Skip to main content

Options before 'family-controlled' Congress: What future for Ghulam Nabi Azad?

By NS Venkataraman* 

It appears to many in India, especially who are not involved in direct politics, that Indian democracy is suffering to some extent due to lack of principled and credible opposition. Indeed, the absence of a strong opposition party in India is a matter of concern.
Unfortunately, most of the opposition parties in India are essentially regional outfits, and many of them are family-controlled having little presence in several states.
The two Communist parties parties have virtually reduced themselves to the level of regional outfits, as the leadership has not moved with the time and modified their traditional Communist way of thinking, which is appears to have outlived its purpose.
Due to advancement in science and technology and industrial practices and changes in economy and management practices, especially in the commercial and industrial sector, new types of conflicts have arisen in the country between the organized and the unorganized class.
Meanwhile, even airline pilots, employees in software companies, and those employed in commercial banks etc., are claiming trade union rights or organizing themselves on the trade union pattern.
In such circumstances, the Communist parties in India seem confused, as these organized sections cannot be considered by any stretch of imagination as oppressed and suppressed. Yet, they are members of trade unions under the control of the Communist parties.
Claiming itself to be a Communist country, China is liberally adopting capitalist policies. The result is, the view has gone strong that communism as a political philosophy has lost its sheen all over the world.
With both the Communist parties out of reckoning from the national scene, the only political party left now on the national scene is the Indian National Congress.
It does not call for much analysis and deliberation to conclude that the Congress is now facing a crisis of confidence and leadership. No one knows today as to what the party stands for. It has aligned itself with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra – branded communal by it earlier – to form the government, raising many an eyebrow.
However, the main allegation against the Congress by BJP is that it is a dynastic party and essentially controlled by one family. The BJP’s view has picked up across India. Indeed, the dynastic character of the Congress leadership threw Rahul Gandhi into the leadership position of the party.
Rahul failed to make an impact upon large sections of people; the view has gone strong that he cannot lead a national party. His tantrums like hugging the Prime Minister in Parliament even as sarcastically winking at MPs have failed to impress. Many wonder whether he lacks maturity. Meanwhile, the image of the Congress has taken a beating.
It is in the national interest as well as in the interest of Indian democracy that the Congress is revived and should be enabled to function as a principled and forward-looking party, even as getting back its credentials.
However, the party cannot be revived without an effective leadership. It should understand: Blind loyalty to the Gandhi family cannot be a panacea for its revival. It should choose a leader who has the courage of conviction to stand by the party’s principles.
It is in the national interest and democracy that Congress is revived and should be enabled to function as a principled opposition
Even Rahul appears not interested to lead the party, even though many of the leaders still consider him as the de facto president. Meanwhile, the view continues to grow that the Gandhi family will never give up the party’s control whatever may be the cost.
This situation calls for some sort of determined and dignified decision. The Gandhi family should make its position clear: It is not interested in continuing in the leadership, even as ensuring that a person who is not from the family takes over the party’s reins.
Following the recent pronouncements of Ghulam Nabi Azad and the group of leaders he has collected around him, the view has picked up in some quarters that he appears to have the necessary quality to leader the party.
Azad started as a Youth Congress leader and has always conducted himself with decorum and dignity whether in Parliament, in government or outside. He has refrained from making abusive remarks against those opposing the Congress. Indeed, he looks taller than many other leaders.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Azad in the Rajya Sabha. While many interpreted it as a political praise, Azad responded with dignity. It seemed to many that it was in the tradition of the past lofty scenes like Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajaji praising each other on occasions, though they were in the opposition camp after Independence.
Given this framework, one wonders whether Azad be allowed to take over the reins of the Congress. A mature political leader, Azad would be critical of the ruling party, even without using abusive language. For instance, he wouldn’t ever call the Prime Minister a thief, a word used by Rahul to describe Modi.
---
*Trustee, Nandini Voice for The Deprived, Chennai

Comments

Anonymous said…
Very simplistic,clearly mainly written to oppose Rahul Gandhi. What about cheapness and vulgarity of PMs discourse.Talking of peincipled politics in RSS time is meaning less.hate is their only principle

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Recalling Jallianwala martyrs' communal amity as BJP 'warns' of Sitalkuchi everywhere

By Shamsul Islam*  The RSS-BJP rulers declare India to be a battle-ground between Hinduism and Islam. Muslims have been declared as ‘internal threat’ by RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar (“Bunch of Thought”, Chapter xvi). Behaviour of many of their leading cadres, including those who hold high constitutional posts, is such that they seem to be conspiring over-time to ignite a civil war between the two communities. They are under the impression that this would help divert attention from failures of the Hindutva rulers on developmental front.