Sunday, January 29, 2023

Going in circles

As Rahul’s highly publicised Bharat Jodo Yatra comes to a close at Srinagar to coincide with the Republic Day on January 26, many questions arise about whether the yatra has succeeded in bringing all conscientious and concerned citizens together. The march, led by Rahul Gandhi was planned to span over for roughly five months, to cover more than 3,570 kilometres from Kanyakumari to Jammu and Kashmir through 12 states and two Union Territories. One of many questions is whether the yatra will provide the rudderless and comatose Congress with the ground support it badly needs; whether Rahul has learnt anything from his mass contacts or has the yatra only succeeded in resurrecting his sagging image as a national leader and possibly, the opposition face in 2024? While Congress needs to close ranks in order to fight elections against a formidable opponent, instead, many stalwarts including highly talented professionals have left the party out of frustration. The party may be in a state of bliss because it believes that the Gandhis are crucial to its identity and existence yet this aspect is spelling the doom for India’s oldest political organisation. The Yatra may be a welcome diversion for the Congress as Rahul has been hogging the limelight but the point is whether it has made him any better or wiser as a leader of a party of sycophants and camp followers? It was but understandable that the yatra caught the attention of the nation because it was a symbolic act of bringing people from various sections of society, particularly the ordinary citizens of the country together in expressing their concurrence on the issues facing them. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had reiterated that the yatra was non-political but a “tapasya” started against hate, fear and division of society as well as against unemployment and inflation. No one can doubt the noble mind concerned with human sufferings but to accept that the yatra was apolitical is misleading. If it is not political then it means the Congress under Rahul has evolved into a NGO from a political party that fought for India’s independence. It is unfortunate that the party has to be projected by a political phenomenon whose only right to be parachuted to the helm of the party’s leadership is entitlement from the surname. When most political parties in the world are confronted with a crisis, they look at the problem from all angles and try to find solutions. Do they need to change their leaders? Should they re-examine their policies? Are they failing to get their message across etc. Even in team sports like football or cricket, when a team consistently under performs, a great deal of analysis is done and the coach gets the axe. Once the coach is axed, the team composition also undergoes an overhaul under a new coach with strategies planned to achieve the objective. This sends a right message to all supporters and fans that factors responsible for past failures have been addressed and the fans and supporters are encouraged to continue backing their team. The mysterious thing about the Congress is that no such exercise is taking place but the mystery is solved when it is revealed that the party is steered by an amateur and non-politician.

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