The throne of Delhi is there to capture in 2019 but how far could a major political party fall?
It’s a question that bothers every Indian who has enjoyed an iota history from India’s Freedom Struggle to India’s March to Freedom. These are the testing times for Congress Party, Nehru family and country’s future. The party is shut out of power and there is no light at the end of the tunnel for the moment at least. Approval rating of Congress Party is sinking per diem. Worse still, at a time when AAP seems to register a come back to power, the party’s top brass of Congress are reduced to sober caricatures of its glittering past. Puzzled and worried, the next generation of leader stars are scattering in unknown directions. Nothing seems to be going right for Congress.
Is it the end, the beginning of the end or a temporary phase of dip that has come to pass?
Apart from its own history of Congress Party, the curious landscape of world politics is dotted with exceptional comebacks. In 1964 the Republican Party had lost miserably. Americans voted for huge Democratic majorities — 295 House seats, 68 Senate seats, and 33 governorships. President Johnson was the shining star. The Republican Party, in those days, was lead by extremist conservative Barry Goldwater and crowd of tired punters.
Within two years, Republicans took back 47 House seats, 3 Senate seats and 9 governorships. Richard Nixon was once known a defeated horse of presidency races in 1960 and California’s governorship in 1962. He turned the tables and led the party to victory in 1968.
Is there a lesson for Congress Party in this change of destiny?
Congress has to dispense with its feudal style. The Indians are no longer willing to be put on doles. They want participation – not only in sharing the bounties but also in the process of creating those bounties. Gone are the days of NETA MASTERS used to come in limousines with outriders, giving fake smiles and repeat speeches.
Rahul has already failed miserably and there is no point in falling into the same trap that lead to disasters. With Vadra reputation haunting every vote capturing genuine smile of Priyanka, that option of new lead is fused. Nehru Family could remain as emotional symbols but they are nothing more. New leadership has to be groomed if the Congress Party still aspires to make a comeback.
Narendra Modi is a very sharp and astute politician. He is backed by RSS, an organization which could go to any depths of opportunism to make towards its goals.There is hard battle ahead. Congress leadership needs the exact political perspicacity and perspicuity for comebacks. The countrymen would again appreciate the genuine confessions, apologies and redressing efforts but Congress has to re-invent itself. You can’t win tomorrow’s battle with yesterday’s methods.
The hope also lies in the fact that BJP had stumbled into power because of the mistakes by the Congress Leaderships. BJP has hardly any glittering past to boast about or great policies of project.
The Indian National Congress has a golden history of the pre-independence era, when the party was at the forefront of the struggle for independence. It has done a lot of good things for the nation in the post-independence era also. The nation of India and the Indian National Congress are intertwined with the golden threads of struggles of destiny of Common Indian. Indian National Congress has given the greatest leaders of Indian history. Before the Gandhi Era came leaders like Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Mohammed Ali Jinnah (later leader of the Muslim League and instrumental in the creation of Pakistan). The Congress had Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Chakravarti Rajgopalachari, Jivatram Kripalani and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
After the first war of Independence 1857 that was fought under the leadership of Emperor Bhahdur Shah Zafar, the mantle of Indian nationalism and the feeling of Freedom was taken over by Mahatama Gandhi. Indian National Congress became a forceful mass organization in the country, bringing together millions of people by specifically working against caste differences, untouchability, poverty, and religious and ethnic boundaries. Indian National Congress had members from virtually every religion, ethnic group, economic class and linguistic group.
After the brutal murder of Gandhi in 1948, Jawaharlal Nehru, Patel and Moulana Azad were the only remaining iconic national leaders. They embraced secularism, socialist economic policies and a non-aligned foreign policy, which became the characteristic of the modern Congress Party.
Under the leadership of JP, Congress was temporarily cornered. However, in the 2004 general elections, the Congress coalition had won the largest number of seats and upset the Atal Behari Vajpayee led National Democratic Alliance, which was variously predicted to win complete victory or at least emerge as the largest alliance.
I am willing to believe that Congress Party has resilience and sagacity. Only, they have to learn to adjust and lead. Though the poll projections are showing dismal and dreary tomorrow for Congress, I guess that Congress would cross the first tenor at least.
Indians know how to punish but they are also blessed with the virtue of forgiveness.
By: Naim Naqvi