Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Is Rahul Gandhi A Liability For Congress?
Have you read that story where an arrogant emperor ended up walking down the streets naked? No wonder, you must have. While the story was an interesting read, it also taught couple of fascinating things, besides the standard ‘moral of the story’ that our school teachers told us. First, the cohorts made the emperor believe, he is far bigger than what he was. Second, the cohorts were so afraid to tell the truth that they didn’t finger point when the emperor ultimately ventured out wearing nothing. Third, it took the innocence of a kid to let know the emperor, who the fool is at the end of the day. Now, do you see similarities of this story with the Congress party?
Year 2014 can’t possibly be worse for the Congress party than what it was. They lost every election this year, starting with the mega general elections. Along with the center, they also lost power in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Jammu & Kashmir; most of which they were ruling for quite some time. More than the loss, it is the manner in which they lost them clearly suggests there is something terribly wrong with the party. Even more legendary were the reactions of the party and its designated spokespersons after each of these elections. Multiple electoral losses have left the party members jittered. Now such a time has arrived that the spokespersons are seen euphoric if they even win a single seat. The benchmark has shrunk so low for the Congress that anything less than a complete wipe out looks like an achievement for the party. Just like the emperor, people at the position of decision making in the party are in a denial mode that there is something viciously wrong about the way the party is functioning. The denial has gone so deep into Congress’s blood stream that they are almost naked and it is about time they would walk out for a self-engineered nude parade of their own.
Just imagine Congress party as a corporate that is delivering dismal numbers quarters after quarters. Would the shareholders along with the employees tolerate to see the people who make decisions for such a company to be there? Can you expect the corporate’s board to keep on continuing with someone like, say, the CEO of the company any further? Perhaps not in most of the cases provided the corporate is not a family own and run enterprise. Is Congress party a family run enterprise? May appear so on the face value but actually on paper, it is not. Now how come the party is still continuing with their top leaders, starting with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, and that too failure after failure, is turning out to be the mystery of the 21st century.
After each political debacle the noises heard in the Congress corridors are getting as mundane as it can be. By evening of each result day the party line in general is notoriously blur and stands at – we accept the verdict with all humility (as if they can reject) and will introspect on the loss. Honestly, is there really anything left there to introspect? Even if there is something to introspect, are those who are supposed to introspect, ready to read the writings on the wall? May be not. That is perhaps why, the AK Antony led committee, assigned with the task of finding reasons for the humiliating loss of 2014 general election wouldn’t have blamed everything in the planet except the real causes. You read the report and you would feel as if it is entirely devoid of any reasons. All that it contains are excuses and master ways to turn Ostrich. I am not at all surprised why Congress is dragging itself to oblivion at a fast rate. If excuses are passing off as introspection for the Congress party then no wonder why their political dividends have gone so low.
But the real problem is somewhere else. The problem with Congress party is that they are in a dangerous habit of denial. Running up to the 2014 general elections, they were in a denial that their style of governance, which mostly revolves around minority appeasement, is exactly opposite to what the aspiring and restless youth of the country expects. They thought they would yet again win the election on the plank of doles and freebies like they used to do for decades. But the results turned out sore. Because of this denial, the once flamboyant party reduced itself to a miserable 44 in the assembly. You don’t possibly administer chemotherapy to a polio infected person. But none at the party seems to be learning. And those who are ready to learn, like the gentleman who accused Rahul Gandhi of behaving like a joker, are either thrown out of the party or asked to keep their mouth shut. Post every election the patented jingoism comes from the party that they would bounce back but none that matters ask a very vital question – HOW?
You probably bounce back from conceivable positions. In a race, a person coming at least third can vouch for his bounce back in coming times. Someone who miserably ends up last may never talk of his revival if he is not in the business of erupting laugh riots. Every election that Congress lost, they managed to occupy a precarious third position and at times even the fourth, like in Maharashtra, J&K. In few states, the party even struggled to get to double digits. Does the numbers in single digits erupt any confidence that the party would bounce back in near future? Not that I am worried but for the heck of it, a complex political discourse like ours’ needs a strong opposition. Looking the way Congress is in a self-destruction mode, if no course correction done, it is a matter of time the party will remain relevant only in our history and political science books. So much for being the grand old party, they have already reduced themselves to such irrelevance that they legally no more hold the right to ask for the leader of opposition post in the house. But ask the bigwigs of the party and you will be entertained with all possible excuses except some credible introspection.
That said; all are not playing Ostrich. People like Milind Deora are already been vocal about the real issues. And, I feel he has got all the right to be critical of the scheme of things in his party. Same stands true for Sachin Pilot as well. If one looks at these two young faces of the party and their work as MPs in their respective constituencies, one wonders, why they should lose their elections there. But they lost since people who should be held accountable for the degeneration of their party, are never acted upon. Milind and Sachin are just two examples but in reality there are many hardworking individuals in the party who lost the last election to Modi wave because of the hara-kiri of their party high-commands. But none is pointing his/her fingers at the right direction.
From the spokespersons to the sweeper at the Congress headquarters, all would show their oozing happiness on the way Rahul Gandhi is leading them. But is he really worth the praise he is showered with, much less his leadership qualities? At least the history is not hypocritical here. Every time the nation is up against tough times, the leader in Rahul Gandhi escapes quietly to enjoy his offshore holidays. Call it misfortune of Congress or a well-deserved return – a party animal by mistake is thrown into the complex world of politics and not only that, he was pictured as a massive force in our political spectrum. A man who congratulates the Gujarat women for producing extra milk, someone who finds escape velocity of Jupiter to describe the plight of the poor at the same time accusing their state of mind for remaining poor till date, one who believes in empowering Venezuelan women; is the kind of casual person who is there to lead the Congress party in a bounce back mission. But strange enough, barring few, most find comfort in the leadership of this clueless man, who probably would fail in taking decisions for himself. Smiling sheepishly at the press conference after a humiliating general election loss and then been senatorially dragged away by his mother from the scene is just one instance where the thought process of Rahul Gandhi looked like going haywire. But in reality, Rahul Gandhi is a perfect misfit that Congress party can ill afford at the top, at this moment.
It is for the party men, those who sweat day-in, day-out for the party to decide, how they want to perceive the Gandhi scion. One man’s poison could easily be another man’s food but from the past experience, Rahul Gandhi can at best be a huge liability for the party. They might have their compulsions to continue with Mr. Gandhi the way they are going but the dissent brewing slowly within party ranks point towards the volcano that is waiting to erupt. I am no political guru but the sensible lot, those still left in the party must come forward and ask Rahul Gandhi to step down and let other capable hands to guide the steering wheel. By doing so; more than themselves, they would do a great favor to their party before it vanishes from Indian political scene.
As I said, I am not worried though but a suggestion nonetheless. And, by the way, the sycophantic call for Priyanka Gandhi to take over won’t work. The one thing that can revive the fortunes of the party is some able hands, not the Gandhis, who seem to have lost all their credibility stock.