BEGINNING OF THE END
It is often told that a defeat reveals the real leader. In success, anybody can achieve a period of glory before the reality surfaces. The recently concluded Indian parliamentary elections - 2014 expose the hollowness of leadership of Congress Party. It has done nothing to assuage the fear of its cadre of a possible oblivion of the party. The party leadership appears to think that it would make a comeback just like it did in 2004 but this line of thought indicates its naivety about the changing India and the aspiration of its people. It also appears oblivious of newly resurgent BJP and its enthusiastic leadership under Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Bajpai was unwell during the major part of his tenure. The nagging knee pain, poorly controlled diabetes and emerging cerebral dementia took the toll on the giant of Indian politics at that point of time. He was past his prime. Even the parent organization - BJP was not as motivated as it is now. The then RSS chief Sudarshan was comparatively a weak leader as he, too, was suffering from episodes of forgetfulness and perhaps was suffering from some senile ailment.
But incumbent Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi is having exemplary fitness, is a very powerful orator and motivator and has long term plans. Contrary to Vajpayee, he is tech savvy and connects well with the young generation. As India has come a long way economically, Modi has more options to make India a destination for the global capital and investments, thereby, consolidating his position further. Since he is a master communicator, he would keep the dream of a great India alive and this would perhaps assure him of more electoral triumphs.
And, this time, the RSS is headed by a very determined and focused Mohan Bhagwat. As the organization has played major role in recent BJP victory, it feels more motivated and would go any length to decimate the opposition, mainly the Congress Party as this is the only risk to its long cherished Hindutva dream. But RSS may also create some situations where Prime Minister Modi has to take tough positions, especially about some religious agenda and the vexed Kashmir issue. The vibrant and upwardly mobile societies of many Islamic nations are now in perpetual civil wars like Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Somalia. Religious interference in government is always a divisive force. It has divided people even in mono culture, single religion nations. In multi-cultures, multi-religious Indian society, dominance of any religion in the government has a potential of disrupting the cohesiveness of various civilian groups and there would always a lurking possibility of violence. These situations usually take the developmental agenda to back-stage as the energy of government is spent in douching the communal fire. But Prime Minister appears to focus on development and since he has huge public mandate, he would not tolerate anyone who would try to deviate the course of growth. If he succeeds, the Congress party would fragment further with many of its local opportunistic leaders ditching it and the already demoralized cadre sifting its loyalty to new power center.
How lustreless and uninspiring the leadership of Congress Party is that even after such a crushing defeat there was not even a token formal communique to its partymen about the causes of the rout and any remedial measures to salvage the remaining states in elections which are going to be announced in the near future. Nobody shouldered the responsibility of its debacle and there was practically no change in the leadership at any level. At present, there are no indications of any near term possibility of revival for this party. Mrs Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi are behaving like European feudal lords of yesteryear - staying aloof and non-communicative in their imaginary fiefdom. This gives ruling party an immense opportunity to consolidate itself.
On the other hand, the ruling party has a unique advantage in PM Narendra Modi. He has risen from lower side of socio-economic ladder, knows both urban and rural India very well, he has travelled most of India in his youth without any state patronage and has mastered the use of most recent technology to his advantage. He exudes confidence and is powerful speaker of Indian sensibilities. All this and more to his arsenal, the future of Indian National Congress looks bleak with a revolt within and fragmentation in ranks is eminent in the near future.