A reader writes about why MP Dr Shashi Tharoor should be given the reins of the grand old party
The contributions of the age-old national party that holds the legacy of the national movement, the Indian National Congress, to the largest democracy in the world, India, are invaluable or irreplaceable. But the present plight of such a large democratic party is very painful.
Mrs Sonia Gandhi took over as the President of the Congress in 1998. She continued to hold the chair until 2017, in spite of several internal conflicts. In December 2017, the young blood, Mr Rahul Gandhi occupied the post of the Congress President by raising high expectations amidst Indians in general.
After the collapse of Congress in the 2019 Parliamentary elections, Mr Rahul Gandhi resigned from presidentship and Sonia once again sworn in as the Interim president. At that time, common people understood that it was the decision of the leaders of the time to bring Mr Rahul Gandhi to the post of the President, or else he would choose a new person to the post at the earliest.
If a normal worker partisan thinks how far the leadership capacity of this organisation is going down, he is not wrong because even after a year, no positive change has happened to Congress presidentship, till now.
The time has come for the Congress to free itself from the selfish thoughts of a group of veterans, whose power has been lost in many states, only because of their indifference to change. It is true that defenestrating those snollygosters would be strenuous. They are not helping the Indian National Congress to flourish but are using the party only for the sake of power and comfort of them. Many popular young leaders got fed up with them and thereby left the party. This must change.
At this juncture, comes up the name of Dr. Shashi Tharoor, the most talented leader in the line of Congress premiers, a highly acclaimed writer, thinker, statesman, former foreign minister, and several times a Member of Parliament. In addition, his experience in dealing with nations, his unparalleled command over various languages, his clear secular stand, and the futuristic vision put him in a class apart from others.
In addition, his unstained personality, extraordinary leadership qualities, and intellectual skills captivate the people of all fields. Undoubtedly, I would say that a real leader like Dr Tharoor is the most capable leader suitable for steering the Indian National Congress today.
Correspondingly, with his immense experience, knowledge and expertise, Dr Tharoor is a felicitous example and model for Indian politicians and we see that even the opposition parties often openly or secretly brace his positions. At this stage, India requires a leader, who, after elections, is not biased by political stands, religion, caste, or money, but only aims for the well-being of his country and people of all levels and walks of life.
If the party delays choosing him as the leader of the Indian National Congress, the aspiration of millions of Indian youth would be shattered. Beyond that, the future of the Congress as well as the future of India would be impaired. Dr Tharoor, though he is in his sixties, is an icon of the Indian youth. Dr Tharoor’s speeches in the Indian Parliament and the British Parliament shocked other world leaders, and have become subjects of study for historical and political students today. Moreover, his astounding ability to speak on any subject is amazing and commendable. He does proper research and planning in advance, for any sessions which is exceedingly enviable and noteworthy.
It is the best time for those self-proclaimed old leaders who have not yet realized that corruption, selfishness and nepotism have kept the Congress away from the common man and that it is high time to show some love and gratitude to the country and its people.
So dear respected leaders, if you have done any good, you will be judged by the public and will be acknowledged as well. You have to choose retirement from your own leisure life at public’s expense. Obviously, in India, for all the fields of jobs there are retirement regulations and time limit, but the Ministers, MPs and MLAs can prolong their so-called service until they die, as we see these days. They fix their own salary and double their benefits, and above all, assure themselves a lifetime pension. Amazingly, no particular qualification is required. Dr Tharoor is a unique personality who shows how well his talent, knowledge, and experience can be applied for the sake of his country and the world. Nowadays we see that the majority of the politicians are good at practically doing research on how corruption can be carried out comfortably.
Dr Tharoor is even capable of becoming the Prime Minister of India. He is one of the few people who follows righteousness in politics but also paved the way for genuine political thinking in the right perspective.
Many people fear him, don’t they? His language, his learning, his vast knowledge, his ability to ask for and get what he deserves, is what exactly a leader needs.
As a representative of the people of the southern states, Dr Tharoor is a person who can ask for his rights in Parliament and in many offices, which are ruled by north Indians. Except for some veteran leaders, no one would doubt that if Dr Shashi Tharoor is placed above them to strengthen the Party, the youth would join their hands with the party.
He showed his determination to objectively criticise the mishandling and mismanagement of many issues by the present government. Why is Congress not taking a decision to choose such an honest leader as the president of the Indian National Congress?
I earnestly request the honourable party leaders, that Dr Shashi Tharoor be given a key place at the party’s Centre so that his calibre and vigour can be beneficial for the people of India. The world is now in a desperate predicament to defeat the COVID-19 menace.
At this juncture, India is a frontline country that can undoubtedly vanquish the enemy if the right leaders are there to hold the helm.
(The author of this piece is Saji Uthappan, a lecturer based in Oman and a reader of The Lede. All opinions expressed in this article are solely of the author's and are not necessarily those of The Lede's.)