Late to the party
- We condemn the flogging of Dalit men in Gujarat, says Rajnath Singh
- India cannot suppress voice of Kashmiris, should hold plebiscite: Nawaz Sharif
- Hockey legend Mohammed Shahid passes away
- Ambiguity on Navjot Singh Sidhu's status in BJP as no official word on resignation from party
- 7th Pay Commission: Govt to examine pay parity between IAS, non-IAS officers
Rahul inherits a Congress that has ceased to set the terms of political contestation
Rahul Gandhi's elevation to vice-president of the party has understandably evoked enthusiastic responses from Congress circles. But we need to remember that he was already general secretary and, for all practical purposes, second-in-command in the party. So the recent organisational change in the Congress would not merit much analytical attention but for the fact that the party tends to rely heavily on his — and his mother's — leadership and this development signals a decision by the Congress to project Rahul as its mascot for the coming Lok Sabha elections. After Rajiv Gandhi failed to win the elections for his party in 1989, there has seldom been a national level leader who won an election mainly on his personal appeal. Rahul Gandhi's euphoric supporters should remember this useful lesson from contemporary history.
Rahul Gandhi begins with quite a few handicaps. His elevation would, of course, invoke the routine criticism about "dynastic" rule, but more importantly, he now leads a party bruised by a decade of incumbency. It would be a delicate task for Rahul to be leader of the ruling party and yet distance himself from the actions (and non-actions) of his party's government. Crucially, Rahul and his Congress will have to adjust to the reality that our current politics inhabits a "post-Congress" polity. The party has found it hard to adapt to this reality so far — whether it is the idea of being a national party or the hard fact of having to deal with coalition partners. The Congress does not have much chance of winning a majority on its own in the near future, nor is it accepted as a party that sets the rules of the game anymore. This is not just to do with Rahul Gandhi's leadership but with the psyche of the party and its decision-making core. It is the challenges arising from this larger political context that will truly test Rahul Gandhi's capabilities.
- The endeavour for a common civil law must be to end discrimination, and not stamp majority might
- A host of powerful open and programmable capabilities is set to create the ‘WhatsApp moment’ for Indian banking
- Local newspapers are often the only source of news during curfew and the record of state violence
- Navjot Sidhu’s revolt has complicated the Punjab pre-poll scene
- There is an urgent need for India to reclaim 'national interest' from its national media
- India's institutionalised monetary policy framework has to be taken to its logical conclusion