Rahul Gandhi is now President of Congress Party. Even though busy as he must be, it would be wise of him to read this advice of his great grand father given in 1952 but even more relevant today:
It is perfectly clear to me that the Congress, as it is organised today, is a very feeble instrument for carrying out national work, more especially among the people. It has won elections but that has been due to many causes. It has been due to old tradition, past reputation and to the weakness of others. It has also been due to the hard work put in by a number of people during the elections, with earnestness and vigour. They brought something of the old spirit in this contest and it was heartening not only to see their work but also the immediate reactions of the people to it.
It was disheartening to see office-bearers of Congress Committees and executive members functioning something most inadequately and without any faith in the cause they represented.
….One noticeable feature of the Congress organisation in past years has been its lack of appeal to the youth of the country. The type of young man or woman, who came to us in the past as worker or volunteer, and carried out the message of the Congress with zeal and enthusiasm, has not been coming to our organisation. We become progressively elderly men with elderly ways, interested in small committees and reluctant to go to the people. The great problem, therefore, before us is how to bring in the youth of the country to work for the Congress and the cause for which it stands.
….The elections have shown that money does not go very far, though undoubtedly it makes some difference. It is the men and women that count. We have therefore to get the right type of men and women as our colleagues and comrades and, above all, we have to set an example ourselves of what should be done. Every candidate, whether he has been successful or not, must maintain close and continuous contact with his constituency. He must visit his voters and speak to them from time to time on the problems that face us. It is necessary for us to give our workers talking points on these problems. I hope that the AICC office will organise this. But each Pradesh Congress Committee must do likewise. We must treat our vast electorate in an intelligent way and pay them the tribute of intelligence and discrimination which they have shown to a surprising extent.
On no account can faction and sectional groups in the Congress be tolerated in the future. We have to function as a disciplined army now with definite objectives and with continuous work to attain them.
[A Circular to the Presidents of the Pradesh Congress Committees, February 8, 1952]
Meanwhile this is what is being done:
A secret Business in India.
Crowd is to democracy what ink is to news papers. The news papers may not be main churning force in debates but but they have not seized to exist even if relegated to quite irrelevance. Something similar is about crowds. Democracies much less it’s elections can not be imagined without crowd gatherings and elections rallies and all the usual high decibel celebrations.
It is even more unimaginable in a democracy of 1.3 billions. Apart from elections, crowds are also required for protests, supports or dissent on the issues. It is the time tested old method which has worked for over century. Right?
So, from where does this crowd comes? Well in India, things have taken a turn for more than a decade. People who matter watch on television and decide and those who visit, they do not matter.
India, is always on election. First General (Federal) Elections. Than State Elections, Municipal Elections, Village Elections. It never ends. But what is seen in last few years that the crowd pulled in elections rallies had no proportion with Elections results. Those who lost elections, had equally packed grounds or perhaps only slightly less than the winner. So what makes this crowd?
An ode to a modest hero:
Atal Bihari Vajpayee (25 Decemeber 1924 to 16 August 2018)
Atal Bihari Vajpayee founded Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) in 1980 and in 1984 BJP had just two members in Parliament. He was severely punished in 1980 and 1984 by public for joining/merging his older party Jan Sangh with Janta Party in 1977.
An orator at par, a poet, a statesman who was never afraid to pause in conversation and a person who loved good food will always be remembered for his affable nature.
Eventually in 1996 he became Prime Minister of India for 13 days. After fresh polls in 1998 he became Prime Minister for 11 months after which his Government fell for just one vote. In 1999 itself fresh polls were held and Atalji became Prime Minister for the third time till 2004. He was conferred India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, by the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee in 2015
The stupid Khalistan
Yesterday while Indians were celebrating Independence day in London, thousands of Sikhs protested outside in front of National Gallery situated near Trafalgar Square. There were seeking declaration of freedom of Punjab as an independent Khalistan. Demonstration was organised by Non-Indian Sikhs. Mostly those who had perhaps never even visited India. In response the Indians held their own demonstration singing nationalist songs, dances and of course waving of national flag, the Tricolour.
Has any one seen such a rally by Quebec, demanding independence fro Canada? Would London permit such rally at Trafalgar Square. Would Irish or Scots permitted to have such protest? I would seriously doubt it. Continue reading