Aug.02

Who Moved My Leaders

Congress has been a party of charismatic leaders. Leaders who enjoyed ‘Demi God’ status. The charisma of these national or regional leaders was unparallel. The history of Indian National Congress is testimony to larger than life leaders like Mahatama Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Indira Gandhi and others who in their times enjoyed the Demi God status.

One can argue that those were the golden days of past and they have not experienced the charisma and following of those ‘Demi Gods’. Yes, most of us may have not witnessed the mass following and charismatic leadership qualities of the tallest leaders of Congress but probably most of us have witnessed or are witnessing the rise and popularity of leaders like Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, PV Narasimha Rao, and many others contemporary leaders.

It will not be wrong to say that leaders and their following has been the strength of Congress. These leaders who enjoyed larger than life image and mass following have not only built the party – Indian National Congress but in last few decades have been instrumental in formation of many regional parties. We have
witnessed the emergence of a few strong regional parties like TMC, NCP, YSRCP and others. The founders of these party were once strong Congress leaders. The leaders like Mamta Banarjee, Sharad Pawar, Jagan Mohan Reddy who once were the leaders of Congress but now they have their own regional parties. The reality of these leaders remains unchanged! They at core are still Congressi.

Congress unlike BJP which is karyakarta based party always believed in building strong leadership. Congress has always been a top-heavy party and BJP with the support of RSS is a karykarta based party. It will not be wrong to say that both national parties have their own unique strengths and that is the core of the respective parties.

Coming back to Congress, it will only be correct to say that Congress has been a party of great leaders who were or are known for the mass connect. On the one hand, BJP in absence of huge mass leaders who have attained ‘Demi God’ status have started to piggyback on few of the Demi Gods from Congress. BJP is trying to hijack the credentials of leaders like Sardar Patel, Mahatma Gandhi, and others for their branding. We all will agree that BJP in recent past have extensively used the Demi God status of Mahatma Gandhi, and Sardar Patel for their benefits. One may argue that national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, and Sardar Patel are beyond boundaries of party politics but the fact remains unchanged that they were leaders of Indian National Congress. On the other hand, there is sustained propaganda to malign the brand image of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajeev Gandhi and others.

This is a critical case of destroying the core of Congress – ‘Asset as Leadership’. The congress needs a swift action to protect it’s ‘Asset as Leadership’ before it’s too late.

 

Politics

Aug.01

Who Moved My (Dalit) Voters!

Dalits in India are one of the largest voting block. The sumtotal of all dalit voters is more than one-fourth of overall voters. The fact that they are the largest voting block makes them the most important voting class.

Dalits have traditionaly aligned themselves with the Congress ideology. It will not be wrong to say that dalits were and still are one of the largest vote bank for congress.

The dalit vote bank started to deflect from congress roughly three decades back. This major change in the indian politics started when various small and niche parties like BSP, LJP, and others identified the fact that Dalits are one of the largest vote bank and started focusing on Dalits. This resulted into a sharp division of dalit vote bank between the congress and other niche parties.

The dynamics of dalit vote bank changed once again when BJP started focusing on the largest voters block – Dalits. It will not be wrong to say that till recently, BJP was not in the game of Dalit Vote Bank Politics but a few intelligent moves by Shah and Modi has divided the vote bank further more into the Congress, niche parties and BJP.

The various Pro-Dalit moves by BJP has helped it win a small segment of key Dalit vote bank. It can be seen as a big challenge to the dalit vote bank dominance by all niche parties, and Congress. The biggest blow was seen in the last UP election when a small shift in a dalit vote bank had made BSP absolutely irrelevant.

The impact of this change is not only seen on ground but also has changed the evolving political equation – ‘Mahagadbandhan’. It will not be wrong to say that the chang in dalit vote bank has forced Nitish to shift sides. Nitish realised that this new Pro-Dalit and Pro-Poor narrative will wipe out JDU in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections the way it wiped out Mayawati and BSP in 2017 UP Assembly Election.

The small regional parties like JDU, LJP, and others are realizing that the Opposition has not been able to build any credible narrative around the Pro-Dalit and Pro-Poor plank. They are not even in position to unite and nurture the basic Pro-Dalit and Pro-Poor narrative.
Thus, rather than becoming irrelevant to politics it is better to align with the winning team. Congress needs to act on Pro-Dalit and Pro-Poor, and they need to act now!

It will not be wrong to say that if Congress can unite Dalit vote bank they will not only win the overall vote share but also will be in position to unite Opposition. The task is not tough as dalits were one of the largest vote bank of Congress and still it is the largest support base for Congress. All that congress needs to do is reunite them back into one single block.

 

Politics

May.20

Congress: Time for Atma-Manthan

It is important to share that Congress since 1885 has dominated the Indian political space. It has also dominated India’s post-independence politics. It has ruled the country for 54 of the past 69 years, either on its own or as the leader of coalition governments. But now, the Indian National Congress is in crisis. Almost two years after its humiliating defeat in general elections, it has lost its face in the Assembly elections – Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal. They have become glorified third player in most of these states.

Politics