The year is 2014 and we all, Indians, know the story. The Congress party has been defeated in the polls by BJP, and by defeated we mean almost obliterated. Yet, just the other day, a member of this defeated Congress party criticised, even “mocked”, the qualifications of some of the BJP cabinet ministers. Obviously the ruling party, BJP, hit back. But I can’t help but feel that if the Congress wants to redefine itself as a party, then this kind of criticism, personal attack, must stop. Of course politicians will attack their opponents, but attacks of this kind of are insensible especially when the Congress itself had chosen several non-qualified people for its Ministerial berths.
I had been silent during most of the elections, hating to read every news report that dug another nail in the Congress coffin. But now, that the results are out, and the new party and PM and proxy government (RSS) are installed, it’s time for some reflection. And the above issue makes me fear that change may be impossible for the Congress. And I really fear that. So I want to draft a wishlist for what Congress needs to do, to change. Obviously, no significant Congress party worker will be reading this post, but if I (and millions of Indians) can comment about inconsequential things like the Indian cricket team, about what they must do to win, why can’t I put down my thoughts on what Congress can do to win (at least win my support back)?! So here’s my wishlist for a Congress resurrection…
What do I wish from the congress?
I wish, I hope, that the Congress can redefine itself as a clean party that cares for the nation.
I wish that it will get back to their roots of nationalism, secularism, development of the poor…
I wish it will continue its push for young leadership.
I wish it will show that it is more than a single-family run unit, which means that there needs to be clear political leaders agreeing to the larger party ideology… rather than being defined by their Gandhi-loyalty.
Relatedly, I wish the Congress party will allow at least three non-Gandhi related leaders to rise as spokesmen, workers and the new face of the Congress party. (I don’t mind the Gandhi family being in Congress, and in fact the biggest recent contribution Sonia Gandhi made for India, was to sacrifice her position to be PM. She could have easily become Prime Minister 10 years ago, but she said no. Thus, that mentality, that service attitude, for the betterment of the nation, can remain where the Gandhi’s can be seen as allowing others to rise).
I wish the Congress will apologise for its corruption.
I wish the Congress will apologise for being negligent during the Anti-Sikh riots.
I wish the Congress will reject votebank politics… where it panders to the minorities during elections, and does nothing to instil in us all a vision of a nation.
While I wish that the Congress will rightly critique the connection between BJP and the proxy government RSS, I still hope that Congress will have more intelligent things to say against this current government than argue that it is “communal”. BJP is communal, yes, but they are good at hiding it (and in this election they have hardly talked about it), so I hope that there will be more to say to critique the government, a better fight from the Congress.
I wish the Congress will spend time wooing middle class voters, taking their criticism, and listening to their suggestions.
I wish the Congress will learn from the AAP, especially from its grass roots and lower-middle class method of campaigning. I even like Arvind Kejriwal’s speak when he become Chief Ministry. It struck, I think, the right notes of an ideal vision for nation building.
I wish the Congress will not rely only on past accomplishments but actually have a vision for the future of the nation.
I wish the Congress will learn better marketing skills. Even as I hope it will rebuild its vision, I hope it will let us all (ALL) know about it.
And so, yes, I support a transformation of the Congress party. I hope Congress share in the above vision and transform itself.