Source: The Hitavada      Date: 16 Jun 2017 11:14:14

IT was obvious that the Congress High Command would suspend the leader who called its Vice President Mr. Rahul Gandhi ‘Pappu’ on social media. It was also obvious that no organisation worth the salt would tolerate such an affront of its leadership. But, at the same time, it is also obvious that the ‘Pappu’ syndrome has been afflicting the Congress for quite sometime, thanks to the inept leadership Mr. Rahul Gandhi has provided to the party for the past 12-13 years. Because whatever he did turned into a nightmare, everybody has by now begun believing that the organisation has nobody at the helm. This leadership crisis is something that the Congress party will have to tackle on an immediate basis, failing which, it would begin its march towards doom.
When Congress was in power, everything the Gandhi mother-son did was lapped up as great by the party’s rank and file. For full ten years, the Gandhi family ruled the roost, and that sealed them from all criticism. But when it lost power to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by a strong leader like Mr. Narendra Modi, the Congress membership became sure that its leadership was no match to the flamboyance of the Prime Minister. Subsequently, the Congress party kept doing poorly at the hustings, which eroded the party’s base still further.
It is against this background that the people in general also came to know that sharp contrast between the leadership styles of Mr. Narendra Modi and Mr. Rahul Gandhi. In the past three years, the Congress organisation has continued to become weaker because no fresh ideas and dreams emerged from the leaders. The various statements he made were so pathetic that the whole nation started calling Mr. Rahul Gandhi ‘Pappu’. So popular has this derision become that even Congress rank and file have begun referring to him as ‘Pappu’. The social media post by a Congress leader is a symbolism of how poor has the Congress leadership become under the so-called young Mr. Rahul Gandhi who has shown no signs of youth except his age.
It is obvious that Congress party has many intelligent and popularly acceptable leaders. Unfortunately, however, most of them busied themselves with being sycophants without showing any spark of independence. Everybody became, thus, a victim of ‘Pappu’ syndrome. It is this challenge which the Congress party has to tackle as quickly as possible if it has to get ready for the general elections in 2019.
This would be possible if Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and her son agree to step aside and invite some capable persons to take over the leadership initiative. Obviously, both of them have lost the ability to produce fresh ideas and enthuse the rank and file of the  country’s oldest political party. In the past also when the party faced leadership crisis, the rank and file threw up capable personalities to carry forward the agenda. But that could happen because the old leadership gave way to the new one and allowed fresh ideas to lead the forces.
This appears to be a rather difficult thing to happen now. For, the Gandhis seem to have developed a very deep-rooted vested interest, thanks to their unholy involvement in many critical matters. When they enjoyed power, both the Gandhis indulged in actions that were detrimental to national and party interest. Their main fear today is of getting exposed and getting discarded totally. That is the reason they do not wish to relinquish their grip on the party organisation.
This appears to be a problem without solution, unless some second-rung leader revolts and moblises the cadres to snatch the leadership initiative and rebuild the party. This may appear rather difficult, but there may not be any other solution available to Congressmen to tide over the present crisis.