Congress: From tryst with destiny to tryst with emotion

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The Congress has seen a change. And that is: A new generation of sycophants has come up to serve its purpose. Some youth leader of the party was heard saying at the AICC meeting on Sunday: "Jahan aapka (Rahul's) paseena girega, wahan hamara khoon bahega." Great. The party is in safe hands.

But what about the nation that the party has led in the past and still does? Rahul Gandhi, the great grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, gave an emotional speech after being elevated in the party ranks, but what was the substance of that speech? It is something the successor of a corporate body speaks after taking over the responsibility from an ailing predecessor, much to the delight of the employees. It resembles a bond of emotion that works for many, particularly the old generation, if not all.

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But does Rahul's likening power with venom or that her mother had wept the previous night have anything to do with the millions of Indians toiling out there to earn a minimum living? The world has advanced so much from what it was in 1984 that it will be an unwise and futile exercise to stress family tragedies any more to earn political benefits to the party. From the days of trysts with destiny to that of power and then uncertainty, the party is having a tryst with emotions today. What about the tryst with change?

What Rahul said the other day in an attempt to win back the faith of the aam aadmi sounded nice but the question is: Is there any mechanism in place for the party today to go back to the Nehruvian days?

Rahul is earning huge accolades by expressing sugar-coated words just because he is another Gandhi. Had Lal Bahadur Shastri continued at helm for another ten years or had the Narasimha Raos and Sitaram Kesaris been more stringent, the Congress could have found itself divorced from the Gandhis. But as the great Nehru had spoken about tryst with destiny, the family also had a tryst with eternity.

Rahul's words do not appeal to those who view the party and his role objectively for they know, between the ideals of Nehru and the sweet-to-hear words of Rahul, there stands a leader called Indira Gandhi, who had changed the party for the worse forever.

Sharply contradictory to her father's way of functioning, India's iron lady was the chief architect of turning the party secondary to a personality cult and the age-old organisation was left fragmented within five years of Nehru's death. The Congress thereafter was never the same and today, to those who get shocked by the transformation of the Congress, I tell: Do not confuse Nehru's Congress with that of Indira's. The former had ceased to exist in May, 1964 and was replaced by the latter in 1969.

Did Indira Gandhi take power as venom? She tried to accumulate as much power as she could without thinking anything about the party's welfare. Her days saw the evolution of a brand of politics that spoke of populism and no ideology. Like any other benevolent dictator, her iron ruling earned appreciation among many but the Congress had lost its pillar of democracy.

The party's popular base was systematically destroyed and today, it is desperately trying to turn the clock back by seeking the blessing of the common constituencies that it had betrayed one day.

The Congress today is trying to forge alliances with like-minded parties. How will it do that? For, the party, which was once a social coalition itself facilitated by strong ideology and leadership, is now an epitome of a system that is fed by family kings and their sycophants. How will the 'blue blood' mix with other lesser outfits across the nation in an idealistic manner?

Common Indians today have no more tears left to shed for Indira or Rajiv. They had paid for their political adventurism and nobody else apart from the sycophants' club will deny that. In the past also, we heard Rahul saying had his father been alive, Babri demolition would have never taken place? Then what was his father's administration thinking by allowing Shilanyas at Ayodhya? He said he saw his father crying after his grandmother's tragic death. What great leadership did he show then by unleashing a reign of terror against innocent Sikhs?

Does your family only matter Rahulji?

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