Misadventures of a Sinking Ship called Indian National Congress

Misadventures of a Sinking Ship called Indian National Congress

A.Q. Siddiqui

These days we hear faint SOS voices emanating from a giant sinking ship called Indian National Congress. The faint voices are rebels calling for an experienced captain who could really steer the damaged ship from troubled waters. The leadership issue or rebels calling for elections within Congress is an exclusive internal affair of the party but it is happening when the world’s second largest democracy badly needs a strong opposition. The Congress Party is like gigantic Titanic ship that was built to sail nonchalantly on stormy waters but met an unfortunate ending entirely due to error on part of its Captain. The same fate is repeating for Congress party. The series of blunders hitting hard on Congress body are eventually pushing it to nonexistence. 

The Iceberg that really hit Congress party ship was the move to re designate Manmohan Singh as the second term Prime Minister when another senior leader Pranab Mukherjee could have been a better choice. Political observers strongly feel that Sonia Gandhi lacked the political spirit or expertise from the very first day she took command in hand. She even failed to groom Rahul Gandhi in a powerful political clout or let him do so. Rahul Gandhi was elected MP from 2004 to 2013 but he remained like any other MP in Congress. Sonia should have assigned him any important port folio particularly he should have been assigned as Foreign Minister during congress rule, a role that would have shaped a global political leadership aptitude in him. But Sonia kept Rahul as a pupil in learning.

In political history, Sonia Gandhi remains the longest serving President of congress with a brief stint of Rahul Gandhi who was projected as PM candidate without proper grooming. This was another blunder of Sonia in 2019 when Congress could have re captured the lost glory.  The 2014-2019 BJP rule has not produced any good impact on economy or development and this was the topic island where damaged Congress ship could well have anchored. But Sonia let it sailed on with same old melodies. Lacking political expertise, Sonia pitched naive Rahul against the Master of words, PM Modi who was reshaping the ordinary citizen’s dreams into his promising web of words.

 In 2018-19 campaigns Rahul exhibited deplorable lack of political aptitude. Who was his speech or scriptwriter? Blame must go to scripts of his speeches. Rahul was speaking about Rafale in villages or town rallies where no one has any inkling of what was Rafale issue? Rahul’s dig against PM Modi in slogan, “Chowkidar Chorhai” also misfired. Rahul literally took the 2019 defeat on heart and left for personal solace.  This was the time for Congress to reshape the party outlook, come out of worn out Gandhi garb and march on a new road under a new leadership.

 Nothing of this sort happened and party kept losing on regional levels as well. The supporters of Gandhi family in Congress kept imploring him to re-saddle but till date Rahul is only playing back stage role. The damaged giant ship has seen many good sailors, like Scindia and Pilot quietly taking the lifeboats out in open seas.

Today, the leadership issue in Congress is similar to the role of a Captain of a ship sailing in troubled waters. An experienced captain can see both blowing wind and tide. Here Captain Sonia has no expertise or team around her even to counter the fake propaganda against the party image. When PM Modi came to power, he first established an IT cell and advised all his ministers to saddle in social media rides.

Congress has no social media platform. Now only Rahul keeps twitting but there is no team to promote his tweets. Even false propaganda maligning party image is not countered by Congress. BJP keeps accusing Congress for pro Muslims, even at times pro Pakistan. There is no official rebuking from Congress. While Congress has lost a good chunk of its Hindu supporters, Indian Muslims are far from it. So where does the party stand now?

In fact, Muslims strongly feel Congress has done more damage for their interests than any other party. Pandit Nehru and Indira Gandhi cared for Muslims and other minorities and accommodated their leaders within party. It was Rajiv Gandhi who opened the Babri Masjid gate and it was RSS cadre Late PV Narsimha Rao who, Muslims feel, played a role in Mosque demolition. This led Muslims tilt towards regional political parties all over India.

The leader must speak to people. Speak for their issues on all occasions. Social Media journalists Abhisar Sharma and Vinod Dua are doing opposition task much better than Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. And this is the reason rebels in Congress are rightly demanding a change of leadership.

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