The open letter by twenty-three senior Congress leaders to Ms Sonia Gandhi published by a leading English national daily illustrates a chilling confession of the increasing amount of disdain, disillusion and disgruntlement in the rank, file and cadre of the party. Largely, as an outcome of the leadership command and crisis which has become the defining characteristic of the grand old party after the 2019 general elections verdict as the party seems to be lost in transition unable to attempt bounce back.
There is an overlying dependence either on Rahul or Sonia Gandhi whenever the party finds itself in troubled waters as for the senior leadership of the party who believe that the Gandhi’s are the best bet and alternative if the party has to stay united, relevant and purposeful before the electorate.
Giving up on efforts to restructure, reshape the hierarchy and organisation of the party at the grass root singularly mattering the most as ideology catches next but what if the organisation is crumbling?
A look at Congress state units is a case in point where a competitive flair in leadership roles has always added to the growing sense of unease and discomfort haunting the party’s existence and expansion electorally and otherwise. It is for this reason that young turks like Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, Hardik Patel have always countered and contested the roles, duties and responsibilities assigned to them leading to wider dialogue and deliberation seen by a few as stoking resentment and rebellion.
The central leadership of the party should display assertiveness in dealing with the differences of opinions and views influencing and impacting the inner-party functioning lowering the morale and conviction of the party activists, workers and cadres. I believe that dissent should be encouraged, appreciated and acknowledged over anything for it to give an objective sense of purpose to the beliefs and aspirations of those drawing inspiration from the party’s ideology.
Producing and promoting a strict set of disciplinarian code and conduct aimed at instilling patronage, obedience and loyalty are totally unwarranted and uncalled for in the Congress, given the point of time and history where we currently find ourselves in.
The idea of India has come under tremendous attack and assault by those forces who have always doubted at the so-called model of liberty and secularism antithetical to the conception of individual rights and duties.
A better balanced Congress would have surely taken the occasion to situate itself as an ideal alternative whenever they came to talk to champion for the lives and livelihood of the people by ensuring their rights and dignity. But willingly, the electorate has become unwilling to promise Congress a claim to power if not for their systematic and structural rejig which could be actualized through all-round consensus, consultations, dialogue and deliberation at every level possible.
I don’t understand what restricts the Congressmen from entering into any kind of engagement; why does it at all require a tacit approval by the Gandhis’ and for how long will you adhere and abide by your dependence to the Gandhis. I am made to buy that there are many who are equally eligible, outstanding and experienced when it comes to taking charge and command in the likes of Kapil Sibal, Ashok Gehlot, AK Anthony, Salman Khurshid and all. They certainly fit the merits of the profile and position and can surely reinvigorate the party in the long by enhancing its stakes high as the Gandhis can look after the buildup of the hierarchy and command by directly reaching out to the people it would seek to represent.
Erasing the title and tag of the party’s inaccessibility and inadequacy to stand up to to the narrative of political challenge and contestations viz the Bhartiya Janta Party as for the Indian National Congress’ broad pan India organizational visibility, presence and channel. It is upon the Congressmen to effect upon any such as Ms Sonia Gandhi asked the members of the Congress Working Committee to prepare her replacement, as Rahul Gandhi lashed out at the signatories of the letter put before Ms Gandhi, considering the fluctuating health of her mother.
For the time being, Ms Gandhi will continue as interim president of the Congress but the point is that those leaders, who signed a letter asking for a full-time CWC leader, are easily approachable and visible to take up the occasion to nominate and elect someone from within their own. Are they doubting their capacity and calibre or for their reluctance on the Gandhis? What better and best explains this fact if not for their letters to Ms Gandhi, leaked by the media, as they ought to come up with a blueprint detailing the roadmap to party’s resurrection, otherwise ending up at the doors of the high command.
In my opinion, Ms Gandhi had already spoken her mind as now it is up to these senior most functionaries to punctuate their afterthoughts.