Congress: Past and Present
Today, in 2018, the first sensation that takes a toll on our mind as we hear the word “Congress”, is the fear of Rahul Gandhi becoming the Prime Minister next year. The second thing, of course, is the dynastic politics of the Gandhi family.
(Courtesy: The Wire)
Among these surfacing ideas about the First Political Organization of Independent India, masses today very conveniently forget the golden deeds that the leaders belonging to this party have done for this country.
To start with, this political party is the one which helped us to overcome the days of crippled governance when the British left India. It was the Nehruvian Government in 1947, which filled the Indian population with a hope of new and better India, and which made India realize the potential it has in the form of its youth. The banner of Youth Empowerment is even today being held by Congress. It’s just that no one can see the good part as it is much overshadowed by the label of corruption that Congress holds in the country now.
Going into the history of the Congress, it was founded on this day, 28th December, in 1885, by Allan Octavian Hume. At that time, the Party largely constituted of the elite, British-educated Indians, and did not work for the interests of the masses of India. The main aim of the Congress at that time was to hold political dialogues among the elite and educated Indians. It was this reason that Congress was criticized for its British inclinations and foreign ways of functioning.
As the nationalism rose up in the country, the Congress became the sole representative of the people of the country, in the National Independence Struggle. The final years of Congress saw the Congress as equal to the ideology and actions of Mahatma Gandhi, who was a major force, among other leaders, in the Freedom Struggle.
That the first Prime Minister of Independent India was from Congress, is an already known fact, but let me highlight that this political party gave India its first woman Prime Minister, the political successor of the Gandhi dynasty, Indira Gandhi. The power and charisma that this woman exhibited during her term are enough to leave anyone in awe of her. No wonder the leaders of Congress are still voicing women empowerment in the country when the current government has done very little in this regard, despite many promises.
(Courtesy: The Wire)
Rajiv Gandhi was another magnanimous leader given by the party to India. He became the youngest Prime Minister of the country, from 1984-89.
(Courtesy: India Today)
It is the Congress to which the “father of Indian economic reforms”, PV Narasimha Rao belonged. His achievements and contributions to India are indeed unmatchable.
In 1998, the widow of Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi became the leader of the Congress. In 2004, Dr. Manmohan Singh took the office of Prime Minister and worked to introduce many initiatives like RTI in the country. His second tenure, however, was marked by the accusations of scams and corruption and that was the point which saw the downfall of this political party.
In 2014, Congress lost the power at the center to BJP, and since then has been taken only and only as the epitome of a government which made the Indian governance system hollow from inside.
In 2017, Rahul Gandhi became the President of the Congress, and also the butt of most of the political jokes.
Indeed, Congress is not the best Government our country can have, neither is Rahul Gandhi an ideal candidate for the seat of Prime Minister, but democratic politics work best when seen relatively.