The Congress party is sinking! Long live the Congress!
I am, of course, referring to Indian National Congress, the venerable 125-year old institution now on its death-bed. The question, however, remains: did it just collapse, or was it hammered, as you destroy an old beast who refuses to lie down and breathe his last?
Under the Gandhis, the Congress has become such a frail and effete organisation, that even a man like Lalu can thumb his crooked thumb at it and get away. Out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar, he has been magnanimous enough to concede three seats to Sonia Gandhi?let me repeat, three seats out of forty?and he says that the Congress will not win even one of them, which is why he has tossed them in the Congress zhola.
Bihar is not the only State where the Congress is totally at the mercy of its so-called allies. There is Utter Pradesh and there is, of course, West Bengal, where the Congress is only a name and may be a flag, and where Congressmen like Pranab Mukherji can be counted on one'sfingers. Mukherji, who is supposed to be the party'sstate president says that the Communists are not their?that is, the Congress's?enemies and they can always do business together. Why is Pranabda so deferential to the Commies? Because his own seat depends on them!
In Maharashtra, it is touch and go whether the Congress depends on Sharad Pawar or Sharad Pawar depends on the Congress. Pawar also runs a Congress of his own, and he feels he packs more punch than the Original Congress. He should know because he used to belong to the original Congress once and may do so again. His is, in fact, the only name people associate with the Congress. Who remembers people like Sushil Shinde, a man who can hardly stand up, and Vilasrao Deshmukh, who took his time to visit one of the five-star hotels of Mumbai a whole week after it was bombed in the company of filmy people who were looking for a likely location for their next item number?
The destruction of the Congress began with Jawaharlal Nehru himself, when with the death of Mahatma Gandhi he became its sole inheritor. Inheritor is a kindly word; I almost wrote sole owner. The Congress thus passed into the hands of the Nehru family, without anybody noticing. Gandhiji'sswadeshi and khadi were given a burial and were replaced by big industries, which over the years, have passed into the hands of big business. Nehru'ssocialism or socialistic pattern of society?Nehru always had a way with words?was just a slogan, as one sector after another passed first into the hands of the state, and then just as smoothly, into the hands of big business.
The second phase was initiated in the name of liberalisation, but the Congress party was so ashamed of what it was trying to do that it got a babu to do the work for them. Some say that Dr Manmohan Singh has done more for the party than the party has done for him, but that is another matter. The fact remains that Singh & Co now represent the Congress which was once associated with stalwarts like Babu Subhas Chandra Bose and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Those whom Gods would destroy, they first make them non-entities!
Great nations need great leaders. This is also true of political parties. But can you say that of today'sCongress leaders? It is said that Singh & Co have turned the economy around and made India into one of two or three fastest growing countries in the world. But what is the reality? The economy is growing because Singh & Co have sold the country to multinationals. Even Nehru would not have done that. There is hardly a company in India today that is not owned or controlled by foreign companies or foreign banks. Even State Bank of India, once the great Imperial Bank, has a sizable foreign equity. In the name of liberalisation, Singh & Co have sold vast chunks of the economy to foreigners which explains why a short spasm on Wall Street brings our Sensex tumbling down, though, outwardly, there is no link between the two.
The Congress is supposed to be Indian National Congress. But it has now become Indian Multinational Congress, with its levers in the hands of foreigners. We just don'tknow who owns or controls what, which is why foreigners have bigger say in the party than a man like Manmohan Singh.
The man in the street knows this. He knows that over the years power has passed into the hands of foreign interests. He knows that it is they who decide prices, it is they who manipulate the Sensex, and it is they who in practice, run the economy. India is no more a sovereign country, whatever the government might say. And it is the Congress, and the men and women behind the Congress, who are responsible for it.
Also the more ?secular? the Congress becomes, the more votes it loses, for it means that the party is going out of its way to woo the minorities and play the vote-bank game. The Congress may think that the minorities are with it, but they are not. All these years, the Congress has played with them, as a cat plays with mice before it gulps them, but the mice have now realised they have been ?used? all these years and there is nothing in it for them but slow death as the noose tightens around their throats.
But even more than the vote-banks, what is really killing the Congress, literally, is its foreign-ness. The Congress ceased to be national long ago, and now it has ceased to be Indian. A party that consistently humiliates Hindus, who constitute the backbone of this nation, can never be national, just as a party in the West that insults Christians day in and day out cannot be national. The first thing that Barack Hussein Obama did after being sworn in as President was to go to the nearest Christian Church and pray. Can Congress leader even dare to be seen in a Hindu temple? They would rather go to a chapel and kneel down in prayer just as day in and day out they kneel and pray at 10 Janpath. Now they have also begun kneeling before Washington and praying for help, even though the real enemy is next door and can be crushed any time. But what can you expect of a party that has a banana for a backbone?