PotentialSolution to the Issue There are various reasons why we can color congress asa family owned business because it has always put Nehru family above its ownand even above the nation’s interests.
This pattern is clear on multipleoccasions in its six-decade rule of India. It always worked with profit as a primemotive and family progression as its core ideology. While there are several historicinstances of oppression and subversion of non-family members in Congress party,the popular victims of Congress party dynastic system in the pre-independentera were Netaji Subash Chandra Bose and many prominent freedom fighters.
In theera after independence, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Kamraj,Yaswant Rao Chauhan, T T Krishnamachari, Guljarilal Nanda, Morarji Desai andmany other stalwarts who were belittled, subdued and their contributions toIndia were systematically undermined in mainstream political ecosystem and evenin our history text books. If one studies Congress party as an organization, thenthe following theory is applicable to project its trajectory. The fundamentalreasons for success and failures of family businesses globally have beenstudied systematically for decades and the outcomes of these studies arescientific and objective.
Thesestudies clearly indicate that family businesses weaken at every generation andeventually fail around the 3rd generation onwards to disappear bythe 5th generation, if critical strategic interventions are not affected. Family businesses whichdepend on blood line for succession cease to boom and sometimes even survivebeyond a point. Especially, when the successors lack will, open mind, capability,diligence and respect. Both the crown prince Rahul Gandhi and potentialprincess Priyanka Gandhi were not able to showcase any of these factors, whichare required to reignite the flickering political fortunes of Congress party. Professionalizingan organization with capable, skilled, motivated and visionary leaders is thekey for continuity and success.
Familybusinesses which prosper for generations going beyond the redlines drawn by FMBtheories are, the ones which adjust to changing ecosystem, restructureregularly, avoid family red tape in executive positions, avoid weak partitions,nurture professionalism and pervade the core values and ideology to the lastman in the system. Oncethe failure cycle hits it, unless a huge restructuring process, which involves professionalizingevery layer of the organization, need to be effected under a strong, respectedleader, the revival is impossible.Decentralizing& Democratizing the Structure Increasing the information ?ow from bottom to toplevel should be given great importance. There was no clear flow of control orpower from top to bottom and in most cases this was accumulated at the centraland state level. Theinitial organizational structure of Congress was so deep-rooted and ingrainedthat it reached to the grassroots level, to the last man, as a part of Gandhianidealism.
But the current structure is nowhere near what was intended as they couldn’tuphold these ideals of working on the ground for as long as the people of Indiahoped it could. CulturechangeIncreasing the number of leaders who emerge out of thegrass root level is crucial. Congress should create a system that allows otherleaders to emerge organically from within his party from the grass root level.Unlessit opens up more internally to the talent it still has, it would find it hard.Congressis now reduced to a fistful of state governments under its control – and eventhese are likely to be challenged soon. Mr.
Bal says: “It’s a giant patronagenetwork,” he says.” If you don’t have patronage to disperse, your party startsdisappearing at the ground level.” The partyhas always been handicapped by its chronic inability to develop a mechanismsthat allow viable and popular leaders to rise from within.Meritbased post allocation and delegationAvoiding bias and caste based favoritism. Delegatingmore responsibilities to a wider set of members.
Congress chief minister does not have the freedomto make any changes in his cabinet. He has to first get a clearance from theparty leadership in Delhi.Radicalchange in StructureThemethod of leader selection should be reformed. The dynasty of Nehru-Gandhi has longoutlived its purpose. The dominance of the dynasty has made sycophancy a surer route topower than popularity with the electorate.
Powerful regional leaders break awaywhen they feel sidelined by the national leadership, often maintaining the word’Congress’ in their new name to signal their heritage. Central leadership need toaccommodate the more dynamic and popular state leaders and convince them thattheir route to power lies through a united INC. However, all these scenarios depend on remodelingand strengthening the internal workings of the INC. India’s grand old party isfacing a crisis unlike any other in its history.Evolvingwith timeMuchof Congress’ dominance in the past at the center as well as the state level wasdue to the fact that people voted in the name of Congress, which had wonfreedom for the country. People felt almost indebted to the party and continuedto bring them back to power in the hope that Swarajya (self-rule) wouldactually be realized on the ground and the days of Ram Rajya (the idyllic ruleof Rama).
Peoplewaited for years, but neither Swarajya nor Ram Rajya came about. Instead, thepeople realized, nepotism and corruption were increasing day by day in thepolitical system. It was not Ram Rajya, but the Raaj of one family — the Gandhifamily.
There should be a proper feedback mechanism to scale in the heartbeatof the public and evolve based on it.