Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rahul Gandhi’s new congress is quietly taking shape - IIPM NEWS

This is a story about a phone call that went out about a year ago from Delhi to Pune. The UPA government had survived both the ‘cash-for-vote’ scam and the confidence motion presented by Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister.

The pundits, the intelligentsia, the media and the political IIPMclass were in a tizzy with epithets like ‘Singh is King’ becoming folklore. If you recall, no one was talking about how the monsoon was playing truant; the gossip was all about politicians even more unreliable than the monsoon that was playing truant. The Third Front – with ‘Dalit ki beti’ Mayawati as the Prime Minister in waiting – had emerged as a monster that could devour both the UPA and the NDA.

It was around this time that an unknown Dalit called Manoj Kamble got a telephone call from Delhi. It sounds trite sure; but the law graduate Kamble – whose father is a factory worker based in Pune – was actually speechless with astonishment after getting the call. He would have been happy as hell if the caller had been Suresh Kalmadi, the Congress satrap of Pune. Actually, it was Rahul Gandhi who called up Kamble to personally congratulate him for being selected as the leader of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) for Maharashtra. Just in case you forgot, NSUI is the students’ arm of the Congress. According to Kamble, 200 candidates had applied for the post; 14 were shortlisted "but finally Rahulji appointed me on my merits."

Welcome to the New Congress that Rahul Gandhi is building from ground up. It does sound anachronistic when most promising scion of the most powerful political dynasty of India starts to rebuild a party that is steeped in dynasty politics. And replace it with a cadre of workers who display more ‘merit’ than familial links. You won’t hear or read much about people like Kamble, or even about what exactly the heir apparent is actually talking and doing during meetings and sessions where he picks up these ‘sipahis of Congress’. People close to Rahul Gandhi are as tight-lipped as heretical Christians during the Spanish Inquisition. But dig a little deeper and two things very clearly emerge. There are some bravehearts who happily go on record. “We are now extremely hopeful that we will someday get a chance to lead our party in the state. Earlier, politicians used to promote their own family members. Now, Rahulji has given us hope,” says a Youth Congress member Ramayan Yadav from Uttar Pradesh. Note the delicious irony; this Yadav is a ‘nobody’ and has nothing to do with Mulayam Yadav.

First, Rahul Gandhi is quietly revamping, rebuilding and remodelling the 124 -year-old party by shunning ‘courtiers’ and adopting the ‘grassroots’ model. Second, the strategy is clear cut: Rahul Gandhi should be able to go to the President of India in 2014 with a list of at least 272 Congress MPs. We must add a caveat, of course: his father, the late Rajiv Gandhi too had launched a bold campaign to revamp the party. Nobody knows if Rahul will succeed with a 124- year-old mothballed organisation when Rajiv failed with a 100-year-old mothballed organisation. After all, even Rajiv Gandhi had tried the ‘youth’ trick.

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2008
An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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