oppn parties Intolerant Congress Cannot Swallow Constructive Criticism, Even From One Of Its Own

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  • University vice-chancellors in West Bengal decide not to hold final-year examinations despite UGC prod, will instead go by the state government advised 80-20 formula where 80% will be marked on performance in past semesters and 20% on internal assessments in the final semester
  • The Centre wants the ITI and other top Indian firms to bid for 5G as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are not likely to be allowed to participate
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  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
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Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek admitted to hospital for coronavirus
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Intolerant Congress Cannot Swallow Constructive Criticism, Even From One Of Its Own

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-06-18 21:15:57

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

Despite accusing Narendra Modi and the BJP of being intolerant and centralizing power, the Congress party has always displayed a strong dislike for anyone who questions the high command - which in effect means one family - or tries to question the way the party functions. The latest to come in the line of fire of the Gandhi family is the erstwhile spokesman of the party, Sanjay Jha. He was also the party's face on television channels in various debates on current issues. He has been replaced by Abhishek Dutt and Sadhna Bharti.

What was Sanjay Jha's fault? He tried to show a mirror to the party leadership. In a signed article in a national newspaper, Jha wondered whether the party leadership was concerned enough to bring it back on the rails. He had written that "the Congress has demonstrated extraordinary lassitude, and its lackadaisical attitude towards its own political obsolescence is baffling." He added that for someone like him who was "permanently wedded to Gandhian philosophy and Nehruvian outlook that defines the Congress, it is dismaying to see its painful disintegration." He stated that he was not alone in thinking like that and there were many in the party "who cannot comprehend this perceptible listlessness."

Instead of taking it as constructive criticism from one of its own, the party high command, as is its wont, has taken it as an affront and a sign of rebellion. It has moved quickly to cut Jha to size. If the same sense of urgency and decisiveness was displayed in intra-party matters or matters of national importance, Jha would not have had to pen the critique in the first place. The entire nation knows that Sonia Gandhi is destroying the party by foisting on it a supposedly newer version of Rahul Gandhi at regular intervals. And the entire nation also knows that Rahul is a reluctant politician and no amount of tutoring or image management will make him ready for the job.

The main agenda of any family-run political party is to project and protect the family at all costs - all other things are incidental to that. All decision-making bodies in the party are just for name and are subservient to the family. It is obvious that in such a scenario, Jha's concern for redeeming the party is a cry in wilderness. Earlier too, Sandeep Dikshit had raised this question. He had said that he was dismayed that the senior leaders of the party were doing nothing to arrest the fall of the party. He put it succinctly when he said that "sometimes you want inaction because you don't want a certain action to happen." His views were seconded by Shashi Tharoor. But nothing happened then and nothing will happen now. The Congress will not change just because some non-Gandhi's have reservations about its functioning.