Opinion » Lead

Updated: November 10, 2012 04:26 IST

A Secular Front for 2014

Harish Khare
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The Congress which is congregating at Surajkund today should think of dissolving the UPA, and forging a new unity with progressive forces

The Congress leaders who congregate in Surajkund today for an internal conversation (samvad) have a fairly clear-cut task on their hands — how to start thinking and behaving like a political party. As it were, the Surajkund dialogue is taking place after the party performed a much-needed rite of democratic mobilisation last Sunday at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi. On that day, the Congress did manage to demonstrate an organisational temperament that behoves the oldest political formation in the country. It was arguably the first non-election mass rally the Congress leaders had felt excited enough to organise since the UPA’s birth in 2004, and, that too in defence of their own government’s policies. Above all, the Ramlila Maidan show sent out an unambiguous message that the party has rolled back its collective self-doubts on its own moral disintegration that was being sought to be imposed on it by a crafty cabal of civil society activists and sangh parivar conspirators.

Discourage sycophants

At Surajkund, the Congress leaders will do themselves a favour if they were, first, to recognise and acknowledge that after more than eight years in office at the Centre, there is no — nor can there be any — distinction between the party and the government. The self-styled loyalists and professional sycophants should be discouraged from attributing all political difficulties to the government and claiming all the redeeming impulses for the party leadership. That fiction was perhaps workable in 2009; it will not wash in 2014.

The Congress congregation will do well to remember that a decade in office at the Centre has spawned new rivals and enemies, who may have sufficient reason and enough resources to join hands with the party’s old adversaries. This, however, is a normal democratic process and a smart political party does itself a favour by keeping track of emerging aspirations and discontents in society. And, like any other government, UPA-I and UPA-II have had their share of aberrations and absurdities which did not find approval with the arbiters of political correctness.

Nor can the leaders wish away the simple fact: exercise of power, especially of the governmental kind, inevitably produces political consequences and ethical dilemmas. The UPA’s uninterrupted tenure at the Centre has necessarily bestowed undue advantages and benefits to some sections of society, and, similarly visited undeserved unhappiness and disadvantages on others. There are winners and losers, and there is a political economy of pleasure and pain.

Whether it likes it or not, the Congress will need to answer for the so-called sins of the Manmohan Singh government; the mature and sensible approach should be to assess calmly what the government has accomplished and to claim credit for its achievements. Especially, as a political party, the Congress is obliged to tell the voters how many of its promises it has kept. A government in a democratic context is anchored in public trust and acceptability; the citizens and voters expect to be told honestly and sincerely to what extent a party in power was able to fulfil the terms of its mandate.

The Congress, on its part, can take very legitimate credit for having refurbished the country’s secular ethos and edifice. The primary reason the sangh parivar has launched such a vicious attack on the party leadership is the UPA government’s success on the secular front. It is not only the minorities but also the vast majority in the law-abiding majority community who have reason to be thankful for the Manmohan Singh government’s becalming stewardship. Today, India is much more at peace with itself than it ever was in recent memory.

And, if the Congress leaders are inclined to think out of the box, they can toy with the strategic choice of declaring an intent to dissolve the UPA before the 2014 battle and putting in its place a Secular Front. It makes no sense for the Congress to remain overly burdened with too many unattractive allies. A Congress-led Secular Front will provide incentive for some sections of the left and other progressive voices to come together to beat back the challenge of right-wing authoritarian forces, masquerading as untainted “performers.”

Recover the voice

Meanwhile, Sujrajkund should help the party recover its voice. For too long, the party has allowed the noisy vendors of public morality in the media and civil society to set the discourse. In such a scenario, the advantage inevitably lies with the bogus preacher, hawking apocalyptic moralism. Imagine the Congress silence when a recently retired general, after having presided over the most coercive arm of the Indian state, joins the Anna Mob at Jantar Mantar and recites Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, the great poet of defiance! No one from the Congress had the courage to point out this democratic absurdity.

Admittedly, a marked personal pre-disposition for decency at the very top of the UPA establishment has discouraged the Congress from joining the political and policy arguments. The unhappy result is that many institutions, especially sections of the judiciary and the CAG, have periodically asserted a maximalist interpretation for their mandates. At Surajkund, the Congress leaders should recognise that their reticence and reluctance have combined to produce an unhealthy and undemocratic imbalance in our constitutional equilibrium.

Moreover, the Congress has so far been reluctant to debate governance issues internally. For too long, bureaucratic solutions have been sought for essentially political problems. Take, for example, the proposed National Investment Board. Apart from the administrative absurdity of having the Prime Minister preside over clearances for projects, the sticking point is one of political and ideological coherence. Is it not possible for Jayanthi Natarajan, Jairam Ramesh, Kishore Deo, P. Chidambaram, Kamal Nath, and Anand Sharma — ALL belonging to the Congress — to politically agree on terms of harmony and balance? Both the Prime Minister and the Congress have been unwilling to impose some kind of a balanced solution.

Prioritise party

But, if after eight years of exercising power at the Centre, the Congress Ministers do not have clarity on how to produce a harmonious and honourable trade-off between growth, equity and environment, they have no business seeking another five-year term. Similarly, why is it not possible to find the words and the courage to tell the nation that Jaipal Reddy, an honourable man, an honest man, had to be moved because he refused to accept the Prime Minister’s policy priorities? Or, why is a wilfully indecisive Defence Minister being allowed to slow down national defence preparedness? Maybe at the beginning of the UPA innings these differences, some contrived, some genuine, could have been a source of governmental wholesomeness; now, when the Congress is moving into slog overs, these serve no political or administrative purpose. What is more, none of these honourable ministers has felt strong enough to summon the courage of a believer to resign and walk. The Surajkund exercise will have justified itself if all participants can resolve to prioritise the party above their personal image and the interests of their bureaucratic and corporate cronies.

And, indeed, the most significant strategic dilemma before the Congress remains: how to project the potential of a Rahul Gandhi leadership without debunking the Manmohan Singh achievements and record? This is a delicate and inherently difficult task but the Congress leaders will do well to remember that capturing power for the party and its leadership cannot be an end in itself. Building on the UPA record of achievements and accomplishments these eight years, the Congress owes to itself to clarify its own sense of political purpose and, in the process, renew a shared sense of national destiny.

(Harish Khare is a veteran commentator and political analyst.)

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As some body said in one of the comments above, 'secularism' is a concept of bygone era and to day's enlightened youth want development without corruption or scams with a clean government at the helm of affairs. Dynasty politics supported by senior citizens like Harish Khare will not be acceptable to the modern well educated common man of India who follows Face Book and Twitter and not sermons

from:  MVJRao
Posted on: Nov 11, 2012 at 22:10 IST

Mr Harish Khare to describe in his own words is another "Professional
Sycophant". That he thinks "India is much more at peace with itself
than it ever was in recent memory" is laughable. "sections of the
judiciary and the CAG, have periodically asserted a maximalist
interpretation for their mandates." Unearthing 2G Scam,Coal Scam,CWG
Scam,S Band Scam (now long forgotten) surely does not come under
"maximalist interpretation for their mandates" This article is
completely biased. Disappointed that Hindu has published such a poor

from:  Vamsi
Posted on: Nov 11, 2012 at 11:40 IST

It is time Harish Khare, who is tagged as a veteran political
commentator, realizes that the readers of his opinions are not
Congress sycophants but informed Mango men. When talking about
secularism, he cleverly turns a blind eye to the ethnic clashes in
Assam which are burning till date, record communal clashes in Uttar
Pradesh, violence in Mumbai etc. And talking about UPA's achievements,
I hope Harish Khare realizes that the biggest achievement of this
Government is not the PR managed reforms but the scams that have
tainted their own ministers, so much so that it has reached the higher
echelons of the Congress party. But then one has to overlook all of it
for a maroon seat at the Rajya Sabha.

from:  Ankit
Posted on: Nov 11, 2012 at 01:33 IST

Harish Khare was Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's former Media Adviser. So we can understand his loyalty. Any reason why this important piece of information was suppressed?

from:  Mittal
Posted on: Nov 10, 2012 at 21:51 IST

Nothing is going to change. It is sure that the UPA will win the coming parliamentary election and secure mjaority for the third time. The loot and corruption that is on will become more rampant, because as voters we are not conscious about the power of right to vote. Most of the educated and active citizens in this country are happy with what they are, they never participate in voting.Besides, the congress party knows how to divide the collective consciousness that is getting stronger against UPA as a result of scams, scandals etc. It has its divisionist policy on its hand. so, nothing is going to change

from:  Ashes Kumar Nayak
Posted on: Nov 10, 2012 at 20:21 IST

Not once does he mention the huge,monstrous scams which
have taken place under UPA1 and 2 of Sonia Gandhi.If Manmohan Singh
was such a success why is congress floating rahul gandhi name as PM candidate. even uneducated
illiterate wont consider him as a worthy man for any post leave alone
PM chair.Seething electorate will show the arrogant congress its place
in 2014 elections.Congress wont even cross 50 seats all over

from:  nagendra
Posted on: Nov 10, 2012 at 19:43 IST

A party which should have kept atleast in abeyance the induction of Salman Khurshid as a minister for his jihadi language at Arvind Kejriwal when he said 'you can come to Farrukhabad,but how will you go back?' is not only made a minister but that too one in the top five as external affairs minister.

from:  S.S.Nagaraj.
Posted on: Nov 10, 2012 at 10:55 IST

The country in the last two years have been lead by the mango people rather than by
it's leaders. The basic reason is the economy. When things don't work, you have
people coming out with concerns about how a minister did not do the filing of a form
or how another is restricting the internet and how someone has attempted at a
running a business in the name of a cricket opera. But there are genuine concerns
where serving minsters or recently serving minsters have engaged in graft. That can
only be solved by bringing in more transparency and that would mean go beyond the
RTI. A right to service as someone has called it needs to be bought in.
Computerization of the existing work needs to be initiated. All this needs the
support of the executive and probably bringing in fresh talet from outside of the
coterie that surrounds the leadership. We are not seeing this except for Mr. Neelkani
being bought in.

I doubt the leadership has the stomach for getting the wrongs that were commited

from:  Jacob
Posted on: Nov 10, 2012 at 10:08 IST

Is Harish Khare eyeing for an Rajya Sabha seat from congress quota or
what? He is churning articles praising the Nehru-Gandhi family and
congress.90% of all ills that plague India are a direct result of
prolonged congress rule and the corrupt thinking of nehru-gandhi
family.Today india badly needs a change in its direction and a course corerction. So its laughable that the author thinks congress can
provide that alternative.BJP should firm up its resolve and bring in
an incorruptible leader and performer. A performing
and accountable government and no so called secular front is the need
of the hour

from:  chinmay
Posted on: Nov 10, 2012 at 09:30 IST

It is really strange that he author writes about so many issues and still decides to highlight only the "secular" issue through the title of article.
How can the author ignore the recent Assam riots and Congress's ambiguous policy over it is beyond any reason. Or the backlashes by minority communities over issues like "fake" Myanmar atrocities and anti-Islam short movie made in US. Being absolutely unrelated with India, the kind of violent protests they raised were absolutely unjustified. So to say that the communities have been at peace is an imaginary idea and utopia of communal harmony still needs to be realized.

from:  Abhilash
Posted on: Nov 10, 2012 at 09:09 IST

A truly progressive congress would be if they hold free and fair internal elections. This whole bunk about a "Rahul Gandhi leadership" must be put to pasture. Somebody like Meenakshi Natrjan seems to be very bright and is self-made. Surely she is a symbol of the future of India, than somebody like Rahul who is a throwback to the Mughal age of Shah Jahan.

from:  ashokr
Posted on: Nov 10, 2012 at 01:22 IST

When Mr Harish khare says that it was a high time congress did introspection about the governance, he is dead right.Then he talks about so many things right from the rhetoric of the oldest political party to the achievements of UPA-I and II, secularism , the conspiracy of sangh parivaar and civil society, but no where he brings out the issue of blatant and big ticket corruption happened during the tenure of UPA especially in UPA-II??? It is very easy to target civil society of having vested interest, but can any sane person in India deny the 2G, CWG, Coal gate scams??? Nevertheless, nobody within the congress party will talk about these issues and will continue to flog the dead horse of " Garibi hatao". Sycophancy is at the heart of congress party and it is the quality which is rewarded more in this party. Mr Khare you can always criticize the way people are raising their voices against all the injustice being meted out to them, but you can not deny that their anger is not legitimate

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Nov 10, 2012 at 00:55 IST

Mr. Khare's article is very depressing to say the least. That he continues to market
the secular product as though it is the cure for all the ills of this country. His apathy
for any thing close to BJP/Hindutva is well known. Should he ignore all the failures
of the UPA governments in his eagerness to ridicule the so called"authoritarian
right". Mr. Khare should realise that many states are ruled by the BJP and they have
performed very well and have received the approval of their people. There is nothing
authoritarian in these states. UPA government has been brazenly pro minority much
to the chagrin of the majority community. People have shown their disapproval of
this appeasement at the time of polls time and again. Neither the the grand old
party nor its government is willing to see the writing on the wall. With Non Congress
and Non BJP dispensation becoming a reality in 2014, there will be no takers for his

from:  VELAMUR
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 23:03 IST

The most serious problem that India faces today is not that it lacks the fraternity of “progressive forces”, the presence of the communal (Racist) forces, the Maoist insurgency or the caste system. Behind the shadow of all these problems, within the last forty years, the anti-social elements have captured the political power in the country. Now they are the ones running the show. No one party in the country is immune to this misfortune. Change is not going to come from Congress or BJP. India to day has a virtual two part system, between Congress and BJP, but instead of them changing the nation for the benefit of the Indian masses, they are taking turns to rob the nation. Change has to come from the people. There is no other way. It does not have to be abrupt. It can be one solid step at a time. If we can disqualify all criminal elements from contesting the national and local elections, we can achieve a lot. This is the first step.

from:  Paulson Kolangaden
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 22:31 IST

It's heartening to see that the 4th estate has taken a stand.That the
Congress/UPA is gonna hold on to power for quite some time-mostly cuz of
a pathetic opposition and a tectonic shift in "secular" votes to
But it's pathetic the way there's a scramble in the media about taking
out edits and "opinion pieces" competiting for being pro-Congress.
Price-rise and inflation's affecting everyone!!

from:  Kunal
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 21:56 IST

Mr. Harish Khare did not see it as "Democratic Absurdity" when MS Gill joined congress party or Navin Chawla became CEC. But if someone joins the rival party, then the case of democratic absurdity crops up in his mind.

This shows the mindset of the author and hence is worthy to be trashed.

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 21:00 IST

This artcle is utter garbage. Not a word on corruption. Cant believe these old people still
are hung up on secularism. The young ppl of the country doesnt care abt it anymore. We
all know this is not an issue. Disappointed that hindu published this article.

from:  Dr.gv
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 20:21 IST

Well, This is a complete biased article. In sixth paragraph Mr Khare said "Today, India is much more at peace with itself than it ever was in recent memory." .. I don't know in which part of this country he lives but here in Uttar Pradesh there were 12 communal riots in last 8 months of a "secular" government's tenure leaving more than two dozen people dead. OR may be this small count doesn't matter for him in a country of 1.2 billion.

from:  Ambriesh
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 20:08 IST

I am appalled at the quality-check that a column is subjected to before publishing in The Hindu these days. This column denigrates civil society and Anna. Do civil society members have any secret agenda to qualify for getting christened as ‘cabal’? Can a person in senses ever call Anna’s group a mob? By advising Congress to create a secular front with some communists, Harish concedes that the incumbent UPA is not as secular as it keeps ranting. Further, associating with communism would mean embracing violence - the antithesis to Mahatma Gandhi's non-violence. Congress first needs to be honest and ethical. Remaining leashed to the now-dysfunctional Gandhi family is shameful for any Indian with even an iota of self-respect. Their installation of, and continuance with, an indifferent and insensitive PM is like rubbing salt to the wound for the majority of Indians.

from:  VMN Sharma
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 20:08 IST

Article should have carried the disclosure that the Author was part of the UPA Government in whatever insignificant or significant way as one may see it.
Author fails to see that its not Indian Secularism that is under attack but its the right of her citizens to good governance. A political dispensation that wants to be on the left but in execution promotes a barbaric form of crony capitalism which only those on the right extreme can be proud of can never make this country progress or in peace with itself.

from:  Vishnu
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 19:47 IST

It is interesting how over the years, the very meaning of 'secularism' has been travested by both the Congress and the BJP to mean as "equal respect for all religions", whereas it means keeping religion out of a public domain (politics, education). High time we Indians see through this trickery.

from:  luhar sen
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 19:13 IST

Rehashing the party will not remove the stain on it. That would be much like the proverbial 're-arraigning of the chairs in the Titanic'! There has to be a new party, a party fundamentally believing in transparency and accountability as well as more stringent scrutiny of the candidates' character, standards in education and functional capacity. Only then the party can become an acceptable and respectable entity. Any amount of props and whitewash would not bring that required credibility and all parties have to come clean before the new politically savvy electorate, lest they will be vanquished by the electorate, sooner or later. Can the Congress do it? I doubt it, in light of the prevailing pecuniary interests! It would be a miracle if they it!

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 19:09 IST

Secularism is always an issue. BJP still professes Hindutva, Congress wants Muslim
reservations. Both positions eye vote banks. Secularism means that the state will not favour
or discriminate against any religion, gender, or caste. For this to work effectively, all laws
must be neutral to the religious, caste, gender identity of the individual. The state should stop
all entitlements and welfare based on these parameters. Making education free for the girl
child, more tax exemption for women, reservation for women in local bodies, special criminal
law for domestic violence are all well-intentioned, but still discriminatory. They attempt legal
solutions to social issues. Our society lacks great social reformers, and religion and
education has not fostered ethics and morality. We are going down a divisive path when the
Law discriminates against or favours based on a group identity; that too when the
Government has a record of every citizen in this country.

from:  Thomas George
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 18:12 IST

Veteran? Huh!!
He is completely biased and too naive i guess. Check this out " the mature and sensible approach should be to assess calmly what the government has accomplished and to claim credit for its achievements", so when will it take responsibility of its inefficiencies??
The Hindu, whey do you publish such articles.

from:  susahn
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 18:09 IST

The unity with progressive forces may be appreciated by citizens of India to the extent of a hope that even the front wins the race and gets an oportunity to rule the country , congress should refrain from claiming the post of prime minister.

from:  Radha Kumud Das
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 17:50 IST

What readers of your esteemed paper expect is unbiased analysis of the issues and not sponsored articles from a particular party or government. I have been reading Harish Khare's articles for some time now and it is only moving from bad to worse.

from:  Gokul
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 17:31 IST

It hurts me that The Hindu publishes such juvenile stuff by a former Bureau Chief.

from:  Krishnamoorty
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 17:30 IST

the Congress, DMK, Samajwadi had ceased to be political parties but are organised in Mafia style. they are not political parties. just as mafia, the loop holes in the prosecution system, the congress uses the weakness of democracy to retain the power.

nation would would turn into a new page only when the literacy level rises to 90%. that Nehru did not emphasise full literacy nor bestowed attention on it tells badly on his faulty vision. Kamaraj, a school drop out, introduced Free schooling along with free lunch to take tamilnadu forward . he was a visionary and a doer, but the congress camp was deaf and blind and tuned to dynastic rule and sycophency and could not understand the significance of Kamaraj's action!

the story continues till date!

from:  raman
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 17:25 IST

It is really difficult for the congress to project the potential of a Rahul Gandhi leadership by overlooking the Manmohansingh & UPA governments achievements like 2G scam,Coalgate,Vadra-Dlf bond,etc.and there by renew a shared sense of national destiny.

from:  Taranath Dasari
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 16:35 IST

one more attempt by congress loyalists to confuse
corruption is the major issue,secularism issue is being raised to
confuse people.and it is laughable that rahul gandhi is being projected
by congress as a leader,though he doesnt anything like this..loyalists
inside media,bureacrats ,intellectuals who support any 'nonsense' of
this ruling party,has made them highly responsible as they know till
these people will keep supporting them,they will be not be
touched..KHARE is support of congress didnt spared the Anna,kejriwal
,vk singh who thought to go against the flow and fighting the corrupt
by calling them mob,sycophants etc

from:  santosh
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 15:50 IST

Typical policies from the Congress. Pseudo-Secularism and vote-bank politics is the only thing they can offer at the expense of the majority.
Corruption, hunger, lack of infrastructure development, health and sanitation, terrorism are being completely ignored by the ruling politicians. Time to vote them out. Lets have a people friendly government in place that actually cares about the people's needs and aspirations.

from:  Vida
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 15:49 IST

Is this article a political commentary or congress politicians speech.
Article speaks against sangh parivar as polarizing forces, and congess as secular party.
Is secularism a new religion in India, because even when congress blatantly speaks pro Muslims by talking about reservation for muslims, batla encounter, congress is judged as secular party.
So according to this article secularism is either new religion in which few political parties and individuals were born into or secularism is ranting against Hindus.
Does The Hindu care to be unbiased and publish these comments.

from:  sathya
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 12:27 IST

The real game of change or `no change` with or without Secular teams is
played at the sites of work production where the Corporates instead of
Politicians or Nagar Sevaks are the REAL real masters.
Any change in political DNA or any secular front without kicking out the
`Robert Vadaras` and `Gadhkaris` is impossible.

from:  Rakesh Manchanda
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 10:35 IST

Apropos to the Editorial ‘A Secular Front for 2014 by Harish Khare’
dated 9th November Hindu. One does agree with his statement that the
Congress today should think of dissolving the UPA, and forging a new
unity with progressive forces. However the road to recovery is not
easy. First of all they have to revive the credibility in the eyes of
the people. We all associate Congress party members as sycophants of
the Gandhi family. They first need to come out of their shadows to
project them self as a credible alternative. The kind of corruption
scandals pointed at Sonia Gandhi and her family has further dent the
popularity of the UPA Government. The Congress must come clear and
project themselves to the people that there are other leaders and not
sycophants who just blindly follow Ten Janpath diktat. They need to
bring the level of integrity which Lal Bahadur Shastri practiced
during his tenure as Prime Minister. As a oldest party they need to
change and show the way.
The larger question of bringing Rahul Gandhi to No 2 should
be kept in abeyance as he is certainly not fit to be a leader in his
own house so for his followers to dream that he will lead the party to
victory will come crashing as we saw during UP e lections. As
mentioned in the Editorial Congress must rethink on what went wrong
and come out with some credible alternatives. Though any of these
changes might not help in coming General elections but in the longer
run will make them survive in the political landscape.

from:  Krishna Kumar
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 10:20 IST

"potential of a Rahul Gandhi leadership"??? I will be delighted know
his potential beyond counterfeiting the noble name of Gandhi for
political purpose and the accident of born in the first family. India
is heterogeneous, multifaceted extremely complex country, will require
genius beyond normal to manage. Greater political geniuses throughout
the world have found at their bitter cost the complexity governance
even a small country in age awash with information communication
technology. Information is not confined to the elite few but knowledge
as a power is being exercised lowest humble citizens as was evident
during the recent Egyptian Revolution‎ at Tahrir Square, explosive
revelation by Wikileaks and panic exodus of NE Indians. By all the
indications Congress party leaders and many other political leaders,
many of them with eminent academics, are unable to comprehend and learn
lessons. Their thinking is stubbornly rooted in the past where they
could continue to cheat the naïve countrymen. I wish Harish Khare had
brought out the factor rapidly changing world in to sharp focus vis-à-
vis political parties to highlight clearly that there is no fig leaf to
hide nakedness in today’s world.

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 10:11 IST

This is a very poor attempt from the anti Gandhi faction of Congress to Influence the thinking of pro Gandhi people. The fact is "Congress is Gandhi and Gandhi is Congress" and with all these corruption charges (not accusations) against the Govt. (not Congress) the only way out in 2014 is RAHUL GANDHI (RAGA). Congress is projecting him but in a very wrong way, infact they are protecting him,and here they have to Learn from their Nemesis Narender Modi (NaMo). Highlight his achivements, Congress pundits may think there is not much other than his legacy, but pls. look and think in depth there is no one without achivements. Then he will have to work on his Body language and speaking, at presents RAGA behaves as a "Rich fathers son coming out drunk from a bar and talking to pavement dwellers". Anthony will be a a good Guru for Rahul. And Secular does not means anti-Hindu and casteist.
One thing is sure if NaMo becomes PM in 2014, Congress will be finished foreever.

from:  Praveen Nair
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 09:03 IST

the article sounds congress-oriented.
but, the author simply identifies himself as a veteran commentator and political analyst. that is not fair!
the hindu chooses to publish it!! This is paid news!!!

from:  raj
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 08:30 IST

Can a leopard change its spots?

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 08:07 IST

Congress never been secular in its entire history, history shows how
divided the nation now after the independence.Consecutive congress
leaders were just playing dance with nefarious forces to get its vote
bank ballooning each year.Now there is no one party represents the
nation as a whole but regional parties, their narrow vision plays
havoc with the system and nothing good is happening in this country
except increase in poverty and dangerous regionalism. How long India
will last as a federal system of states is a wait and watch game.
Historical mistakes of dividing the country in term of language still
taking its toll and political entities based on religious basis are
still looking to divide the nation in the basis of what God one
believe.Muslim terrorism and cast war remains biggest threat even
after independence. We need a strong leader who can show the place of
religion in nation building and end all caste war by all means alas no
existing political entities have no such person.

from:  Rajesh Kaprat
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 07:53 IST

The Congress must internalise the fact there is no substitute for a pro- people governance for winning back their trust and support for tackling its present political problems and fighting successfully for a third consecutive term at the Centre. Secular and left parties may not like to come to its rescue as it has burnt both bridges and boats with them. Moreover parties like the SP are interested in getting the top post in the country for themselves..

from:  Hema
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 07:39 IST

Harish Khare's totally unconvincing arguments come as an antithesis to Hindu' s masterly
editorial headlined "Farewell to the mango people". If my memory is right, this type of
dichotomy between Mr.Khare's views and the Hindu's editorial opinion on a matter of
importance (can't remember what ) had been noticed once earlier. One appreciates the fact
that this can happen only with the Hindu

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 07:11 IST

Can the congress start a process of primaries to elect a national leader, very similar to what
is being followed in the US? It will take some time to evolve but it would be wonderful a few
contestants to emerge be elected by the cadres go through public debates and eventually
emerge as the party candidate, with 18 months to go, this is very much possible.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 06:31 IST

The article beseeches the Congress 'leadership' in every second line to set the house in order. Congress does not have leaders. The family (mother and son) decides the fate of billion plus people and from the Prime Minister downwards everyone toes the line. The Gandhi brand is the only asset of the party and persons who carry the brand-name are nothing short of almighty. Congress needs to get-out of this mindset.
On the secular credentials, Congress is willing to accept Indian Mulsim League as a secular party. This alone speaks volumes about the secular credentials.
Congress never came to power on a positive vote except on two occassions - post Bangladesh War and post Indira assasination. Because of the fractured opposition, Congress holds on to power.
The equation may very well change if BJP puts up a stong candidate for the top job.

from:  mani sandilya
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 06:10 IST

My dear what do we have here.
"a crafty cabal of civil society activists", "sangh parivar
conspirators", "a recently retired general", "the Anna Mob", "judiciary and CAG that have asserted a maximalist interpretation
for their mandates" that are using the poor congress-walas's
"personal pre-disposition for decency" and "reticence and
reluctance" to produce "an unhealthy and undemocratic imbalance
in our constitutional equilibrium". That is tearing apart the
India that the noble congress-wala's have put together.
And please allow me add our dear mamta-didi to the list.

And then he goes on to say "Today, India is much more at peace
with itself than it ever was in recent memory". Never mind the
daily dose of scams, and the price-rise and the state of the

There was a time when you see "HARISH KHARE" and it stood for a
very mature, balanced and honest article. But looks the years Mr
Khare was the media-adviser to the PM have corrupted him with the

from:  Vinod
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 03:49 IST

Seculiarism is not an issue now. What is need of the hour is a clean corruption free
Government working for the aam admi .

from:  ganesanr
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 02:47 IST

The congress party runs by loaylty to the gandhi family. The basic principle of democracy and leadership based on merits is missing.sycophancy and worship of the family is everything. right from prime minister, president, vice president, home minister, finance minister, law minister acts as if they owe something to this family and ther basic duty is to uphold this family - as opposed to working for the peeople, nation building, development, modernisation, growth, infrastructure, to name a few. the focus on the nation is missing. they are also supported by other non congress corrupt parties who is trying to avoid investigation. such a political formation cannot do any good for this country. the country needs good leadership to build this country.

from:  hari
Posted on: Nov 9, 2012 at 02:03 IST
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