Friday, February 7, 2014
Counting The True Leaders Of Our Political Parties
Yesterday I happened to watch a debate on Times-Now during primetime. The usual suspects were all there to contribute their sound bites along with Arnav Goswami, the anchor. I had said this many times in the past and doing it one more time – Arnav must learn the art of conducting debates which unfortunately for him is allowing the participants to put forward their point of views by doing most of the talking; not consuming more than half of the time yourself in jolting out your own theory. This change in Arnav becomes more radical when one pays the participants to get engaged in some high quality mudslinging. Dear Arnav, a piece of pleading, if you want to call it that way but please let the participants talk for God’s sake, we can have your blabber later. Nevertheless, we are not here to discuss Arnav, if at all he has got anything to discuss. So let’s move on with the core agenda of the blog.
With all flaws that Arnav may have, we must admit, he is not entirely sold out yet. Unlike many from his brethren, he at least picks up topics that certainly are not aimed at helping his paymasters. Yesterday’s topic couldn’t have come at a better time when there is literally a vacuum vis-à-vis having a true leader. This goes true with most of the political parties, barring a couple at best. Except few regional outfits like BJD, JD(U) and to some extent BJP, there seems to be a drought in every party when it comes to leadership. Derek O’Brien may vehemently disagree but Mamata Banarjee is no leader either. For me TMC is one big family where the lady of the house has all the say, including what to be cooked in dinner. Others seldom have a say, either out of fear or by mechanism. So it hardly matters in such a scenario if you have a leader or not. All that expected of the team is to blindly follow the perpetually designated queen without uttering a word like a hoard of ship. You can club the BSP and to some extent even DMK and AIADMK to this notorious category of Mamata Banarjee types.
Ditto could be said about Congress, except that, at least Mamta Banarjee is a self-made politician whereas Sonia Gandhi was offered everything on a platter. She never had to sweat a drop to get what she is enjoying for last 10 odd years. That said she at least had to impress Rajiv Gandhi at some stage of her life unlike Rahul Gandhi who inherited the empire by the sheer luck of being born to the Gandhi family. Thanks to the congregation of jokers in Congress, RG not only inherited the mantel but he never had to prove if he is worth of all that. The sycophants always ran around crazy in praise of RG even though he continued to fail in every step of his.
Next in the debate was the Samajwadi Party. Knowing the core ideology of SP, one wonders if this party really needs a leader to begin with. When the ideology becomes and remains limited to fraudulent acts and mass scale Mafiosi, you seldom require a leader to manage the party. All that you need is a crook with no vision but sharing the same rotten mindset as mentioned above to preside over the bunch of crooks below him. And that precisely what SP as a party is doing since its inception. If one feels, master crosiers like Azam Khan or Raja Bhaiya really need a leader to inculcate leadership qualities in them then there is something fundamentally wrong in his understanding. True leaders take you through the path of glory which staves of SP rarely appreciate or need. All that they need is someone there to act as SPOC and defend them in all thick and thin. And that is what Akhilesh Yadav is pretty much doing or his notorious father used to do when he was at the helm. So in nutshell – a party like SP doesn’t need a leader since a true leader would go strongly against the ethos of the party. And as it is, it hardly matters if SP has a leader to their credit or not. For them a leader is someone who is a master at taking 'U' turns.
Last participant on the debate was the BJP. To be honest, this other national party was in disarray just 8 months back. There were groups and factionalism peeping within the top layer with stalwarts like Advani mentoring as the chief trouble and controversy manufacturer. To support the nefarious intent of this grand old man of the party, other partisans like Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitly were turning out more than handy when required. There were way too many infighting going around and there were way too many dirty linens getting washed in public every second day. Nitin Gadkari was rapidly proving himself a gross useless, even though RSS thought him to be otherwise when they installed him as the chief, post the 2009 general election drubbing. When things looked getting settled down a little post Rajnath Singh’s appointment, Advani yet again propelled his long standing wish of becoming the PM. Not to mention, this wish of Advani divided the party right in the middle. There were some strong supporters of Advani who wanted the old man to fulfill his one last political wish before he bids goodbye. While at the same time there were few others with the opinion that Advani squandered his opportunity when he lost badly in 2009. Looking at what happened in 2009, a younger and more deserving candidate must be bestowed with the opportunity this time around. Narendra Modi winning the Gujarat election one more time and that too with thumping majority didn’t help Advani or his supporters. First NaMo was appointed as the poll panel head of BJP, giving an excuse to the opportunistic Nitish Kumar to break away from NDA. That cleared the last roadblock to anoint Modi is the PM candidate of NDA. Though sulking and licking their wounds, the faction of Sushma Swaraj, Jaitley and Advani finally relented to party’s stand. Well not before Advani played some resignation-resignation game though.
And look how NaMo has transformed the party’s fortune in a matter of six months. If the latest exit polls are of any pointer then one can understand what a true leader does to the party’s prospects. He not only elevates the party image but also many others who solely depend on the party’s image for their own electoral success. Before NaMo’s anointment, BJP was struggling at meager 140-150 projected LS seats, even after Congress making truck load of blunders. While now within six months the number stands at a staggering 220-230. The addition of close to 100 seats, that too in such quick time speaks volume of the impact of a forceful leader. Those 100 extra who are appearing to be benefiting from NaMo’s leadership must consider themselves lucky since they themselves never did anything to turn around their opulence. It was the impact of the leader they chose and showcased their faith with his leadership.
Exact reverse is happening with Congress during the same period. The image of the party has got such a beating that even the genuine candidates of the party are in the verge of losing their deposits, come the counting day. The lack of leadership within the party is also not helping the cause either. A reluctant dramewaz at the helm is affecting their electoral prospects adversely. Such uninspiring and clueless Rahul Gandhi is for his party and his party men. While one leader continues to propel his party on the way of victory with his leadership qualities the other is running away from taking any kind of responsibilities and busy with his usual gimmickry all around. There was a time when a too impactful Indira Gandhi made many of the party lose patience with respect to their future and migrated away and somewhat made a niche for themselves in regional satraps. And now it is another era where a completely uninspiring individual forcing the leaders within his party to see nothing but huge black holes of their future. If the scenario continues with the party; if the sycophants don’t realize where the interest of the majority of party men lies then I am sure there won’t be many left in Congress in next five years.