The advantage with a political party not being a proprietorship is that it can function autonomously at many levels. The ‘High Command’ plays a supervisory role, allowing a ‘hundred flowers to bloom’. This is why, while there may be problems at one level, the rest of the party can continue to function and address local issues locally. This is why, even as the BJP Government at the Centre faces a major crisis owing to the protest against the farm laws, its National President has launched a nationwide tour from Uttarakhand, its West Bengal unit picks up its campaign against Mamata Didi and, even the campaign for the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation is fought with vigour, notwithstanding. The party is taking full advantage of being in power by launching into areas where it has traditionally not been a player. It continues to fine-tune its ideology to suit the changing times.
Compare this with the Congress, the only other party with a national footprint, in which all members need to continuously keep looking up to the ‘family’ to obtain a green signal for just about anything. Its leaders can neither articulate its ideology, nor anticipate political developments. It just hopes that it will be present as the alternative when the BJP makes a mistake. Unfortunately, the slack is being picked up by regional parties, who on their part lack a platform for national cohesion. As has been seen often enough, this can lead to marriages of convenience, but by no means governments with policies and objectives.
As matters are developing, it is increasingly being seen that strategies are being formulated in foreign lands to take advantage of this situation. There have always been forces in India that have held common cause with external agencies, such as the traditional devotion of the Communists for the erstwhile USSR and present day China. The failure of Indian parties to grow beyond sectional interests has meant they are forced to rally around causes that have a subterranean agenda. Unwitting, they are becoming complicit in anti-Indian agendas. And then they take umbrage when the BJP targets them for being ‘anti-national’. It is true that there is the five-year election cycle that restricts long-term planning, but in the present difficult circumstances, it is just as imperative to rebuild from the grassroots, no matter how long it takes. This is possible if the party functions as a collective instead of a closely held proprietorship.