The will of the people will prevail

via Dr Mrs Hilda Raja, published on March 10, 2012

“I promised ma we’ll get her all the 10 seats of Rae Bareli and Sultapur”,so stated Priyanka Vadra.’at one of her campaigns. It is this personalized kind of electioneering and this dynastic mindset which saw the Congress biting the dust in the recent elections in four of the five States-It pushed the party to fourth place in Uttar Pradesh, snatched away Goa and handed over Punjab back to the Akali Dal and in Uttarakhand the Congress with just one more than the BJP has to stoop down to the independents in a bid to form the government. One should also not forget that this dynasty mindset was reflected in the civic polls in Maharastra. Yet the Congress had not learned its lesson. Pointing on reasons outside itself and the family it looks for scapegoats, “Problem is we have too many leaders’ too many leaders-not lack of it”. Was one of the reasons Mrs Sonia Gandhi gave for the party’s debacle. And who is responsible for these ‘too many leaders”? She fails to introspect that she as leader is solely responsible because it is a one person regime in the Party. When it came to organizational weakness- that was quickly passed over. Organizational weaknesses is also her making-with she holding full power and sycophants as General Secretaries. She made her son Rahul Gandhi a General Secretaryho had no political experience and had not climbed up the ladder.A Digvijaya Singh who is more a liability than an asset. His utterances must have made the Congress loss quite a handful of votes. The Congress which boasts itself to be the oldest party now talks of starting from the scratch. The likes of Salman Khrushid and Beni Prasad did not cover themselves with glory when they violated the model code of conduct and defied the Election Commissioner to hang them!

The simple fact which it overlooks is the kind of campaigning it indulged in-the lack of good local leaders it failed to nurture and allow to evolve .This has been the biggest drawback of the Congress.It is too centralized for a democracy and is banking just on one family.But when it wants to deliver the goods then it looks for local leaders. Hence Sonia Gandhi’s quick accusation on why the party lost in Rae Bareli’it is because the people are not happy with the MLAs.What was her role in the pocket borough of Rae Bareli? What was her role in Amethi where 8 of ten assembly seats went to the SP? These considered to be the pocket boroughs of the Nehru Gandhi family failed miserably in the elections.

The biggest need will be for Mrs Sonia Gandhi to realize that the family is no longer the vote catcher. Its charm does not work towards changing the curious crowds into votes. Even her son-in-law did some campaigning and I am sure that not only failed to click but went towards the people’s indifference and backlashed on the dynasty. Robert Vadra stated that politics is the family’s business. Governance is not business of the family. Surely people will not take this kind of cheap boast and everything went against the family. The appearance of the whole family did not pay as was expected. It boomeranged. That people have matured and the people of India are looking forward to democratic governance the Family failed to realize. How long can it take the people for a ride? The voters will reject patrons and saviors and crumbs falling from the National Advisory Council.

The people want truly their representatives not cynics of the Opposition. They need to be assured of fulfillment of their aspirations. But here again Rahul Gandhi failed and failed miserably. He tried to stand outside his party and the government at Delhi thereby insulating himself from the corruption, the price rise, and the scams. When he criticized the Mayawathi government for making the UPites beggars it did not go down well. When he faulted Mulayam Yadav and Mayawati for not being with the people and not feeling for the poor anymore it evoked no response. When he stated that ‘we’ sent them money but the elephant has eaten it up.He fails to realize that the money was not his or the Congress’ –it was the people’s money.This Rahul Gandhi may not comprehend but the people did. With a pretension of anger he tried to project on the misery and poverty of the people-they must have laughed within themselves because the people are fully aware that he and his mother are at the helm of affairs so why blame others. They also know that it is they who keep the Gandhis in their luxury and luxurious life style.So eating a meal with them and spending a night in a dalits’ hut is no relief for them.These are all gimmicks because he gets back to his luxurious life style.

He projected himself as their savior-the one and only person come to redeem them. But did not the Congress rule UP? What was its achievement? Rahul Gandhi thinks that the people who converged in large numbers are at his level of IQ. He fails to realize that they are intelligent and world wise and in dealing with their lives they have more vision and more earthy ideas. This kind of patronage will be totally rejected in the coming years. It is a public secret that Manmohan Singh is not allowed to govern.

Right from the inception of the Congress down the years it has not allowed local leaders-regional leaders to grow.This can be gauged from the fact that when these leaders like Devraj Urs, Kamaraj grew tall they were cut to size.The Kamaraj plan was strategically placed to ease off regional leaders in the name of organizational growth.Today Mrs Sonia Gandhi talks of organizational weakness. It is her role which has made the organization weak. The growth of sycophants is one such. Lack of inner democracy is another. Insulating herself and the family from the country’s aspiration projecting their own aspirations to be in power as that of the country’s. How totally mired their focus is .When a big tree falls all the plants around it die. This is the same kind of thought process that mires Mrs Sonia Gandhi and her children. They are not India and they cannot be placed above the country-its people and its development.

Look at the kind of leaders which she has around her. Digvijaya for one who has done greater harm that anyone in his uncalled for comments and utterances. Why had he brought in Batla house encounter and fixed it as a faked encounter .Why had Salman Khurshid referred to Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s tears. How foolish they were and how utterly out of sync they were as far as the people are concerned. Did these kinds of irresponsible utterances bring in votes? People- are smarter than Digvijaya Singh and his sycophantic outlook. Just the day prior to the counting of the votes he rubbished the exit-poll surveys and said that the Congress would get more than 100 seats in UP. What kind of a leader is he when he could not feel the pulse of the people? It is this kind of leaders that are ‘too many’ round the family.

Digvijaya also said that if the results are not good then Rahul Gandhi cannot be blamed. It is not for him to say that. RG himself has accepted the failure as his responsibility. He has learned his lesson he stated. I wonder what lesson he had learned. If only the Family could remove itself from centre stage and not stage manage the GOI and appoint persons of family loyalty to positions, things would be different. Mrs Sonia Gandhi thinks that managing the country’s affairs is easy-she had no experience, hence her son too with no experience can manage. Now the next in line is her daughter Priyanka Vadra.If there are lessons learned then the first would be that the Gandhi family must cease to be the first family. There were other great men/women who contributed their best to the country but did not ask for power and prestige.

Mrs Sonia Gandhi has wrought more harm than good to the country.As Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes in his article ‘Mandate for a dream’(IE 7th March): “The party’s four cardinal mistakes in this election were hubris, communalism, disingenuous and whining’ I would say that these are not pertaining to only this election but the factors which color the vision of the Congress at all times. The Congress will not learn its lesson because too long in power has blinded it to reality. Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s refusal to own up responsibility in failing to nurturing a democratic organization reveals a mindset that cannot be changed. This is precisely why she sees ‘no dent to the UPA.’It is too much to expect Mrs Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka to realize that the family has no magic wand and that the people are fed up with the Nehru-Gandhi family and its brand of politics. It does not accept the idea of Robert Vadra that politics is the business of the family. That is completely rejected and will be rejected for all times. That under it there is an anti Congress sweep-a mood of the people against the Congress. The sooner the party realizes this the better. Unless the party becomes democratic it cannot offer a democratic government. Unless Mrs Sonia Gandhi disbands her NAC and allows the ministries to function under Manmohan Singh without a remote control there is no redemption for the country. The will of the people will prevail and that would be to topple the undemocratic Congress and unseat those who are against democracy and democratic institutions.

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