After a long time, I am writing anything political but the events of the past few weeks have made me again have a look at the Indian political landscape. The Indian political landscape is abuzz with the entry of political strategist and mercenary, Prashant Kishore into the Congress and how is he going to transform the grand old party. I find it amusing, to say the least, because a single person who claims to have the ability to transform the political landscape is just another person aiming to grab power. And to buttress that point, I will just give the example of Arvind Kejriwal.
I have a few observations that might go against the current thinking. First, Congress might be more democratic that we might believe them to be. The reason most people don’t realize it because it is the Central leadership which is limited to the Gandhi family. But if you look at it, everybody wants Gandhi’s to be the leader, so that it keeps rivals at bay. Whenever a tough decision to be made in the state units it is referred to the Central leadership. So it has become convenient for the state leaders to avoid tough decisions while keeping the enemy in check. And, all the while the central Congress leadership, devoid of any power is wary of scaring whatever remains of its local leaderships. As a case in point whenever the Central leadership has asserted itself, we have seen people like Jagan Mohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh and Himanta Biswa Sarma in Assam break away from the party fold. THe job of the central leadership is not easy but they haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory by not recognising the ambitions of local leaders and identifying the right leaders.
The second is the role of Prashant KIshore is going to be. As I had mentioned earlier, I had mentioned him as a political mercenary. The reason is he has worked with almost everyone on the political spectrum, so that makes me doubt whether he is any way ideologically motivated to defeat the current government. The only thing in his favor might be that he is power hungry. But, being an outsider he might be able to effect changes in the grand old party where the writ of central leadership is ineffective. It might lead to an exodus of lot of leaders and might actually help in rejuvenating the party with a new batch of leaders. What Rahul Gandhi might have tried and failed due to the old-guard, Prashant KIshore might succeed.
Lastly, I want Congress to succeed, not because I believe they are much different from the BJP, it is always very important for a country to have a vibrant opposition. Right now what we see is a rag-tag opposition. The only alternative to Congress as of now is the rise of AAP but it will take time, while Congress despite being weak has presence and brand recall throughout India.