Who owns the Indian National Congress?

The fact that Congress being a nationalist party and has earned our freedom from the tyrannical rule of British had been imbued to our minds through school text books. Taking this narrative forward, we have been always told about the importance of the so called Nehru-Gandhi family which indirectly showcases that we should be grateful to the party and in-turn vote for the branded Gandhi family. Moreover, I was once surprised to see a New Zealand newspaper publishing something like this – ‘Priyanka Gandhi joins family business.’ The propaganda to promote this dynasty has reached at level.

Congress was actually formed by Allan Octavian Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji, Dinshaw Wache and Womesh Banerjee. Its first president was Womesh Banerjee and it aimed for a platform to work for the interests of Indians like education, jobs and healthcare much like what RSS is doing. Later, under the leadership of prominent freedom fighter it shifted its focus to Independence which gathered momentum under Gandhi followed by Bose, Sardar Patel, Sarojini Naidu and others.

One of the striking fact to notice here is that they had presidential elections within the committee every year and it was very rare to see a person been elected consecutive years as presidents until Nehru-Gandhi family hijacked it. Also, Pandit Nehru was the first president whose father was a president before, paving way for the nepotism. Nehru also convinced Gandhi to force Bose to resign from Congress President position who was the biggest threat to Nehru’s ambitions. Motilal Nehru was in fact the first president from the infamous dynasty to be elected after the Congress was formed thirty five years earlier.

After Independence, Gandhi wanted to dissolve the Congress not just because it had achieved its goal to get freedom from British but also for the fact that as per our constitution there would be independent representation for each constituency who would in turn elect their leader or the Prime Minister of India. This is actually the real ideals of democracy where the Prime Minister would be the supreme and be decided or controlled by another organization outside the parliament.

However, Nehru opposed the proposal of dissolution and wanted to use the popularity and influence of the party among the people. He turned Congress into a complete political party. After Gandhi’s death, he was elected as party president for 4 consecutive years and later turned it into a family asset. Sonia Gandhi took over in 1998 and was president for next 19 years. Perhaps, now no one even talks about anyone other than the branded Gandhi Family to be president of the party or PM of the nation.

Earlier, they chose a president based on merits and vision now it is all about being a heir. Indeed Congress is now a family business of the branded Gandhis while none of the family members of the founders are any where near to it. Now we have no option rather than choosing a party because it’s governing council will only decide who will rule the nation. By that logic, every vote for Congress will only make the “Branded Gandhi” closer to the throne. Perhaps, Sonia Gandhi is the fourth richest politician in the word.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SatyaVijayi