The Gandhis must go

Congress needs to be rebuilt, and the Gandhis should not be the ones to do it.


Editorial May 20, 2014
In order to get this once-great, moribund party back in contention, major changes need to be implemented that should include policy, outreach, and yes, leadership. PHOTO: AFP

The Indian people have spoken loudly and clearly: the Congress party is not fit to lead them. In fact, winning less than one-tenth of the Lok Sabha’s seats, Congress is unfit to even lead the opposition. In order to get this once-great, moribund party back in contention, major changes need to be implemented that should include policy, outreach, and yes, leadership.

Which is why the refusal to accept party boss Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi’s resignations is a bad move. It is indicative of the unhealthy mutual reliance that the party and the family have on each other. One of the more telling images that were telecast in the wake of Congress’s defeat was of party workers chanting Rahul Gandhi’s younger sister, Priyanka Gandhi’s name. Evidently, they thought she was the right Gandhi to lead them. But that must not be the kind of reform the party seeks. Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi disparagingly referred to Rahul Gandhi as ‘shahzada’ in his campaign, and the Congress gave little reason to suggest why voters should not think so.

And Modi is not the only who has accused the Congress of being a fiefdom; it is there for everybody to see. A scathing book by former journalist Sanjaya Baru, who was Manmohan Singh’s media adviser during the Congress’s first term, detailed the many instances in which Singh was employed both to keep the seat warm for Rahul when he is ready, and to shield the family from criticism by taking it upon himself. His response after the Gandhis’ offers to resign highlights this fact. He took responsibility for the Congress’s defeat despite neither being allowed by the family to do his job properly, nor seeking another term in office.

Dynastic parties, which seem to be a feature of South Asian politics, including those in Pakistan, need to pay heed. The party needs to be rebuilt, and the Gandhis should not be the ones to do it. It is time for them to bid the Congress adieu, and leave it in peace.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2014.

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COMMENTS (7)

Dipak | 8 years ago | Reply

Yes the fake Gandhis must go. First India should recover $22 billion stolen by Sonia and her late husband.then send all three fake Gandhi's and Damad Vadra to multiple Life Imprisonment with hard labor. Each should be separated from the other at least 500 miles apart. Also their real identity should be exposed to show their real ancestors.

Sid | 8 years ago | Reply

Not just Gandhis, the Congress party as such needs to be dissolved. Under Gandhi dynasty India mostly had set backs and bad policy decisions. Not that others did better, but Gandhis have compromised on national security quite a lot, beginning with Nehru.

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