“One may know the condition of the whole army from the behaviour of single soldier” this quote from Sun Tzu, on the art of war, perfectly describes what Ashok Tanwar’s (former Haryana Congress president) resignation tells us about the condition of the grand old party at present.
Its soldiers are fighting among each other rather than fighting with the enemy and this is making the situation worse for an already ailing Congress party. Ashok Tanwar is the latest entrant in the long list of leaders who have either left the party or raised questions on the functioning of the party. In his resignation letter, he has written that congress is going through “an existential crisis”, “not because of its political opponents but because of serious internal contradictions”. He also adds that conspiracy has been hatched to remove leaders groomed by Rahul Gandhi.
This, once again, highlights the deep chasm between the old guard and the young generation in the party. Recently, many incidents have shown that the Congress party is facing an internal crisis which is damaging it more than the external one. One of the prime examples of this is the party’s stand on the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir. While senior leaders like Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kapil Sibal criticized the move by calling it ‘murder of the democracy’, young leaders like Jyotiraditya Sindhia, Deependra Hooda, Aditi Singh have supported it openly.
Bhubaneshwar Kalita party’s Rajya Sabha chief has even resigned from the party when he was asked to issue whip against the decision. This incident shows the lack of coordination and corporation among the leaders of the party and also the inefficiency of the party’s top leadership.
Congress handling of Rahul Gandhi’s resignation after the defeat in Lok Sabha election had made them a laughing stock in front of the country. Rahul’s resignation by taking responsibility of the defeat was a good opportunity for Congress to change its image of a dynastic party; but by going back to Sonia Gandhi, it has proved that the party is still not ready for a bold decision but rather looking for temporary solutions.
Whether it’s asking for an explanation from Shashi Tharoor for supporting Jairam Ramesh Statement or the daring attitude shown by Aditi Singh Raebareli (Sadar) MLA to go against party’s whip and attend special state assembly session; it seems that party leaders are more interested in fighting with each other rather than standing together and counter their opponent.
Rahul Gandhi’s trip to Cambodia for a meditation retreat (according to some media reports), when elections in two states are around the corner is also posing a serious question about the Congress strategy to counter the BJP in these elections,i.e. if they have any strategy at all.
In my opinion, ruling for years has made the Congress lethargic, therefore it is taking too much time to learn the art of opposition, which is not only hurting the party but also the country. Strong opposition is as important as strong Government in a democracy, to keep a check on the government and become the voice of the people.
Except for a few occasions, the party has played its role of opposition mostly on twitter rather than hitting the ground, like the BJP used to do when they were in the opposition. Someone from the Congress has to step up and do a ‘surgery’ of the party, which is pending for a long time.
Also, someone has to remind the party leaders of John Dickinson’s, ‘The Liberty Song’ – “By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall!”.