The party is in the grip of the most serious crisis in its 134-year history. It is going through a directional drift.
On 6 August 1945, an American plane dropped the first atom bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Seventy-eight-thousand people—men, women and children—were killed in an instant. An equal number were seriously wounded. Many thousands were maimed for life—victims of atomic radiation. Almost every building was destroyed.
Three days later the second atomic bomb targeted Nagasaki, killing 26,000 (an underestimate, if ever there was one). More than 40,000 were severely injured, their bodies charred. US President Harry S. Truman had ordered this unprecedented mass murder with a total lack of sensitivity. He used to brag that he had no regrets.
Why was Germany spared? It is no secret that the bombs were available by the early weeks of 1945. The conclusion—the whites were a superior class of people than the yellow Japanese.
Having said that it must be acknowledged that the Japanese armies acted with ferocious brutality in the territories they conquered during World War II. Similar to those they committed in Nanking in 1937. They were fighting in the name of Emperor Hirohito. The number of Japanese who surrendered was minuscule. The soldiers, pilots, sailors committed hara-kiri before they could be captured.
In Europe, the Second World War ended on 8 May 1945. The Japanese surrendered on 15 August. Two years later India attained independence. From 9 August 1942 to June 1945 the members of the working committee were kept in Ahmednagar fort. The Quit India “rebellion” did not last too long.
The great Indian Freedom Movement ended in partial failure. Even Jawaharlal Nehru in his “Tryst with Destiny” speech conceded this. India was divided. M.A. Jinnah had succeeded in getting Pakistan without once going to jail or facing a lathicharge.
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The day Sanjay Singh and his wife resigned from the Congress, one of my close friends said to me, “The Congress is on ventilator”. “Not yet. At the moment it is in the ICU getting political blood transfusion.” There was a time when Congress dealt with crises with great skill, particularly Indira Gandhi. Her crisis management was quite remarkable. Of the present lot, not one comes anywhere near her political deftness.
The Congress party is now in the grip of the most serious crisis in its 134-year history. Its moral and intellectual soil is impoverished. Even a drift has a direction. But the Congress is going through a directional drift. The president of the party resigned on 25 May. The Congress Working Committee is yet to meet. Why has it not met? The go-ahead has to come from the de facto president. Rahul Gandhi had declared that no member of the Gandhi family will accept the Presidentship of the party. However, his shadow still casts spell. The unavoidable fact is that no member of the Congress Working Committee is willing to stick his neck out. The Almighty gave us a neck to stick it out sometimes. The party now finds itself in a demoralising political fog.
Worst of all, the Congress is acutely short of funds. Donations from the corporate sector have dried up. The party, I gather, has for quite some time not paid government rent for 24 Akbar Road. It is being said by Congressman who have quit that the AICC has not even paid the electricity bills for No 24.
We now learn that Sam Pitroda of “so what” fame has drawn up a scheme, which will revive the party on corporate lines. He is close to Rahul Gandhi. Heaven help the party. He is a good man, a renowned expert in the telecommunications field. But his knowledge of India politically does not inspire confidence.
The Parivar is for the first time being blamed for the sorry state of the Congress. For decades Sonia Gandhi was treated with respect, awe and admiration. No longer so. She is now being called “The Catholic Mother Superior”. This is grossly unfair.