Rahul Gandhi has returned, and the excitement is almost palpable. The media are gunning their engines, each organisation wants to be the first to announce the latest Rahul Baba #hashtag or blunder. The political parties are sharpening their fangs, ready to pounce and tear him apart limb from limb. The Congress is nervous, “what has he thought of on this sabbatical,” most leaders will worry. The older ones will quiver, could their careers be on the chopping block? The younger ones will be restless, will they make it to the popular table as the chosen ones?
In the meantime Rahul and his family will ponder. They will discuss in great detail when they should announce his promotion, should they divulge details of his trip, how should they tackle the media and the political parties. All of this will be done behind closed doors and India will wait with bated breath.
Will Rahul Gandhi be the new Congress president? Is Sonia Gandhi stepping aside? When is this going to happen? We will ask, desperately awaiting answers.
Say Rahul does become the new Congress president, what then? What should be his first order of business? A number of political scholars will share their thoughts. Here are a few more.
A complete Congress overhaul
Out with the old and in with the young, should be Rahul’s underlying motto. If he wants the respect of the party and the power to control them, he will need a new crop of leaders. There are more than enough young leaders that deserve a chance to shine, that wouldn’t be possible under the Sonia Gandhi leadership. In the past he has ensured important positions for leaders like Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ajay Maken and Ghulam Ahmed Mir. This in turn means the era of leaders like Sheila Dikshit and Ashok Gehlot is over.
Change in the structure of the party
Intra-party democracy (IPD) should become a fundamental principal of all political parties in this country. Intra-party democracy is the principal of a democratic system within the party. IPD will not only enhance proper representation for voters but ensure that political parties are held to a higher level of accountability. It will improve the quality of deliberation in the party – the position and escalation of politicians should be based on their ability to convince members on the cogency of their ideas, not on their muscle power.
Rahul Gandhi has in the past tried to implement internal democracy within the party, especially in the Youth Congress. It is an important change, that can only benefit the party and as a result the public.
The lost identity
Rahul Gandhi needs to stop running away from his name. He is a Gandhi and it’s time he embraces it for all it means. Under Nehru and Indira Gandhi, this party thrived because they stood in support of the people. They were great leaders and Rahul Gandhi would do well to emulate their methods. Congress has lost its identity, it has forgotten what its founders fought for. It has forgotten its ideals: pro-poor, tolerance, freedom. Rahul Gandhi needs to do everything in his power to bring back these ideals to Congress.
Why did the BJP hammer the Congress the way it did? Because Modi had a clear image and direction. He said development, we said yes. Congress on the other hand, said nothing. In order to bring Congress back to its feet, Rahul Gandhi needs to thrust these ideals down our throats. He needs to remind the people what Congress is about – a party that fights for the poor, the minorities and the persecuted.
Rahul Gandhi has lacked the conviction to implement his ideas in the past, if he wants to be president, this lacklustre attitude is not the way to go about it anymore. He needs to take the bull by its horns, as clichéd as it is.
If he is headed for success, it is time he got the opportunity to prove the country wrong.
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily of ScoopWhoop)
Feature image source: Indian Express