Indian National Congress can be safely termed as the mother of all political movements in India since its inception in the year 1885. The leaders of our freedom struggle were associated with INC for short and long terms but there is no denying the fact that INC was responsible to provide that vision to the entire country and its masses and unifying them under one umbrella directed towards a common goal of freedom from imperial British and building of a great nation.
Many other political movements before and after India’s independence were started by people who were once a part of the Indian National Congress and in a way were trained and polished through INC’s movement. To take an example Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was a 2 time elected president of INC before paring on his own way and founding The Azad Hind Fauj. Netaji famously named his regiments after Nehru and Gandhi as a mark of respect for these great men. Another astonishing example is the founder of Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh KB Hedgewar who was an active volunteer of INC before moving out and founding the RSS. This might irritate the BJP-RSS cadre to know of the fact that even the staunch opposition to INC was started by an ex-congressman.
If we come to the post-independence era the founder Jan Sangh is Late. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee started his political career as an Indian National Congress candidate himself and was an active member of the INC before founding the Jan Sangh in 1951 which later on got disintegrated and transformed into today’s BJP, a fact that again would irritate the supporters of BJP-RSS.
In the last few decades, Mamata Banerjee who founded TMC and Sharad Pawar who founded NCP were both Indian National Congress members before splitting away.
The above facts are clearly proving the importance of the Indian National Congress in Indian democracy.
The democratic system requires a strong and on its toes opposition to check the powers of the ruling party and prevent the complete centralization of power. A strong opposition is one of the primary requirements to keep democracy alive and healthy. In present times especially since BJP came into power in 2014 and then again in 2019 the Indian National Congress is ever more important for the country as a whole. Indian National Congress is the only political party in the present times with a large national presence stretching from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Indeed regional parties have their role to play in the central leadership and govt formation at the center but strong opposition in the face of a majority government is essential.
Aam Admi Party is trying to play an important role at the national level by forming governments in 2 states but the fact is that they now have 0 MPs in Lok Sabha and hence there is no chance as of now for them to play the larger role. Indian National Congress still has 53 MPs in Lok sabha which is the 2nd highest after the ruling BJP which has 303. In Rajya Sabha, they have 31 members. If we don’t look at the numbers in the parliament INC still occupies the larger image of the country’s population. People resonate with INC’s vision of India and find a place for their dreams in that vision.
Even the harshest critics of the party cannot dare to imagine an India with no INC in its political space. If we further look for evidence to understand the importance of INC in Indian democracy just observe the attacks by media houses on INC when its numbers are so few. Major media houses that are so obviously and evidently biased attack INC round the clock and tell a story, a story which says that INC is a challenge to the authoritarian majority govt. People with vested interests want an opposition without the INC but that is frankly not possible a political party that is so old and a part of the imaginative DNA of generations cannot be ruled out.
A strong Indian National Congress means a strong opposition and a strong democracy, it’s good for the people and the country as a whole. If democracy is to survive and thrive Indian National Congress has to be there. A political party that is the mother of all political movements in our country and has its roots in democratic principles and is indeed very important in the overall socio-political structure of India.
Let’s hope that we understand democracy better and create a political space that improves with time instead of going back to an authoritarian regime.
For more such interesting subjects and perspectives stay tuned to Panchayiti