old dramA!
   Date :15-Mar-2022

old dramA
THE Congress party is playing out an old drama on an oft-repeated theme -- with one difference. This time, rumour did the rounds for a while that the Gandhi family had expressed desire to resign. But then, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) played out its old drama -- of rejecting the resignation offer. So, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi will continue as Working President until the party polls are over. And yes, she has promised to take corrective steps to help the party come from the debris of the recent electoral demolition. Once again, thuds, the party is back to square one. True to their form and content, the Group of 23 leaders raised their voice and even predicted and demanded a change in the party leadership as well as in the overall organisation. But then, Rajasthan Chief Minister Mr. Ashok Gehlot rose to make a demand again -- that Mr. Rahul Gandhi must return as party chief. In the next some days, a massive chorus will go up in the air supporting Mr. Gehlot’s demand. That is also an old drama being played out with the same old theme and the same old plot. That is Congress -- eternally sick from a disease of its own making, unable to come up with creative solutions to solve the problem, and more fundamentally.
To make matters worse, the party’s rank and file and its leadership together refuse to consider what the problem could be. So, some blame the Gandhi family for the mess, while some blame everybody else but the Gandhis for the continued reverses it has met with in recent times. Outside the party, in the general public, the actual impression is that the Gandhi family has destroyed the party. This is an immature impression, though. For, when the party keeps demanding continuance of the Gandhi family at the helm, then who is also at fault besides the Gandhis? But the general public misses this detail and blames the Gandhi threesome. Of course, the Gandhis are to be blamed squarely for the party’s current condition. They have proved their ineptness in multiple ways in the past decade-and-a-half. They even threw out those who had the courage of asking uncomfortable and straight questions. To the G-23, too, Mr. Rahul Gandhi had called as BJP stooges. The attempt was obviously to thwart dissent -- by calling bad names. That is not leadership by any definition. But that is all the Gandhis happen to know. True, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi may have been a shade better than her two children. For, she headed the party for full ten years when the UPA was in power, and that was a fairly normal stint. Things started deteriorating only when Mr. Rahul Gandhi’s importance in the party grew well beyond his actual size. But the very fact that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi allowed her son to mess up things, showed in enough measure that the actual rot started during her stewardship of the party.
Now also, troubled by illness and advancing age, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi is still continuing with her own leadership for the party. And that is where things appear to have gone totally wrong. And now that this arrangement is going to continue until the party polls, there is big guarantee that things would rot still further. A better way of the current quagmire may be an open revolt by G-23 to launch another party. That will certainly be a very big blow to the Gandhi family and its style of functioning. But having been used to living under the Gandhi umbrella, the G-23, too, may not have enough courage to revolt against their own mentors of one time. How does the party get over this problem, then? There is no direct answer available. For, the party will need not just one-point solution when the situation is so complex. It will need an equally complex response to the current mess. On one hand, it will have to introduce a radical change in the top leadership, while on the other it will need a massive organisational overhaul at all levels. It may not be a bad idea for the Congress in a work-in-progress condition to start focussing more on larger issues without blaming Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi for everything. In other words, the Congress party needs, if at all, a complete overhaul not just of people but also of the ideological thought-process. And the first step towards that will be to introduce a strong internal democracy within the organisation.