Just last week I saw a miracle. India Today was broadcasting our ex congress president Mrs Sonia Gandhi in a conclave. Surprising, she seemed at her personal best. I couldn’t fathom if it was a put-up show or a reality. These days we are used to seeing too much of virtual reality on our media. It has become a trend and it is our fait accompli.
Many ladies, whose smiling faces were continually flashed on the screen, had smiles written all over. It was one of those exaltations that comes our way rather rarely. She spoke so candidly and she secured the max publicity benefit that can be attributed to the good behaviour of a statesman, of that standing on the media.
The uproar that we were expecting was however missing. Hoping to listen how the old guards, those who were once a flurry of freedom fighters, would sort out our recent woes, economic and political. We thought the time was just ripe for this expectancy because the ground situation was completely different from what the paid channels and social network bombard us with. And we expected help from the above.
Didn’t we expect a treatise on demonetization and GST, and other great things to come …
Our dreams, including those of the beautiful women on television, were shattered. The concluded interview was wet squib. It couldn’t sustain nor enhance the pleasant streak that it started with. One reason for the debacle was the missing acceptance and approval of the current congress president Mr Rahul Gandhi, who wasn’t scheduled for the talk.
But we certainly didn’t expect that there could be a hidden threat to the BJP government, in no uncertain terms. The parliament would not be allowed to function in the days to come, and we didn’t expect a weird and veiled plan to revitalise the party. And we learn now that an unsuccessful dinner party was arranged for this purpose, largely unattended by the opposition big-wigs.
Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s persona
The anchor was at a loss about what questions could be put to her and she was equally ill at ease of what could be answered openly. But she was probably at her feminine best and answered very soberly and smilingly, giving us an idea of how our ex-prime minister Rajiv Gandhi must have been floored by her. There was no sign of exhaustion or illness in her persona, on that day. But that doesn’t give her any imaginary credit for recuperating from the current debacle of the party, since that revival is not likely to happen until the next-to-next elections in 2024.
Dethroning Modi Ji
To a simple question about how she planned to dethrone the monarch Modi, she had no specific answer. She just said they have to revive the party and talk to people. The young blood has to be inducted in the party, as the current congress president Rahul Gandhi always desires and states. He had been saying so for umpteen years. But saying and doing is not the same.
She didn’t fail to add the caveat that all the congress elders will have to be respected. This was her first contradiction that disappointed the diehard fans, whether the party aims to be a youthful brigade or the irreplaceable elders who unfortunately enjoy not so great a reputation and not so much popularity with people.
I know it will be a tight rope walking to maintain a balance between the young ones and the old Turks. One of the participants at the conclave, who had left congress recently, suggested to all the other congress colleagues to discard their illustrious careers at the congress and save their balance leftover years for the BJP. Beware of such a call, it could really be a dangerous move.
Revitalizing the congress party
She might be hoping for the diehard generations of loyalists to the dynasty would come to her help. But that seems unlikely for her unspecific plans for revival. Although the loyalists don’t believe in the propaganda of BJP on the status of country’s progress. But this loyalty needs to be revived, roped in, and now. But how … in the presence of the modern disgruntled youth who, by far, outnumber those generations of loyalists.
Do you understand, ma’am, that most of the congress men have either played truant or established their treacherousness by staying quiet. They are probably enjoying life with their well-crafted money, power or arrogance. Some of the brighter and innovative ones have opted for the BJP. And others are busy keeping the enforcement directorate away from their tail.
I hope you realize ma’am, BJP today, is congress restructured, renamed and redefined.
A foolish answer
To another question about how does she plan to conquer, now that she needs to offset the downward trend, with 4 states to her party and the 21 states snatched away from her?
It was not enough for you, ma’am, to say, “I will not let Modi Ji enter the parliament with majority in the next elections”. How foolish it appeared? Do you have any control? Or are you still living in the laurels of the past? The goodwill of people could have been kept upright by simply stating, “We will struggle hard and try to win as many seats as we possibly can. We need your co-operation.” You could certainly say without saying the obvious.
Don’t disappoint us once again
Can you, mother and son, get them back to your lines while still continuing with their eroded reputation? Don’t you have the funds to marshal newer and younger orators who subscribe to your philosophy? Will you be able to place your trust in the newcomers? These days the youth is honest and straightforward?
Haven’t you realized that ensuring and maintaining the dynasty was carried a bit too far. Don’t you think another congress president may be required at this juncture?
Knowing very well that we the citizens don’t care too much for who the MPs is. We think all are the same. We are all helpless … So choose a few good leaders, make your policies known to all and make a shadow government. A government where an earmarked individual can be groomed to offset and counteract the current cabinet ministers.
At the party level, find people who can write the congress policy in the changed environment of today. These are no longer coherent and consistent. Don’t harp on the fact that congress policies are well defined. I noticed that undaunted faith in self, during your interview. I suggest, you to approach some old timer IAS, defence and warrant officers who could be brought on your side.
This is precisely the time. And time and tide wait for none. It is a matter of trust, that you need to regain.
Last night at a social dinner my friends were asked a fundamental question. How do we verify the claims and the promised benefits of the BJP government? For example, how many miles of road and train were really built?
Some friends answered, opposition is in the best position to undertake this daunting task. They have the resources and are built for such an investigation. At the grassroots, the truth lies there. They can physically measure and report. They could verify all the parameters of progress as claimed to have been achieved.
The public wants to know, as Arnab Goswami would put it, as to how many villages have been connected to the electric power, and how many continue to get routine power, and how many are still waiting with holes dug up. How many poor, ie below the poverty line, have received their cooking gas cylinders and continue to receive them. How many bank accounts have suffered due to non-maintenance of minimum balance? How many youngsters have received job confirmation, and how many working people were discarded due to demonetization?
We asked questions from those nearby, I mean the helpers working at our homes. The answers were not very encouraging. It seems that lies rule the roost, today.
Propaganda of the government’s progress
To match the voluminous digital platform that the government has put into service, you-ma’am, have to introduce a counter.
There are innumerable central government ministers who have accounts on the twitter, which probably they never use. Someone, who is briefed accordingly uses them and fools us or creates a hate story for congress. On the other hand, for the congress there are very few twitter accounts. So why not the congress … At least there would be a match, at least here …
The citizens could be made to talk one-to-one, without fear. If they can’t, they should talk on one-to-many on social networks and on Jio WhatsApp network. We can do it much better than the newspapers.
Or we could use the gov.in network to reach out to the people. People who religiously and perpetually make suggestions and steal into those messages the facts as seen by your people. Pull the readers from their network to the congress network. It would be not only necessary but essential considering you are already far behind.
You need to present to citizens an alternative. Only then the people might vote for you. Otherwise there is no light at the of the tunnel. It all lies in your court, play it.
On the question of social network
The fundamental purpose of social network is to appraise people of what you are doing and what’s happening around. It establishes connections, but the connections are only as good as the person behind the connection is.
Have you seen the BJP IT cell reviews on Twitter by Dhruv Rathee ? It is amazing, and unbelievable that a team of about 150 people are involved in filing the prefabricated tweets and discouraging people from Twitter. I didn’t believe it at first but then the photos of some people shaking hands with Modi Ji raises questions.
Get set and go
Demonetization, GST and bank frauds are enough weapons to go against BJP. Make full use of them, but coherently, sounding honest and authentic. Do it now.
Although she didn’t mention, will the opposition unite on her call that mentioned “Bury your small time hatchets and let us fight for survival”.
No that won’t be enough. She needs to repeat this kind of talk or interview in every state so she could get back her diehard voters and party-workers. The local newspapers would be obliging her. And the BJP needs to safeguard itself against such a third front.
At the end she was asked to give a friendly advice to Modi Ji. While she maintained that she did not know him personally well, as much as she knew Atal Behari Vajpaee – the long forgotten PM of India, she brushed aside that question by saying that Mr Modi was surrounded by a small coterie whose advise he cherishes rather than hers. Will he ever listen to her advice?
One could not contemplate that here was a person who had been at the helm of Indian affairs for a decade. The culmination of the interview was a simple adorable and graceful presence of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, that failed to make an impact.
Did you read mikerana’s tweet?
“This ‘BJP mukti morcha’ fails again as many big wigs declined or sent good for nothing representatives, to the dinner. And you ma’am, think you can defeat Modi Ji in 2019 elections.
Please read my open letter it might open the minds of the rotten congress workers. Please …”