The truth is harsh and visible; the party that aided our struggle to freedom from British rule is facing an impending death. Founded in 1885, the party went on to become one of the major political parties of our country and has played a dominant role in the political dynamics that has defined and formulated our country after independence. With Amit Shah recently remarking that we are approaching towards a Bharat that is free from the reins of Congress, could anyone disagree? Could we deny the honesty in his nasty statement?
By the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the party had lost much of its popular support, mainly because of several years of poor economic conditions in the country and growing discontent over a series of corruption allegations involving government officials, the 2G spectrum scam and the Indian coal allocation scam. The Congress won only 44 seats, which was its worst-ever performance in a national election. It also brought up the question – how did one of the largest party in our country got thrashed in such a demeaning manner?
However, the story of Congress today is no more different than that of BJP prior to their astounding win. Could the Prince of the party save it from the much apparent downfall, or do they need a Princess?
The mantle of the ‘dying party’ has swiftly and eventually shifted from the BJP to the Congress. Apparently those in favour of the powerful trio, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi, got attuned more towards the brigade promising ‘Achhe din’. Ranging from constant goof-ups to passing insensitive remarks, Congress managed to become a controversy’s child. The downfall of Congress is nothing but the loss of faith and trust it had nurtured amongst the masses of our country. As of now, the Congress is in power in only six State governments: three in the north-east, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry and the state of Karnataka.
However, if the BJP can rise like a phoenix from its own ashes, can the Congress not do the same? With some major efforts and good leadership, they can narrow the existing gap between the two parties. The question that arises is – is it practical for a party like Congress to rise with all its might and gain the respect again?
Mr. Modi caught the imagination of people with his development plan which was lacking in the era of Congress, and was cleverly coupled up with the wave of Hindutava, pleasing the entire majority at once. Can the face of the Congress party promise something that is lacking in the times of the BJP? Can the leaders calm the wave that has led to sprouting of communal riots and prejudices and inhibition towards many ideological waves in existence?
Also, can the new leader promise more liberal and constitutional roots than in the era of BJP’s extremism? More importantly, who will be the leader that is promised to erect a strong building from the ruins of the party? Will it be Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi, or someone else?
Nationally, the Congress is stuck with its image of a corrupt, bankrupt party, clinging to a fifth-generation dynasty. The Prince or Princess that will be promised for reigniting the fire of Congress has to focus on forming more strategic allies, and reaching out to the youth who would not want to be targeted by the continuous (un)liberal ideologies of BJP.
The biggest hope in the current scenario of the Congress, is that history repeats itself. It shows how a ‘dying party’ can resurrect itself and clear the disillusioned air which suffocates its existence. The question is whether the Congress can manage to pull up its socks like BJP did, while battling its ‘dying’ days?