– Rituparna Dave
Sometimes it seems that the Congress has deviated from the target, sometimes it seems that there is a ray of hope left. But the truth is that with time, the mandate tells the status of the good. Be it party or politician. Today, after the victory in Karnataka, the Congress may be under the illusion of being full of energy, but this bitter truth has to be accepted that the interest of the general public is increasing day by day in other parties. Call it an extension of regionalism or the irony of such a national party, which had ruled the entire country for years as a single entity, got trapped in its own trap long ago. It got entangled in such a way that it is not known when the tangled knot regarding Congress will be resolved in the mind of the public. This question is very important and even political pundits would not be able to understand that what will be the product?
The politics of the country and the mature thinking of the voters have made all the claims and strategists bite the dust many times. Despite the very short time gap between the general elections and the state elections, the different results are a testimony to this. A strong democracy and the people who have become even more sensible are very cautious while drawing the future blueprint of their thinking and parties. In front of this, big maths and equations also fail. The Congress, which has lost the old methods of public concerns and door-to-door dialogue, is looking forward to the charisma of social media and reels, memes to be face to face with the people, which is even more difficult in the new era.
The truth is that the party which has gradually forgotten the purpose and ideology of its establishment, how much and what kind of expectations should people expect from it in the future? The leaders of the Congress should be worried about the reasons for which the interest of the people is decreasing. But it is reverse. Those who are proud of their old status and status do not forget to forget. Perhaps this is the reason why the Congress is failing miserably in connecting itself with the people across the country. Barring one or two provinces as an exception, there is nothing concrete to be seen about the position of the Congress in the future. The manner in which the government came to power in Madhya Pradesh, there are examples of many states (including Goa and some others) in the past, new forms of discord were seen in Rajasthan while the government was in power, despite opposition unity in Maharashtra, there is a feeling of carelessness about the coalition breaking. It seems that there is neither churning nor thinking about organizational strength in the party. One by one, the way veterans and satraps were fleeing from Congress, many questions were raised. But even after knowing the secret hidden in the depths, why could the unknown leaders not be able to make those reforms which are most important for any party.
The biggest truth is that where there is no discipline, the situation itself becomes uncontrollable. Acceptance of leadership is most important whether it is top or village, town, ward, city, city, province and center. Rahul Gandhi being made the national president for the first time and resigning immediately after the defeat of 2019 may have been a personal political decision, after that Sonia Gandhi becoming the interim president may be an internal matter, but it is a failure to understand the message sent to the public. Had to pay a very heavy price. It is true that there was a time when Sonia Gandhi could have become the Prime Minister if she wanted. But by not doing so, he gave a big and bold message to the opposition and other parties. It is a different matter that in those days the Prime Ministers were even called rubber stamps. Actually any party flourishes only through internal democracy. It gradually ended in the Congress. Today Mallikarjun Kharge is the head of the Congress. He has his own political phase, how it will look like ahead, will have to be left on time. Yes, such decisions should have been taken a decade, a decade and a half ago. But the exact opposite happened, the Congress party started to appear completely confined around the Gandhi family. Maybe this was the mistake. What happens in politics should not be visible, but what was seen here happened.
One has to look at the past of the Congress as well. In 1939, Subhash Chandra Bose defeated Pattabhi Sita Ramaiah, who was Mahatma Gandhi’s candidate, in the presidential election. Gandhiji considered it a personal defeat. Thirteen members of the Working Committee, including Patel, Nehru, resigned accusing Subhash Chandra Bose of dictatorship. Along with this, Bose is not allowing the Congress to run normally in his absence. Meanwhile, the controversial statement of Subhash Chandra Bose created a lot of panic in which he called Gandhi’s supporters brainless. The working committee asked Bose to apologize for his statement. Congress session held in Tripuri, Jabalpur from 8 to 12 March, 1939 in which Gandhiji was absent to say but happened what he wanted. Govind Ballabh Pant proposed on behalf of 160 members of the All India Congress Committee that the Congress would move forward on the path of Gandhi. On March 10, the subject committee passed the bill by 218 votes against 135. This was against Article 15 of the Congress Constitution as the President, who was Bose, had the power to form the Working Committee. Due to this, there was a lot of uproar in the session between Subhash’s supporters and opponents.
When this news spread across the country, Tagore asked Gandhiji, who was then on a fast, to intervene. A sad Tagore wrote a letter to his former personal secretary that “Fascist teeth have emerged from the hallowed platform from which the chants of freedom should have resounded.” This reflected his pain. He had a special speech on Azad Hind Radio in 1944. Everyone was waiting. People thought that the freedom struggle would be free from Gandhi. But when Subhash Babu, dressed in military uniform, started addressing the nation, he spoke a little, then stopped and then said that the Father of the Nation “Your blessings are needed in the fight for the freedom of India. On hearing this, everyone became emotional. Then it was the attitude and passion of the leaders in which patriotism was reflected in full measure. Two ideologies but one goal.
At the same time, when Bapu came to know about Bose’s plane crash, he said, “There is no other patriot like him, he was the prince of patriots.” In his article in Harijan dated February 24, 1946, Gandhiji writes, “The spell of the Azad Hind Fauj has fallen on us. Netaji’s name is resounding throughout the country. He is the ultimate patriot. Despite a million differences, all bow before patriotism.” Used to be visible Then this was the strength of the Congress.
Such was the then Congress formed on 28 December 1885 with the thoughts and efforts of AO Hume, a retired Scottish officer. But the sad thing is that he did not get the status of the founder while he was alive, which he got after his death in 1912. Certainly, the contradiction in the Congress regarding its mission and programs is not new. This difference between then and now slowly started becoming a canker for the Congress. Hume’s Congress after independence, passing through Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi through Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi is now in the hands of Mallikarjun Kharge.
Certainly two strong parties in any country are very important for the strength of democracy. But the way the role of regional parties is increasing in India, it seems that sometimes this party will progress and sometimes that. Perhaps Rahul Gandhi was taught the right lesson by his warlords who improved his image by really trying to connect with the country through Bharat Jodo Yatra. But the question is that when will the internal democracy in this political party be like before? And whether Rahul Gandhi will be able to heal the pain spilling over due to other reasons after the parliamentary disqualification during foreign tours. The answer is hidden in the depths of the future. However, factionalism, infighting and more than that, will the Congress be able to come out of the role of leadership versus supremo?
(The author is a freelance commentator.)
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