finally In

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Dec 2017 12:10:11

FINALLY, Mr. Rahul Gandhi is going to be in Congress hot seat as the party’s new President. This development had been in offing for long, but was kept on the backburner for reasons best known only to Congress insiders. The party seems to have gotten over all its reservations and has decided to hand over the reins to the now-not-so-young man of 47 to head the country’s oldest political party. The Congress leadership think-tank has felt strongly that the party would go from strength to strength as Mr. Rahul Gandhi heads the organisation into one of the most challenging phases of contemporary times. 

It must be said that the time ahead is truly tough for the Congress party as it is threatening to slip out of public memory as quickly as possible. No matter the fact that it has ruled the country for most of the seventy years since Independence, the Congress party of today is not even a pale shadow of its former self. And Mr. Rahul Gandhi has taken over the reins of the party from his mother Mrs. Sonia Gandhi who headed the organisation for 19 years. Unfortunately, the Congress party has lost much of its public goodwill and has earned a bad name for itself for acting as an irresponsible political outfit kicking up senseless controversies and foisting falsehood on people by making baseless accusations against Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi.

Even though he assumes the leadership officially now, Mr. Rahul Gandhi had been the unofficial leader of the party for years, often leading it to electoral disasters one after another. The touch-and-go style of his leadership has become so pronounced of late that Mr. Gandhi has become a subject of savage jokes in social and traditional media.

Obviously, Mr. Gandhi will have to emerge from those dark and dirty shadows. Obviously, he will have to study the leadership pattern of the party since its inception more than 130 years ago. He will have to understand the greatness of his predecessors who strode the national stage like personages of immense merit. And he will have to do this with the purpose of leading the organisation not only in elections but beyond so that the organisation’s future is secured in the hands of rank and file inspired by a lasting philosophical idea and ideal.

This process will be excruciatingly slow, particularly when the national stage is being dominated indisputably by a charismatic leader like Mr. Narendra Modi and the highly successful electoral machine of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Mr. Gandhi will have to set his sights well beyond the elections, and into a zone of uncompromising commitment to a well-meditated nationalistic thought. And to be able to achieve that, Mr. Gandhi will have to start studying history of not just his party but also of the nation and its struggles in the past thousand years. Only that effort will take him closer to the great leaders who led the party earlier in the one hundred years.

Though people would love to wish him the very best in his effort, it is obvious that Mr. Rahul Gandhi will have to really rise above the mundane. Everything will depend upon his ability to do so and also take the party along on a philosophically correct upward trajectory. He will have to come out of the habit of issuing senseless slogans and start dwelling in the zone of deep thought on national issues. His habit of sprinkling his speeches by thoughtless terms may pull him down. Therefore, Mr. Rahul Gandhi will have to start converting himself as a thinking party-chief, and not as a slogan-shouting satrap.

Anybody will wish Mr. Rahul Gandhi the very best as Congress President. May he raise the bar for himself so that he does so for the Congress party as well.