A political party that once controlled the country. A political party whose proud history is parallel to the history of the country, not to mention the two blurring together at times. The Indian National Congress also known as the ‘Grand Old Party’ has seen a golden period.
Navjot Singh Sidhu is right when he says, “Sonia (Gandhi) ji ka koi tol nahi, koi mol nahi.” From being a foreigner widow of an ex-PM to the most powerful person in the Indian political scene, nobody has achieved more than Sonia Gandhi.
Please note, there was no one from the Gandhi family in active politics when Rajiv Gandhi died. For almost five years, Sonia Gandhi was brushed aside. However, she ended up holding the reins of the party longer than anybody else, and served as the president of INC for 19 years.
But now the 132-year-old organization is like an old ‘sinking ship’. Can it be revived? Political commentators have given their verdict. After a crushing defeat in the 2014 elections with a ‘ground-breaking’ low of just 44 seats in the Lok Sabha, the party has been in a phase of a drifting vacuum. With the situation worsening in the subsequent state elections, the party has been declared to be in an ‘ugly state’.
The binaries within the party has some burden to bear regarding where the party stands today. However, oppositions and binaries are not a new phenomenon in the party. From Gandhi to Jinnah, from Nehru to Bose, from Tilak to Gokhale, contrasting ideologies have run in the veins of the organization. The multiple school of thought model gave the party the platform to be highly democratic and constantly self-questioning. The same propagated to the extent that the term ‘congress system’ was coined for the model. The same even saw grass root level implementation in the political system of the country. However, now the paradigm seems to have shifted.
In such a scenario, any choice of leader will split the other factions who want a different leader. The only thread that can hold the party together and prevent it from scattering into multiple groups is…. a Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi. The leadership tendency of the current president of the Indian National Congress, who (by the way) was elected unanimously, remains unknown and frankly unimportant. It doesn’t matter if Rahul Gandhi is fit to be the president of the organization or not (that is a matter of discussion for another time). He might or might not be the best face, but he is the only feasible alternative option that the party has. Hence for congress and congressmen, majboori ka naam Gandhi hai.
Disclaimer: This blog is not an endorsement nor our point of view around INC (Indian National Congress) or any political affiliation.