“Congress Party, as a ‘headless chicken’, does not realize it has consolidated its alienation from the people and is thus determined to succeed in its race to the bottom.”
–Last Tweet of late Arun Jaitley on Congress’s “own goals” on ‘nationalist narratives’.
“Today, Congress is on a suicidal mode, I can’t be part of this and hence, have resigned from the party.”
–Bhubeneswar Kalita, ex-MP, while resigning from Congress over its stand on Article 370-35A.
What ails the “grand old party”? Why the Congress today has been found in echoing or acting as an amplifier in Pakistani Establishment’s vicious Military-Jihadi propaganda on Kashmir post-constitutional nullification of Article 370 and Article 35-A ? There are almost a cent percent similarities between Congress and Pakistani Government’s positions on Article 370-35A but the good news is that many senior Congress leaders cum trusted Nehru-Gandhi family loyalists like Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Dr Karan Singh, Milind Deora, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Janardan Dwivedi etal openly denounced Congress party publicly for digging its own political graveyard by building an ‘anti-India’ or ‘anti-national’ public imagery.
Public perception matters the most in politics and today Congress party has been seen by virtue of its vehement opposition on issues of nationalist narratives from Triple Talaq to Article 370/35-A or calling Kashmir not India’s internal matter but a UN monitored dispute to asking government for ‘Talks’ with Terroristan Pakistan etc. So, today, ‘being in Congress’ and ‘being anti-nationalist’ are synonymous and quite literally so!
Post its electoral drubbing from 206 LS seats in 2009 to just 44 in 2014 which, Congress party itself attributed it to its perceived as ‘doing politics of appeasement’ mass imagery in a Secular Democratic Republic. But hardly it did anything to correct this public perception or build an alternative narrative to take on ‘MODI-fied’ BJP’s grand-muscular pro-India or ‘India First’ nationalist narratives that largely hinged on post-Pulwama surgical strikes on terror-camps in deep inside Pakistan’s Balakot that gained massive mass support, propelling Modi-Shah’s ‘New BJP’ back to power with 303 seats while Congress got only 52 seats in 2019 polls. Not only was that, Congress’s own President then, Rahul Gandhi defeated in his own dynastic fiefdom – Amethi! Since then, Congress party has been headless till again Smt. Sonia Gandhi had to take control of what many sees as ‘family-firm’ wholly owned by Nehru-Gandhi’s or ‘First Family’. The party also faced crises in ruling MP, Punjab etc due to personal clashes.
Not just the public or electorate but it seems, Congress’s own leaders-workers lost all hopes in being in a rapidly shrinking political party, which by its very acts or uttering’s of likes of Ghulam Nabi Azads or Digvijaya Singhs etal has been seen as being ‘Anti-India’, ‘Anti-Hindu’ or worst as ‘B-Team of Pakistan’! Hence, there has been a great exodus (Quit Congress!) of many senior Congress leaders cum grass root workers to Modi-Shah led ‘New BJP’ or BJP 2.0 like Bhubeneswar Kalita, Sanjay Singh, Gautam Roy etal with many more in queue, accusing present Congress leadership being “disconnected” with not just mass electorate but being ‘rootless’ with loyal grass root workers across its remaining pockets.
There are some corrections that must be made in “ignorant media cum gullible mass” fed political vocabulary. Firstly, calling present Congress as the ‘Grand Old Party’ is nothing but a travesty of truth. Post many divisions of the original Indian National Congress, with all other factions other than ‘Indira Congress’ being electorally irrelevant, only then Election Commission of India accepted proposal by ‘Congress (I)’ to use the nomenclature of ‘Indian National Congress’! So, let’s not make the usual mistake of thinking it as Bapu’s Congress, who himself suggested its own destruction to form another political entity in 1948. Secondly, let’s stop calling it an open/public political party as its own senior leader Manish Tewari called it a private political entity whose proprietorship lies exclusively with the Congress’s ‘First Family’ or ‘the Gandhi’s.
But as Oscar Wilde put, ‘every saint has a past and every thief a future!’; is there any hope of course correction by the Cadre-less party ? Well, it will be like hoping against all hopes. The dynastic Congress party from making chimera of “saffron terrorism” to asking for evidence on post-Uri, post-Pulwama surgical strikes to opposing un-Islamic Triple Talaq to supporting continuation of cancerous Article 370-35A – has damaged its own public perception beyond any hope of either resurrection or redemption. Either Congress party has to dismember itself to form a new ‘Swadeshi’ political outfit to recast itself afresh on nationalist narratives or present rudderless, confused Congress, which has been seen as a ‘pariah’ on nationalist narratives will self-implode, thus, fulfilling both Bapu and Modi-Shah’s wish to see a ‘Congress-Mukt Bharat‘ !
Both these scenarios look very imminent as together with great exodus from Congress party and massive erosions in party’s traditional electoral pan-India bases reducing the ‘national’ party akin to a mere ‘regional’ party, it seems Congress party will face either a ‘vertical divide’ or it will self-implode into many factions with its remaining regional satraps forming their own political outfits renaming themselves anything but Congress! Indicating pan-India nemesis of a fast diminishing Congress party, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee already renamed her party from earlier ‘Trinamool Congress’ to now only ‘Trinamool’! Andhra CM Jagan Reddy’s ‘YSR Congress’ might follow ‘Didi’ in getting rid of ‘Congress’ – a ‘bad omen’ for the rise in politics !
It is indeed, a matter of serious self-introspection for all students of Indian politics, except perhaps for Nehru-Gandhi family owned political fiefdom called ‘Congress’ party, as to how and why from being once called (by Prof Rajni Kothari) as ‘the System’ with Panchayat to Parliament electoral preponderance to now being reduced to somewhat akin to ‘closed-door coterie’ filled with loud-mouthed sycophants’ Class rejected by the growing ‘nationalistic’ Mass? Shouldn’t Congress ask itself, why it is supporting orthodox-Patriarchy amongst Muslims in opposing totally anti-Muslim women and un-Islamic Triple Talaq, which has been criminalised, in spite of its opposition, for which it will be further made to pay heavily in polls near future? Also, must not Congress ask itself, what it will gain, except being self-projected as a ‘pariah’ on nationalist narratives by relentlessly opposing abrogation of temporary Article 370 or unconstitutional Article 35A, even after their nullifications overwhelmingly by the two Houses of Parliament cutting across Party lines ? Or does today’s clueless leadership of Congress has any self-satisfactory answer to PM Modi’s question from the ramparts of Lal Qila– if Article 370 was so “beneficial”, so “important”, then why the Congress party that ruled India for so many years didn’t make it ‘permanent’ ? Forget PM Modi, doesn’t Congress’s even agree to its own then PM Nehru who said, ‘yeh (Article 370) ghiste ghiste ekdin ghish jayega’(it will outshine into oblivion one day) ? If it isn’t ‘yes’, must not the Congress suitably rename itself from the ‘Indian National Congress’(INC) to ‘Pakistan Occupied Congress’(POC) ?