Nothing less than overhaul is needed
The Congress party is in a real disarray today and it needs an urgent revamp, which should include restructuring and overhauling of the party. Some of its basic policies need be reviewed and changed if it wants to win elections in India in the centre as well as in the states.
The BJP and the NDA are winning state after state and the age old Congress party is being completely washed away. It seems that the Hindus have almost completely deserted the Congress party and have shifted their loyalties to the BJP/NDA. Till the year 2009 this was not the case and Congress could win many elections. After 2009 it seems the Hindus of India have found a messiah in Narendra Modi who is shining like a star in the sky.
Hindus along with Indians professing religions of Indian origin are 85% of the Indian population—and so if Narendra Modi has a large percentage of this big chunk in his pocket, he will be quite invincible in any election. Narendra Modi has been able to convince a very large section of Indians that interests of Hindus are not safe in Congress hands and that appeasement of minorities and neglect of the majority is a pillar of Congress policy which they cleverly cloak with a mask of so called secularism. During the reign of Indira Gandhi, the Hindus were not unduly bothered about their firm status in India because Indira Gandhi had bifurcated Pakistan and had added Sikkim to the map of India, and she was a Hindu Brahmin herself. But slowly the situation started changing after her death. Rajiv Gandhi, who succeeded her was 50% Hindu and he had also unlocked the gates of the Ram temple. So the Hindus did not completely derecognise him. Later the Congress chose to have Roman Catholic Christians as President and Vice President and perhaps, the Hindus are not believing in their sincerity.
The Congress must get rid of the Gandhi dynasty to be acceptable to the people of India. The new government does not suffer from daily allegations of serious financial corruption as was the case during Congress rule. In just 7 months Modi could control inflation and gave a big push to India’s growth rate. So when Rahul Gandhi goes around campaigning in Delhi denigrating the achievements of Modi, his words do not carry any conviction with the people. Recent surveys show that Congress will not get more than 10% of the votes—BJP and AAP will share 90% of the votes. Congress is not coming out in support of an anti conversion law and the Hindus obviously do not like this idea.
As an undisputed leader of the Hindus of India, Modi should grasp the hand of friendship extended to him by Mufti Muhammad Sayed of Kashmir and form the government of Jammu and Kashmir in alliance with PDP. He is already a big statesman and leader, now he should win over the hearts of the Kashmiris also. Abolition of Article 370 should not be a big hindrance in the alliance because these concepts are only theoretical and have no relevance on the ground, in day to day administration. Article 370 will automatically disappear from the Jammu and Ladakh provinces when Kashmiris are granted a very high degree of autonomy, which is likely to happen in the not too distant future. If this happens during Modi’s tenure, history will record his name as one of the greatest statesmen the world has produced.
(Amit Kushari (IAS, Retd.) is former Financial Commissioner, J&K. Feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact at 09748635185)