The following was written when there were thick rumours that Rahul Gandhi was about to become the president of GOP. But he is still in no mood to take up the challenge.
An open letter to Shri Rahul Gandhi
Dear Shri Rahul Gandhi,
It is widely believed that you will soon be selected as Congress president. I am avoiding words like ‘coronation’ because I fondly hope that Congress continues to be a democratic party.
You are taking over presidentship of the Grand Old Party of India at a time when the party’s fortunes are at the lowest ebb. This is a daunting challenge. Tough challenges have the knack of bringing out the best in all of us. As a concerned citizen of our country, I hope and trust that you will prove your critics totally wrong and energise the party to regain its lost splendour.
You are the fifth person from the Nehru family to become president of the Congress party. At 46, you may feel diffident because of your young age. But your great-grandfather assumed this position when he was only 40 years old. Your grandmother was 42 and your father 41 when they became party’s chief. You have been the vice president of the party from January, 2013 and therefore you are not unaware of aspirations of the party members and expectations of the public from your party.
The country now desiderates a strong national party that will fulfill the democratic requirement of an effective opposition. A party with hoary traditions like Congress owes it to the nation to be effective whether it is a ruling or an opposition party. This is possible only if the grassroot members of the party are motivated enough to place total confidence and trust in their leaders.
Belonging to the Nehru-Gandhi family is at once both an advantage and a handicap. You would have gained enormous experience with leaders around you all the time. At the same time, there will be accusations that you are only a beneficiary of crass nepotism till you prove that you are a leader in your own right. So you are starting your term as president with a blessing and a burden.
Chief of the Congress party is a potential prime minister of India. Therefore your presidentship of the party attracts nervous and expectant attention not only from the party members but also from the citizens at large. You would have learnt from the circumstances which have shaped you so far, what is in the nation’s interest and what is not.
You must assemble a team of young and experienced persons with unquestionable integrity to provide honest feedback to you. You must desist from the dangerous desire to associate with a coterie of sycophants who will tell you only what they think you want to hear.
Politics is not a part-time job. It will demand your 24 x 7 attention. Of late, Congress party has gained a worrisome reputation as an obstructionist party. If you enable the party to get rid of this negativism and start offering constructive support to the government while being eagle-eyed to notice its misdoings, you will easily convince the concerned citizens that you are the leader that the party and the country need at this crucial hour.
Wishing you all the best,
A concerned citizen.