Dear Leaders in Congress,

Today I read from the newspapers that finally you “may” have a permanent elected President along with elected Congress Working Committee members and may have an election in May this year. This gave me immense happiness and if achieved, will surely benefit Congress and ultimately the nation.

If you are reading this article, I would like to make the below points for the Congress.

  1. It is an extremely welcome move to see that Congress will start its march towards democracy and meritocracy. I understand, destroying nepotism is not easy, but any endeavor starts with a humble beginning. Though BJP as a party appeared late in politics, why it is so successful today? The reason is simple: BJP let merit prevail and that’s why competent people like Modiji, Vajpayeeji, Amit Shah and Yogiji could make it to the top most positions. You absolutely cannot deny the fact that democracy has always triumphed over dynasty. Why? Because the suitable people rise up and unsuitable are weeded out. Hence, you should move fast and make Congress a democratic party and shed all nepotism.
  2. Why I want to see INC a democratic party? There are three reasons. First, the role of opposition is to show the mirror to the ruling party so that there is a check. Second, Power corrupts. IF any political party/person stays in power for long, then it becomes corrupt. Hence, rotation of power is extremely important for a healthy democratic set up. Third, Congress being the oldest party, losing its legacy is not going to be beneficial for the nation.
  3. Congress should value its leaders: Congress needs to learn to respect its leaders. It is a known fact that Congress has produced great leaders, but it never gave them its right place. In order to inspire people, you need leaders. Say in 2050, how will you inspire my grand daughter to join Congress if you don’t have great leader to show and inspire the youth? Take the case of Narsimha Rao, he started the economic reforms and deserves a Bharat Ratna. Forget giving him that, you did not let his dead body enter the Congress head quarters. No one can forget the role of Dr. Singh in pulling India out of the crisis in 1991. Why don’t you fight with the Govt for awarding Bharat Ratna to Dr. Singh. I saw no happiness amongst your leaders when Pranab Da was awarded with Bharat Ratna. Please note, as a dynasty grows older, the quality of leaders degrades. So chances are miniscule that Rahulji and Priyankaji will turn to be charismatic leaders. And, chances are high that Priyankaji’s children will turn out to be worse leaders than Priyankaji or Rahulji. Your rival BJP has started projecting your leaders as its own. For e.g. there is a strong perception today that Sardar Patel is a non Congress leader. Same could happen with Dr. Singh, Pranab Da fifty years from now.
  4. Congress should have a parallel cabinet: Sanjay Jha was booted out of Congress for demanding a democratic set up within congress. He had a very valuable suggestion which you should implement right away. He suggested that Congress as the main opposition should have a parallel cabinet which will track he work of every ministry of the Govt and constructively criticize them. I don’t understand why don’t you implement it. Please note that unless you are able to prove yourself as a good opposition, you can never be a good ruling party. Surprisingly, when Dr. Singh’s govt was in power, Sonia Gandhi headed National Advisory Council (NAC) acted as a parallel cabinet. Isn’t this nonsense? When there were great people from your party in the govt, you formed a shadow ministry, and when there is need of a shadow cabinet to track BJP Govt’s work you don’t have it. You may have booted out Sanjay Jha, mind you, he is a real well wisher of Congress, you should take him back and give him the rightful position he deserves.
  5. Congress should never give up its socialistic principles: BJP is a party believing in open capitalism. Open and free capitalism is very efficient in generating wealth. What would be ideal here: BJP stays in power for some time, generates wealth. You being a socialistic party, come back to power and through your welfare policies help distribution some of the generated wealth so that it reaches the downtrodden. Parties of Capitalist and Socialist ideologies take turns in ruling the nation. This will ensure economic prosperity and welfare of the down trodden. But you need to shed your 2 ill qualities. First, you need to shed your anti-corporate mindset. We need clean corporates to generate wealth and give jobs/taxes. Second, all your socialist schemes are mired with rampant corruption. You need to ensure that your welfare schemes actually benefits people.
  6. You need to redefine your concept of secularism: Secularism is a noble concept and probably one of the best discoveries of the human race. Your definition of secularism has become synonymous with Islamic fundamentalism and that’s why secularism has become a hated word. The law passed by Rajivji after Shah Bano case proves this. You amended the Hindu succession act to give equal property rights to Hindu females, I welcome it. Why did not you do the same for Muslim ladies who are suffering due to practices like Nikah Halala, triple talaq, polygamy and unequal property rights. Mind you, you may achieve short term goals by encouraging the radicals in Islam. But over the period of time when Islamic society will remains backward, and there is a realization, they will blame you for keeping them backward. Hindus criticized Raja Rammohun Roy or Vidyasagar or William Bentick for carrying out reforms in the Hindu society, but now they are widely revered among the Hindus. Why? They induced changes in Hindu society for good. Congress should push for carrying out the same reforms for Muslims especially ladies, as it has done for Hindus. Another example, If govt takes over Hindu temples for supplementing govt. finances, why does it hesitate to do the same for mosques and dargahs? If you were secular you would apply same rules for every one.

I would hope and pray the Congress takes the above points seriously. And more importantly, it reinvents itself.

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