Monday, 20 October 2014

THE ROT WITHIN

The rot within

It's a truth that was needed to be told and former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan didn't have qualms in spelling it out. The Congress party is rotting because of its inherent corruption and nothing is being done about it. As the chief minister of the state Chavan couldn't do anything. Media reports say that he has admitted to inaction because that would have put his party --- the Congress --- in disarray. Chavan later apologised for that blunt statement. But that won't wipe off the reality in any way: Congress party is heading nowhere because of the culture of sycophancy and corruption. 

One would wonder why nothing was being done about it. The answer lies in the malaise: the Gandhi family. The top party leadership, who pretend to be leaders, believe that there cannot be any alternative to the Gandhis --- Congress president Sonia, vice-president Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. But this foolish dependence on the Gandhis will never help the Congress. Rather, this is the reason why Congress is suffering; the Gandhis are like a fatal addiction which is not getting cured. The Congress party needs to understand one thing clearly --- despite everything that ails the Indian society, ordinary citizens by and large do not want corrupt people at the helm of affairs. The perception has been that Congress leadership, with direct approval of the Gandhis, do not curb corruption. Rather, they support and promote corruption. 

For 10 years there was a Congress-led government in New Delhi under Dr Manmohan Singh. Media reports then told us that Dr Singh could not effectively deal with his corrupt colleagues in the government. It was only when the Supreme Court of India intervened that the corrupt people faced the music. And this despite Dr Singh himself being known as an honest person. The former prime minister was effectively barred from taking any action by the top Congress leadership --- the Gandhis. At least that's the perception. In the end, it didn't help the Congress as it lost the Assembly elections in 2013 and the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. And now in Maharashtra and Haryana. 

I believe that in a democracy there should be different political parties with different policies and ideologies. These parties need to be honest in their approach and in their declared wish to serve the country. For the sake of India it is necessary that the Congress party and its rival parties have the confidence of the people. However, over the years all the political parties, without any exception, have become part of a corrupt system where money and muscle matter. The desire to serve the nation and the citizens has all but vanished. Ask any common citizen and she will tell you that all the politicians are corrupt and all political parties are the same. 

It is because of such distrust that the Congress lost in the elections so massively. That being the reality, it is not an easy task to win back the trust of people for the Congress. Yet, this is an opportunity for the party to start from the beginning again. Congress party has to free itself of the corrupt Congress culture and bring back the culture of honesty.

And yes, it needs to get rid of the old-fashioned socialist rhetoric. That isn't cutting ice any more. People in this country want good jobs, good life and good governance in every sphere. These promises and the Congress's corruption have helped the Bharatiya Janata Party to take control of India. If Congress wants to redeem itself, it has to think on those lines. With honesty, and without an iota of corruption. And that would require getting rid of the Gandhis.