The Indian National Congress is a hundred and thirty two years old party. At least, if we believe, this is the same organization that took part in India’s freedom struggle. Valid reasons can be given to suggest otherwise. That this is not even a shadow of the organization which once boasted of luminaries such as Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and so many others in its ranks. My own grandfather was a peasant leader who almost gave up his life in the battle for fairness and equality and served in the first cabinet in Rajasthan as Home Minister. Today, that mindset is gone.

And if we celebrate 70 years of India’s birth today, we should take a hard look at this farce of an organization that remains in its name. I can say for sure that if I were asked to take over Congress as a business concern today, I would have only two choices. I would either shut it down and sell its assets to derive maximum benefit for its shareholders (in this case, the citizens of the country and the lovers of a vision that is India), or do a fast turnaround. There are no other options.

Unfortunately, the present leadership of the company shows no urgency and has a singular lack of passion. Its only unique selling proposition (USP) is heredity and a sense of entitlement to the perks of familial recognition. But the organization is dead or rapidly dying. It has neither a product to offer nor any services. I see no reason why it would invite fresh and strong talent at this time to effect a rapid transformation.

The brand has lost its market value and has become negative in many ways. There is no vision or massive transformative purpose (MTP). No standard processes or systems. No training or motivational initiatives for employees. Stock value has deteriorated to nearly junk status. We need someone like a Lou Gerstner or Steve Jobs here to save the company.

Unfortunately, we have none. If I had my way, I would fire the present leadership, lock, stock and barrel. Those who still want to hang on need to be sent to the villages or areas of severe financial and social backwardness to live there for the next two years. Let them work and prove their worth. I would sell off the present assets (I have read that the party is one of the largest land-holder in the country today) and use them to hire the best talent and create the most transparent systems. Where the only way to climb up the ladder would be to show ability, passion and integrity. This would be shared online among all the stakeholders. This would be painful and all the looters, moochers, thieves and corrupt politicians would be gone in a heart-beat. And that is what I want. I would rather not win a single seat than elect even one corrupt representative of mine.

This is the company that my family has been an integral part of. There is nothing I want more than its success. But for the right reasons and in the right manner. I am happy if it comes to even a hundred sincere and honest workers in its ranks. For then, it can re-build it and create something of lasting impact. With clear goals and vision. Precise timelines and implementation program.

Narendra Modi wants us to have the same spirit for the next five years as we have after Quit India Movement. I agree whole-heartedly. That spirit was Do or Die. That is the same spirit I want in my organization. If I cannot offer anything worthwhile to my clients (in this case, the citizens of the country), I would either create something of value immediately or be ready to close shop. That is the desperation and selflessness the entity needs today. Cutting great marketing deals with Prashant Kishore will not salvage the entity. Nor will signing up new business alliances with big partners in mahagathbandhans create a product of value.

No longer more of the same. No longer the cronyism, the ‘sultanate’ as Jairam Ramesh recently called it, or legacy mindsets. No longer the lack of real ideology, or poor follow-up, or not setting up the right expectations among my team. No longer the inertia, poor delegation and failed policies of the past. Going back to the basics, the grassroots, and the customer is the only thing that will save this business.

Or there is the other option. To declare bankruptcy and start afresh again. That would be the right financial decision. And the only moral one.

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