Rahul Gandhi is right to resign from his party post
Sir — The decision of the Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, to resign from his post and make way for someone outside the Nehru-Gandhi family at the helm of the Grand Old Party is correct. The Congress does not face an existential crisis as many have suggested; it is facing a leadership crisis. The Congress won the state elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh recently, staging a remarkable comeback in the Indian heartland. This proves that there are young and capable leaders within the Congress who can take over. Further, the Nehru-Gandhis can always guide the party and its leaders.
India needs a strong Opposition for democracy to function and to ensure that there are checks and balances for the party in power. Congress is the only national party that can fulfil this role.
Sir — The Congress Working Committee has refused to accept the resignation tendered by Rahul Gandhi. But the body should seriously consider opting for a more experienced leader. One option could be Shashi Tharoor, an eminent intellectual who has actively and assiduously worked in the service of people in his constituency. Internationally, he has served as the under-secretary general for communications and public information at the United Nations. He is a capable politician and statesman. Tharoor’s leadership of the Indian National Congress would be beneficial to both the party and the nation.
Hasan Nishat Ansari,
Sir — It is heartening that Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, is standing firm on his decision to quit his leadership role to usher in fresh blood. But he is not the only one who should step aside. Senior leaders like Ashok Gehlot and Kamal Nath were keen only on promoting their sons at the cost of the party. It is high time that all parties identify and root out dynastic politics. This is the only way power can be decentralized from the hands of a few.
Sir — It is not unusual for parties to introspect after a big defeat in the elections. It is also common for party presidents to tender resignations after taking ‘moral responsibility’ for the poor performance. The Congress chief, Rahul Gandhi, has done the same. So far Rahul has not budged under pressure from the party members to rescind his resignation. He will do well to go ahead with his resolve to resign and hand over the reins of the party to someone outside the Nehru-Gandhi family. His personal diatribe against Narendra Modi, who is held in high esteem by the people, cost him dearly. He has much to think about.
Sir — The Congress footprint is rapidly shrinking across the country. But Rahul Gandhi is not the only one responsible for this and his resignation will, thus, not help the party find its lost glory.
The Congress was unable to match the Bharatiya Janata Party in leadership, organization, financing and poll narratives. The Grand Old Party should introspect and address these issues. It must take care to send out the message that it is not a spent force at the earliest. The first priority for the party should be to boost the morale of its workers. For this, a bottom-up approach is needed. Leaders should reconnect with the masses.
Experienced leaders should be involved in decision-making within the party and restructuring it from the ground up. The Congress should take lessons from the decimation of the Left parties if it is to overcome this crisis.
Sir — The article, “May madness” (May 23), by Bhaswati Chakravorty refreshed our memory of a Tagore brother who has long faded into oblivion. Jyotirindranath Tagore is now remembered mostly just as the elder brother of Rabindranath and the husband of Kadambari Devi. But Jyotirindranath was a talent in his own right. In fact, he was the pivot of the Tagore household before Rabindranath came into his own. He was also the mentor of Rabindranath and had many talents, including drawing. In fact, the only image of Lalon Fakir that exists today was drawn by him. But Jyotirindranath retreated from public life and, ultimately, died a lonely death.
Chakravorty has painted a vivid picture of this now forgotten Tagore. Unfortunately, barring a couple of publications, few others remembered his birthday.
Shaken, not stirred
Sir — The heat is on in the United Kingdom with Brexit looming large. Unsurprisingly, the milkshake business is doing well. However, instead of sipping on milkshakes to stay cool, some Remainers have chosen the drink as ammunition. Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party, was recently hit with one. Farage, who has ignored all reasonable arguments about the fallouts of Brexit, seems to have been shaken by the attack, worrying about a repeat performance when his bus was surrounded by people with iced coffees. Rather than getting riled up, Farage could invite his detractors for chilled milkshakes and hear them out.