oppn parties Congress: Mismanaging the Family Firm

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
oppn parties
Congress: Mismanaging the Family Firm

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-05-22 09:37:33

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Sonia Gandhi was correct when she told the Congress party to stick to principles as no failure is permanent. If any failure is taken as permanent, then obviously people will stop trying. But she forgot to tell them that as a corollary to the fact, people have to analyze reasons for their failure and ensure that corrective measures are taken and mistakes are not repeated. Despite her sermons, Sonia Gandhi as Congress president has repeatedly analyzed failures in a pre-conceived way, failed to learn from mistakes and then gone ahead to commit blunders by repeating those mistakes again and again.

At the very outset, any analysis of electoral reverses that the party makes ignores shortcomings in the Central leadership. Loyalists fall over each other to shield Sonia and Rahul. At the same time, there are cries of either elevating Rahul as president or bringing in Priyanka in UP to invigorate the grassroots workers. Isn’t the first a condemnation of Sonia’s leadership and the second a condemnation of both Rahul and Sonia? But whatever the scenario, the Congress party still tries to latch on to the quickly fading Gandhi brand, which in itself is a big mistake. Honest analysis is not possible in the Congress and no one can expect the party president to take full responsibility and resign.

As an all India party with awesome organization and infrastructure, the Congress party reaches every nook and corner of the country. It will be foolish to write it off for its present failures. But the fact remains that the party needs to reinvent itself, or as Digvijay Singh so aptly put, conduct a major surgery, to continue remaining relevant. It has followed flawed dynastic policies for too long and a rethink is necessary. But who will bell the cat?

The problem with dynastic policies is that regional satraps also try to ape the Central leadership. Take what is happening in Assam for instance. Tarun Gogoi led the party to its worst electoral defeat in the state. But, despite his advancing years, he will continue to be the guiding light of the party in the state. He will be duly elected the leader of the opposition. The Congress will not groom a younger leader for 2021. If it does, without doubt that ‘leader’ will be Gaurav Gogoi. Policies like these are taking the party downhill.

Appointing Prashant Kishore as strategist and hoping he will pull a rabbit out of the hat is hoping too much if that rabbit is Rahul Gandhi. The Congress is most likely to be wiped out in UP next year. It might do well in Punjab where the Akali Dal is embroiled in dynastic politics of its own and is going to be punished for that. But even in Punjab, the AAP is likely to provide stiff competition. The Congress needs to bring to fore strong grassroots leaders in the states. It needs to shed the family firm style of management. But it will not be done as both are things that go against the party ethos. There is no hope for the party in the near future as long as loyalists fall at the feet of members of one family.