment than look for someone who can counter Modi’s hold over the people’s imagination. After all, Modi is himself a product of an ideology and an organisation that focuses on an objective rather than perpetuating some family’s rule.
For too long has the Congress depended on leveraging votebanks instead of building a grassroots party based on its original ideology. It was a lazy approach to practicing politics that rendered it unfit to either understand the people’s mood or their aspirations. It will have to go back to basics and revive itself from the grassroots up. It should focus on a few leaders in every state and party unit who it recognises as having an understanding of its basic ‘Mahatma Gandhian’ ideology of service. Getting out of the gimmickry and lure of social media and ‘Chowkidar Chor hai’ appeals would be a first step. It will be a hard fight but there is no other way.