The current Indian government has been reduced to a sham. There is not a single show of consistency and seriousness in any sector of governance. The UPA had come back to power after a comparatively better first stint where its senior ally had shown some grit to defeat the Leftist detractors when it came to serving the national interest.
Its return to power was also facilitated by a hapless opposition. But the story was over within a year after it came to office in 2009. Ever since the Commonwealth Games fiasco broke out, it has been a routine affair of political wrestling for the Congress-led ruling coalition.
The Congress even had major confrontation with some of its major allies and the government was reduced to a working minority within three years of coming to power. The opposition is in no good position either for the NDA is suffering a far more alarming erosion, but that doesn't leave the Congress assured. It is a peculiar situation where neither of the two national parties have been successful to take advantage of the opponent's shortcomings and reached a stalemate and are rallying around one individual named Narendra Modi.
The centralist force in the Congress has weakened
The Congress's planned insanity of attacking Modi on every second issue and the continuous goof-ups prove that the party's central leadership, the Gandhis, has considerably weakened. Compared to what it was once, the dynasty has clearly lost its sheen and it has put the party of sycophants under considerable stress. Sonia Gandhi has never tried to be an Indira Gandhi and neither Rahul Gandhi showed any eagerness to become a Sanjay Gandhi. The duo is hardly found speaking to the media, unlike some of the earlier Gandhi leaders, and it has left an adverse impact on the party's image.
The loosening centralism in Congress has 'democratised' it for the bad
The loosening of the centralist powerhouse has in a way 'democratised' the party structure and we are seeing too many people, who otherwise would have been lost in the crowd, speaking their minds often contradicting each other.
This is bound to pose a major threat to the Congress for the sudden 'decentralisation', no matter how noble Rahul Gandhi's project of inner democracy looks, is only going to loosen the glue which has held numerous factions in the party together. We may wait till one massive Lok Sabha election loss and the consequences might become visible faster than expected.
Comparison with Indira Gandhi's 1966-77 rule
It is amazing to see how a ruling coalition, despite ruling for almost a decade now, is struggling every day to come to terms with the governance as if it is its first day in office. If we compare this with Indira Gandhi's rule from 1966-77, one can see how much the top-down model if working in the Congress has fallen apart.
Indira Gandhi wasn't a great political manager but was a ruthless politician who made her populism speak. Her administrative failures cost her dearly in 1977 but she did not let it go before making a desperate attempt in 1975 by proclaiming Emergency.
The party knows 2014 won't be good and it has been hit by panic: Where are the Gandhis?
The current Congress-led government knows quite well that 2014 won't bring happy news but yet there is a baffling lethargy which is in display even at the dying hours. Motormouths are continuing to harm the party further but there is no control from the top to mend things, even in a losing battle.
Yes, Rahul Gandhi utters some occasional strong words, but one feels the current leaders of the dynasty lack the teeth to drive the party as per its own liking. Result: More stupidity at display at non-existent local levels.
The party had lost its ideology in 1966 when Lal Bahadur Shastri died and Indira Gandhi took over. Till 1989 (with three years hiatus between 1977 and 1980), the Gandhis gave the party an overwhelming leadership. But pragmatism found an opportunity in Congress rule after a long time in 1991 under the leadership of PV Narasimha Rao and after he lost in 1996, the party was in a deep danger till Sonia Gandhi was given an emergency call.
Has the institution called Gandhi dynasty crumbled?
But after a decade and a half of her leadership at the helm, the party looks to be back to square one and it seems it could again find itself in a post-1996 like situation soon. But this was bound to happen once the institution called Gandhis were on the decline.