With 44 seats in Parliament in 2014, the Congress Party today has 52 seats in Parliament after the election of 2019 which was fought under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi as it’s President. After election Rahul resigned and as a family party mother of Rahul became interim President. Presently the spin off is being created to make Rahul President again. The question which no one is answering is:
Where the Congress Party is headed in future?
Predicting future is not any easy business but that is what every professional is supposed to do. A lawyer tells a client what he is supposed to do to avoid a possible future. A doctor tells a patient what to do do to postpone certain death, as long as possible. My point is that it is not the astrologers who grapple with problem of predicting the future. All professions do it all the time. So how they do it?
Professionals other than astrologers tell future on the basis of history. Since I consider myself as in-adept in most of the field especially marketing and politics, I borrow these words of a successful entrepreneur and marketeer who founded and sold PayPal, who explained a fundamental principle of marketing:
Like acting, sales works best when hidden. This explains why almost everyone whose job involves distribution—whether they’re in sales, marketing, or advertising—has a job title that has nothing to do with those things. People who sell advertising are called “account executives.” People who sell customers work in “business development.” People who sell companies are “investment bankers.” And people who sell themselves are called “politicians.” There’s a reason for these redescriptions: none of us wants to be reminded when we’re being sold.[Peter Thiel in Zero to One (Notes on Startup) (2014)]
This is what was expected of Rahul Gandhi in his election camapign of 2019 or before and this is what is expected of a politician. He must be able to downplay his own ambition and present himself as a “protector of the realm” something what Narendra Modi did and is doing spectacularly well. On the contrary, Rahul Gandhi was and is doing something which is very well explained by another ex CEO (of Proctor and Gamble) directly referring to Rahul Gandhi’s electoral policy in 2012, in these words:
“Middle-class Indians won some dignity when they won political independence in 1947; they gained some more when they attained economic liberty in 1991; but only now, twenty years later, have they begun to feel the full meaning of dignity after the economic rise of India…[Gurucharn Das in IndiaGrows at Night (A Libral Case for Strong State) Penguin India]
…classic division between those who look ahead and aspire versus those who look back and complain. India’s political parties still tend to cater to the second—to the victim in us—through their politics of grievance. A very few reflect the spirit of a rapidly growing India. No one thinks big, when it actually is criminal to think small in India.
…While grievance admittedly can be a powerful motivator to action, it is surprising that India’s electoral politics do not cater to the aspiring middle class.
The Congress Party was voted with 20 Crore votes in 2019 as against 37 Crore voted to BJP and this makes it a pan India force, as “Shekhar Gupta” would subtly put and argue that if these many votes can be polled to Congress in a strong wave against Congress, then this is the base vote of the Party which can not go away any time soon. Remember the same Shekhar Gupta had denied any wave in favour of BJP or against Congress during entire election campaign. At the same time, after the election campaign, candidly admitted his mistake. The point is that he can change his opinion any time soon and is not reliable source to predict future. This is unlike two gentlemen I have quoted above, who have run successful businesses and have no track record of foot in mouth like Shekhar Gupta. In fact it is the people like Gupta who who have surrounded Rahul Gandhi persuade him to do what he does. But I am not here to advice him or any body for that matter. I am here to predict the future.
What will happen to Congress in next ten years?
To answer this question we have to go back into the past and visit USA in 1800, when it’s democracy was taking roots. It was the ere of “Rubber Barons” as the crony capitalis cum robbers of state resources were then called. There was a party known as “Federalist Party”. (Read about it here https://www.history.com/topics/early-us/federalist-party as also the wikipedia) The most famous jurist, the Chief Justice Johan Marshall belonged to Fedralist Party. He had barely studied law for six weeks but he is quoted in every democracy to determine the scope of judicial review. He remained in Office for 34 years long after the Fedralist Party was gone. This is how the end of Federal Party looked like:
In the minority, Federalists at last accepted the necessity of creating a system of organized, disciplined state party organizations and adopting democratic electoral tactics. Because their greatest strength lay in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Delaware, the Federalists also assumed the aspects of a sectional minority. Ignoring ideological consistency and a traditional commitment to strong national power, they opposed Jefferson’s popular Louisiana Purchase of 1803 as too costly and threatening to northern influence in government. Largely as a result, the party continued to lose power at the national level. It carried only Connecticut, Delaware and part of Maryland against Jefferson in 1804.
Notice the words in bold. As regards the internal democracy, it has not even occurred to anybody in Congress party which is proprietary entity of a family. There are enough material about the Federalist Party, it’s corruption, it’s association with Gangsters etc. which makes it a comparable case with Congress Party of today in India. Let me quote from Wikepedia page, more similarities between the two parties:
…As time went on, the Federalists lost appeal with the average voter and were generally not equal to the tasks of party organization; hence they grew steadily weaker as the political triumphs of the Republican Party grew. For economic and philosophical reasons, the Federalists tended to be pro-British—the United States engaged in more trade with Great Britain than with any other country—and vociferously opposed Jefferson’s Embargo Act of 1807 and the seemingly deliberate provocation of war with Britain by the Madison Administration. During “Mr. Madison’s War”, as they called it, the Federalists made a temporary comeback. However, they lost all their gains and more during the patriotic euphoria that followed the war. The membership was aging rapidly, but a few young men from New England did join the cause,
Note the words in bold and substitute “China” for Britain and Congress for Federalist and read again. There are too many similarities except that Federalists were far more democratic and was not a family owned party.
The writing is on the wall for those who want to read it.
Others can blame FaceBook, Twitter or whomsoever they like.
There is one more thing. People tend to dismiss Rahul Gandhi as pappu which is utterly wrong. He is as smart, cunning and ruthless as his great grand father Jawahar Lal Nehru. Actually both of them were too dependent upon their advisors and both thought nothing about the India or the corruption. Both were ruthlessly ambitious but the Nehru got the chair of Prime Minister without fighting any election in 1946 and he was able to build an image in six years by the time elections were held in 1952. Rahul is looking for that opportunity. If you make him Prime Minister he will see that these bloopers which are viral on social media and which make him pappu, will disappear forever.
Note: The remaining squeals on Atal Bihari Vajpayee will appear soon.