I would, through my write up, want to reflect upon my broad analysis, opinion and commentary on the fate of the Indian National Congress (INC) in the current political scene with an endorsement for the populist and rhetorical right wing.
Explaining the dominance of powers positing inherent belief in the ethics of rank and authority as a natural corollary for conducting politics and policy mapping, intertwined in the charisma of the leader through which he develops a bond and connects with his audience.
Leaders like Putin in Russia, Erdogan in Turkey, Modi in India, Bolsonaro in Brazil, Orban in Hungary are some of the illustrations instilling a great sense of command, confidence and conviction in their followers, drawing a great degree of inspiration from them.
In India, after Modi’s emphatic victory in the general elections of 2014, followed by 2019, excited the collective imaginations of people, as for them Modi symbolized the beginning of a new era.
This had less to do with Modi’s victory and more with a brewing distaste for the INC, lost in transition where it was not in a position to systematically promote and broadcast its social welfare schemes and programmes like MNREGA, RTE, RTI, Right to Food, etc.
The high command is central to the electoral successes and fortunes of the INC, keeping a check on factionalism and rivalry within and outside the party structure, meriting obedience and loyalty always as a reward for profile and position in the rank and file of the party.
But this certainly has costs involved with the relatively weak party units and lack of grassroot cadre and local leadership affecting its prospects as observed during the many state assembly elections.
In Haryana, it came closer and dropped out, in Maharashtra the party got a chance to improve its tally. In contrast, in Madhya Pradesh, its wafer-thin majority proved to be the worst with Scindia playing the spoiler shot by obliging the BJP in return for a Rajya Sabha seat.
A similar situation is simmering in Rajasthan between CM Ashok Gehlot and Deputy CM Sachin Pilot since the start of their terms in December 2018. Pilot considered himself the CM contender having worked effortlessly since 2013 in the capacity of Congress President after the party’s rout in the elections.
But Rahul Gandhi reposed his faith in old Gandhi loyalist Gehlot for the post of CM, and since then, Pilot is said to be falling out of favour.
In a dramatic turn of events, Pilot met Mrs Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Sunday, expressing his anguish over the treatment being meted out to him by the CM of Rajasthan and his loyalists. He is believed to have the support of around thirty MLAs, sufficient enough to bring the Gehlot government in the minority as a pressure tactic.
I believe both the Scindia and Pilot episodes are a stark reminder for the INC to reinvigorate its setup, command and structure and give a fair amount of representation to the young, energetic and enthusiastic faces which in their capacities can certainly create a difference in reviving the credentials of the grand old party.