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Posts Tagged ‘State-level politics’

M.K. Gandhi’s Three Legged Stool vs. the Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty’s Tippy Stilts

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

The UP elections compel us to reflect on an enduring question of democratic politics — are individuals more important than organisations?

Ashutosh Varshney’s recent oped on the meaning of the UP election had me wondering though if the Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty can or should ever rebuild a solid Congress organization.

UP, long having put the nation first, may have learnt to look out for itself

The UP elections compel us to reflect on an enduring question of democratic politics — are individuals more important than organisations?

Consider Mahatma Gandhi’s classic answer to this question. Individuals are necessary, he said, but not sufficient. Without organisations, big political campaigns cannot be launched, let alone victories achieved, but without individual drive, energy and leadership, organisations cannot be created.

Dynastic charisma and organization building may not work for them. There may be an inherent conflict between the legal and mundane elements of organizational strength and legitimacy that can’t ever grow in the shade of the Nehru-Gandhi family’s long shadow.

I remember back in the mid-1990s when there was still hope that Madhavrao Scindia and Rajesh Pilot might rebuild or at least renovate the Congress edifice.

Jagdish’s comment that Manmohan and the reform team may now be relatively stronger suggests the actual absolute weakness of both sides of the Congress dyarchy.

Akhilesh’s laptops, referred to in the piece, suggest some inklings of venturesome policy in the SP, it seems to me from a normative perspective, that the sad thing about the trend in the regionalization of party politics is the absence of wide and deep fresh policy ensembles for the things that really matter such as education, infrastructure and health.