The inconspicuous syndicate
? Knowledge is having the right answer, intelligence is asking the right question
Framing a question is not just putting a question mark “?” at the end. Good deep questions need imagination. Unfortunately Indian journalists are showing least possible imaginative skills. Either they are doing it intentionally or they have lost this skill in the course of time.
These days they are basically asking only one question although paraphrased differently, “Should Rahul Gandhi resign or should he stay?” The problem with this question is that it is irrelevant and make no sense at all.
Rahul Gandhi has already stated that he would stay with the party and work in other roles. Even if we assume that he resigns from the post under consideration and his resignation is accepted, How does this change anything at all? Are you imagining a scenario where Rahul Gandhi along with Sonia Gandhi report to some third person and take orders from him?
How difficult would it be to remote control a party president, especially when we have already seen, how easy it was to remote control the country’s Prime Minister?
This whole resignation drama is to make a fool out of the people of India. What else could the party do to stage a comeback? They never had a strategy to win this election, what are they introspecting? You can’t review a plan which does not exist. Can you?
However, having said this, Is Rahul Gandhi really the cause of Congress’ national humiliation? No, I don’t think so. Indian journalists quickly jump to the questions like “Why is there a leadership crisis in the party?” or “Is there nobody in the party who could replace Rahul Gandhi?” They subtly divert an intent issue to a skill issue. If his resignation is being rejected, it could only be one of the two things: either it is a staged drama where he comes back, it looks like he came back for the party or the senior leaders don’t want him to go away. The question now becomes “Why do the senior Congress leaders want Rahul Gandhi to stay at that top place?”
Only when the right questions are asked, we’ll find the answers we are looking for.
First and the foremost, if you had observed, during the poll campaign, every leader in BJP added “Chowkidar” in front of their names on twitter. But what did the leaders from Congress do? They added a display picture of Mahatma Gandhi, Why did they add Mahatma Gandhi’s pic? Congress uses the name Gandhi as a brand.Every brand has an expiry date, the expiry date for this brand passed decades ago. You could have a look at The Magician becomes the Hat!!!: The Indian Politician doing tricks and see how and when it happened. In today’s scenario it is brand Modi, whoever, contests any elections under this brand, wins. The good thing with BJP is that it would not think twice in replacing brand Modi with someone else once it starts failing or PM Modi gets old enough. Unfortunately, Congress has failed to look beyond Gandhi even seven decades after Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi is the brand ambassador for this brand. The party does not care about the first name, they need the second name and the second name only. Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka don’t mean anything but Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi do have a significant value. If Rahul Gandhi goes away, Indian National Congress would have to build a new brand. This would need, dedication, commitment and hard work. Buh!! Who has the time for all these?
Second, and the most critical, although, Congress is not a cadre based party like BJP, but it sure does have a well defined hierarchy. The family sits at the top of the food chain. A regular person can reach till the second level after a lot of hassle but the top level is simply out of reach, always unavailable. You could very well tell who belongs to the second level. Family close aides, loyalists, most of the Congress Working Committee members would form this level. If something goes wrong, you abuse the family, if something goes wrong you praise the family. Why is the level 2 in Congress is never questioned or held responsible for anything?
This level 2 in Congress resembles the Syndicate that existed in Congress after Nehru and has been on an exploitation spree since then. They always made a ton of money, their kids and grand kids lived and are living like prince and princesses. It became visible for the first time in 1963 with a question “After Nehru, Who?” Although, Morarji Desai was the most suitable person for the top post but letting him on that position threatened their existence. Lal Bahadur Shastri, who they supported to keep Desai at bay, in his last years tried to show the syndicate its actual place, but unfortunately vanished in thin air. No body knows what happened to Shastri or perhaps no body wants to say anything. Once again, “After Shastri, Who?” This time they promoted “gungi gudiya” the dumb doll. To their bad luck, the “gungi gudiya” started speaking. Along with this K. Kamaraj a member of “unofficial” Syndicate started harboring the desire to be the prime minister and in return the Party split in two factions.
May be this is the reason why the level 2 or the syndicate after that never aimed for the top post after that. If someone would aim for the top post, it would introduce confrontation within the syndicate. The easiest way to avoid this confrontation is to reserve the top post for the family or find some malleable, submissive person to take the top post so that they can do what they want.
The syndicate which was once clearly visible is now invisible, there are new faces and they work from the shadows. The real question that should be asked today, is “Who constitute this Syndicate in today’s Congress?” Do you think, a lady, who came from a teeny-tiny country with less than 6 crore people, with negligible political know-how was able to understand the different caste-religion-sect-etc.-etc. equations of a country with a population of more than twenty times her own country in no time? You believe that she not only understood them, but she managed and manipulated them better than the seasoned, polished politicians of India who had been doing this all their lives. I think you should stop kidding yourself.
In fact the syndicate has always made sure that somebody who would not use his/her brain or political acumen would stay at the top. Both Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi were not or rather least interested in politics, but they were forced to. The ones who were interested and were political astute were kept away by any means possible. Be it Lal Bahadur Shastri or Morarji Desai or Sanjay Gandhi or even Rajesh Pilot or Madhavrao Scindhiya. Yeah, of course, the last three died in some “accidents” and I “believe” that.
If a person with good skills take the top place, the syndicate might be rendered powerless.
Rahul Gandhi is the best bet for them. The moment they come to power in any of the parts of India, they will cover up all their losses. In short, it does not matter at all if Mr. Gandhi stays or goes. Having said this, in case he does want to go, he and his family should not only resign from the official positions in the party, but also quit the party. They should distance themselves from Indian National Congress or probably create another party like Indira Gandhi did.
By all means some people along with some journalists could continue saying what they have been saying since 2014- “It is a saturation point and BJP will get less seats this time” and so on. They will be found repeating the same again in 2024 when BJP would have again received a mandate bigger than before. There are still 240 open seats for BJP.
Also read: Why this Kolaveri Di?
A BJP supporter like me can’t do anything about this as we don’t vote for Congress anyhow. However, a congress supporter can do by not voting for the party until the family goes away and internal elections start happening within Congress and that too democratically. Once there is a strong leader at the top, things would automatically improve. But it would take time for sure.
The sad truth is that India’s democracy is once again transitioning from a two party democracy to a single party democracy like it was the case post independence. Single party democracy is a myth. If I assume that Pt Nehru’s intentions were pure and he had country’s best interest at heart, then, no viable opposition should be considered as the reason for the mess he and his government made by mistake. To err is human.
May be this is Congress’ strategy. They are waiting for Modi to make a mistake. He did not make a mistake in his first term so he won again, now they will wait for him to make a mistake in his second term. If he does they will have a chance otherwise better luck next time. This is the same strategy I use while playing chess with my brother. I just make sure that I don’t make a mistake and wait for him to make a mistake. And it does work.
But Modi won’t make a mistake. Why? Because he is not run by a Syndicate. He takes the call based on the inputs from the various institutions. Have you seen the composition of NITI Aayog? It has highly qualified PhDs without decades of professional experience.
Thanks for reading!
An FPGA/Embedded Systems Development Engineer working on ADAS / Autonomous Vehicles and interested in Indian Politics.