The ideology called Congress
Indian National Congress as a platform was formed in 1885. Known by leaders like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru it is the oldest party in India. It was the first modern nationalist movement in British colonial India. With a major contribution towards independence of India, INC, a pan India political party is the grand old party of India.
Formed with an intent of a platform during the British Raj for civil and political dialogue, it flared into a mass movement. Led by Surendra Nath Banerjee, it shaped to the mass movement it turned to post the unfortunate partition of Bengal. Mahatma Gandhi soon became the spiritual icon of the party with his election to the post of president for the Congress party. With a long history aligned with the independence of India, Indian Congress has been shaping the inception of the world oldest civilization.
Indian National Congress today
Post the Sonia Gandhi era, it was but obvious for Rahul Gandhi to take over as the Party President role. The only question was when. Although having his presence in active politics for about a decade, Rahul Gandhi has been still struggling to make a presence in the political scenario in India. He ran for the Member of Parliament from his Father’s old Lok Sabha seat and is standing MP since 2004. Over the years he has been handed over with responsibilities of General Secretary, Vice president and now President of the grand old party. Gandhi leading the 2014 General elections has indirectly related to the humiliating defeat. It reduced the party numbers to a handful, bringing down the number to 44 from 200+ (during 2009).
Rahul has always found his way out of the losses the Congress has suffered a defeat proof advantage. However, he has managed to get the credit for any populist schemes and ideologies spread during the Congress regime. Holding a stature of a pseudo boss, both Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have given tough times to the in-power Congress government. One of such instance was during his press meet in 2013. India had witnessed the terrible sight of the ordinance to save convicted legislators from disqualification being torn and rebuked.
The Gujarat and Himachal elections were seen pumped up with rumors of Rahul Gandhi to be coronated as President of the grand old Party. A new zeal was found across the members of the party. A vast end to end social media backed campaign along with so-called ‘secular’ moves were kicked off. We had seen bitter words being exchanged, and heated jibes being taken. People known for their silence came in ranch criticism of the foundation policy changes by the Modi-led NDA government has been the buzz of the town for over last month. Rahul was elected the President of the Party, unopposed. That led to resting of all the rumors on the ground,
The ground reality during Gujarat & Himachal
The crucial Gujarat state election has seen things like never before. Defending its 22-year reign was BJP still trying to make sense out of the fundamental policy changes. On the other end was an ex-prime minister speaking up like the country has never witnessed before. BJP, always being referred to as a Hindu Nationalist Party, people have also observed the soft Hindu sentiments played by the national Congress. Controversies spurred by Rahul visiting Somnath temple was a classic example. That portrayed how far a self-declared secular party can reach out to during the test of Democracy.
The election results declared today gives Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) a comfortable majority. This puts another nail in the coffin for the Indian National Congress. With hopes of the revival, the caste paid off in terms of the state legislative seats. Arithmetics including the Patidar agitation, the OBC chord, and the Dalit voice was typical Congress in play. Kudos to the three leaders, the face is not all red for the Indian national congress. This also has proved better in terms of performance than the last time. Politics teaches us how loss is both a moral victory and verdict of people. Victory, on the other hand, knows no boundary of appreciation. Gujarat is cleverly termed as the moral victory for the newly coronated prince.
Voice of democracy
At the end, the clear majority lies with BJP in both the states of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, eliminating any false alarms raised by the so-called populist well-wishers on GST, demonetization and the policy changes. The common man standing with the shapers of New India, indeed seem to have welcomed harsh steps like demonetization and Goods & Service Tax. This would also lay the foundation for 2019 which would be the first biggest challenge to the newly coronated President of Congress.
The people of Democratic India would have to chalk out a comparison between the betterment of the state of India in the remaining term of Narendra Modi vs the claims of the opposition on various subjects. We are talking about a proven track record leader like Narendra Modi vs a political novice Rahul Gandhi. Adding to it will be grass root karyakartas vs a panache dynasty leader.
NDA would have to work in the same way we have seen for last 3+ years making sure we have strong policy fundamentals. Whereas Rahul Gandhi & INC might have to make sure people connect with them and their ideas. It is definitely going to be worth watching for 2019.