City Sunday

Rejuvenate or perish

By Vasanthkumar Mysoremath

The Congress Working Committee meeting held recently has thrown up very important issues regarding the future of the century-old party.  Without going into the glorious past of the INC and keeping in mind the mindset of the present-day youth, it is felt that the future of Congress need not necessarily be portrayed as a disappointing gloomy scenario. However, introspection has become imperative and the party has to wake up from the slumber of complacency, etc.

Reasons for INC’s downturn can broadly be categorised as under:

  • ‘Me first’ and ‘party next’ attitude
  • Bickering between top leaders
  • Egoism and jealousy syndromes
  • Power mongering
  • Caste politics
  • Women not being recognised as a force to reckon with
  • Youth leaders being sidelined
  • Sincere grassroots workers neglected
  • Admitting new and power-hungry outsiders/party hoppers
  • Absence of awareness programs of party manifestos
  • Groupies leading to the dismal performance
  • Ignorance of party programmes at the grassroots level
  • Admission of criminals into mainstream politics
  • Money and muscle power
  • Cross voting without ethos
  • Absence of e.governed O&M and Training at all levels
  • Absence of behavioural science in leaders
  • Party has become a platform for personal gains
  • Absence of effective public relation
  • Over-optimism and complacent attitude after elections
  • Over-dependency on charismatic powers of top leaders
  • Dependency on powerful family-oriented politics with the High Command syndrome.

WAKE-UP CALL

  • Go back to basics – learn well the party manifesto and programmes of the INC – past and present – Ignorance is no excuse
  • Organise crash programmes of O&M and Training to leaders to drive home that one cannot go to the voter without knowing what they can give to him
  • Train them in parliamentary procedures and behavioural science so that they can perform in a dignified manner in Parliament and Legislature
  • Teach them how not to annihilate the opposition parties with personal attacks – they should look at their own back and learn to overcome mundane feelings of anger and dismay and perform with dignity and decorum
  • Make it clear that they should not make false promises that cannot be delivered
  • Mere presence at public functions does not impress the present-day electorate
  • Educated techies are grouping themselves to enter politics because they want better governance
  • Bring them to the fold of INC, with the proper approach but without antagonizing their aims and aspirations – blend party programs to suit their needs and requirements – youth should come to fore
  • Utilise the immense wealth of knowledge of elderly leaders and make them the guiding lights for the younger generations.
  • Just because they are experienced, the elders should not command and demand respect and keep breathing on the neck of youngsters (present-day generation is averse to such sulking and nagging scenarios)
  • The think tank should be a highly motivated body of senior leaders to hold the reins of power in the background and keep on initiating corrective measures to young leaders
  • Young legislators are rearing to go but are being suppressed
  • On a selective basis pick and choose sincere young leaders and make them responsible for select areas of operation of party programmes and projects so that their ambitions may motivate them to achieve new goals and heights for their career
  • They are simmering but are obeying the dictates for fear of losing party tickets – this syndrome has to change for better because suppression results in attrition
  • Be careful while handing over power to young leaders who are brash – their motives may be ulterior and party may suffer in the longer run
  • Not all these young leaders are basing their aspirations and operations on grounds of caste, creed, color but their mindset is based on the changed scenario of globalization, privatization and economical development of the country
  • They have developed an uncanny ability to get identified with the present-day youth without an identity crisis
  • Thus this is an important identifiable area of rejuvenation for the INC and should be encouraged with proper powers, motivations and incentives to the young leaders to achieve greater party perspectives
  • Young dynamic women leaders need to be identified since they are far and few and they hold the key to future organizational structural stability of INC
  • They are better equipped to handle certain situations in the public domain than men – their uncanny ability has to be given its due and a little encouragement and incentive will go a long way in creating a powerful vote bank for the INC
  • What is being done at present, to tap this source of women power, is not enough and needs to be on par with other promos of the party for the male bastion
  • Majority of the present-day leaders are not tech-savvy; there is an urgent need to change their mindset and upgrade their mental abilities in using computers, laptops, iPods, wi-fi, gadgets, cloud computing, etc.

FUTURISTIC AMBIENCE

  • Enrol willing volunteers on a crash basis, look at their needs and aspirations and then educate them with proper knowledge of INC’s sacrifices, ambitions etc., through audio-visual methods – use e.teaching facilities extensively so that they become techno-savvy – ensures impressive retention
  • Identify candidates with dynamism and potentiality, train them, make them group leaders
  • CreateWard Committees that will be responsible in creating Task Groups with the help of knowledgeable and elderly people and others in the constituency; give due consideration to the people in an area; they can be of immense help.
  • Assign him the responsibility of identifying and encouraging grassroots level aspiring leaders
  • To start with, make those aspiring leaders responsible with assignments like updating the electoral rolls by visiting each and every house to enrol missing names, collect information from the households on a number of people with disabilities, unemployed youth, own house or rent, a number of children going to school or otherwise, problems that exist in the areas, do people have any solutions, etc.
  • Within the available parameters, let them ensure that the benefits of the welfare projects and programmes of government reach the poor and the needy; they must show proof of deliverables with credibility.
  • Make them responsible for formulating and implementation of necessary projects and programmes with a reality check of BPL families, their strengths and weaknesses etc.
  • They must be made aware of how to keep a watch over public opinions and give proper feedback to their higher-ups as a source of intelligence in select geographical boundaries
  • Supply them with hi-tech gadgets for effective communication systems and see that they are available to the electorate at their places.
  • Train them to strictly adhere to the party discipline, dignity and decorum – they should not overshoot their mouth and voice their opinions on policies and programs of the party in public
  • Most of them want to be garlanded profusely, showered with praises and presents; they want to be seen at birthday celebrations and at funerals to make an impression – stop this obnoxious tendency.  There should be moderation and modesty in life.
  • Keep a close watch on elected reps with the criminal background; get intelligence reports; help the party in not becoming a victim of circumstances for extending tickets to such anti-social elements.
  • Success stories of management, marketing techniques and strategies for furthering the party’s progress in a hi-tech scenario with a corporate touch may be identified and adopted
  • Management and development of Human Resources for optimum utilization is an Art; all leaders may be trained in a crash course on HRD Management aspects.

To sum up, Congress has to enrol as many youths as possible, make the grassroots level workers feel wanted, tell them that performance is the keyword for success and elevation, train them to develop the power of mobilization, retention and ti come up with new ideas for furthering the interests of the century-old party, its aims and objectives and for honouring the secular values of the greatest living democracy in the world.

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