Personality cult versus principle

In Hindi a proverb says, ‘there is nothing great by making iron into gold by using paras, but it is difficult to make paras out of paras.’  The same is true when it comes to Leadership. Any leadership which is centered on the ‘personality’ of that individual will never produce successful leaders to carry out the vision or principle for which that leader stood (or she created). Congress men venerate and many went to the extent of worshipping Sonia and her son Rahul as if they are deities.  By saying this I am not against them and not a support of their opponents.  But as a well-wisher of democracy, accepting all its limitations and failures, my concern is what will happen some ‘ifs’ were suddenly began to challenge us.

In my opinion Sonia (including Indira Gandhi family legacy) symbolizes the ‘disunity’ among the Congress men.  ‘IF’ by any reason they are removed from the scene (God forbid it), then what will happen to the Congress’ future is the question that needs to be addressed seriously.  In the past such question came—particularly after Nehru.  But thank God that that time, because of the maturity of leaders and most of the followers of the first generation Congress men, Sri Lal Bahadur Sastri carried the legacy.  But once Indra Gandhi encroached (or invited) as the (rightful) successor to Nehru legacy, dynasty-veneration began to degenerate—not only Congress Party, but overall Indian politics.

If Gandhi family is removed then alone the true nature of the Congress men will prove what kind of legacy Gandhi family will leave for the destiny of Indian democracy.  As Indian Congress men do not accept another Indian as their leader, they tolerate Sonia and Rahul for the time being.  May God give long life to the members of Gandhi family, at least to save the Congress party to break away into several groups?  But if something happen to them, then what Congress will do is the real test to the leadership of Sonia or Rahul.  When in Tamilnadu, even under the leadership of ‘Annai’ (mother) Sonia, Congress has various factions (minimum five to six groups), then what can we say about the all India scene.

So, the true test and mark of any political leader is how successfully s/he is going to implement the principle of democracy within the party first.  Otherwise all kinds of temporary veneration and worship of every personality leave more problem than clear principle for the followers to carry out.  Of course (Indian) democracy will survive, but any legacy which will leave a disintegrated party will become a serious threat to the unity and integrity of our nation.  The success of any democracy depends upon the long term vision of the (political) party developed and strengthened by democratic principle than short term worship of some of its leaders.  We don’t need to wait another 50 or 100 years to see the destiny of Congress, but within a decade or two, unless its democratic principle is restored, the legacy of Sonia and Rahul will become a ‘proverb’ for many, as Indira Gandhi remains after her emergency legacy.

My fear is that BJP, which always claims a ‘party with a difference’ follow the same route by projecting Modi as the only alternative challenge to Gandhi family.  Thanks God that at least some leaders like Advani is there to raise the alarm, but when it comes to Congress party worshipers of dynasty politics are there than any one dare to raise her/is voice against One woman operated corporation called Indra Congress.

Gurukulam, June 26, 2013.