By Binoy Viswam
Ideology is the foundation on which political thoughts and actions have taken shape. At the core of every socio-political battle, it acts as the decisive factor. All the political parties represent certain ideological traits attributed to their class character. In the history of Congress, it was Nehru, who struggled hard to pave an ideological understanding for its political course. In a broad manner he was influenced by the ideals of democracy and secularism oriented to socialism.
His understanding of socialism was often criticized by many as not being scientific. Remaining friendly to Soviet Union in his own way, Nehru tried to maintain a sort of love and hate relationship with the ideology of the Left. Because of this, he mobilised friends and foes inside his own party. The history of Congress in pre- and post-independent India is a testimony to this fact.
In the era of globalisation, after the fall of Soviet Union, the ideological eco system of the world witnessed drastic changes. Many parties were thrown open to the ideological influence of neo-liberal economy and Congress was not an exception. The people who stood at the helm of the Congress affairs began to distance themselves from Nehru and even Gandhi. Naturally, the secular democratic space occupied by Congress got weakened.
As expected the traditional support base of the Congress got eroded. The downtrodden section lost their trust in the Congress, and the secular forces began to doubt the Congress credentials. This is a process that took shape during the course of the last three decades. Presiding over the debacle of the party, the Congress leadership never attempted to make any serious introspection into the crisis faced by the party.
In the existing political conditions, when the fascist ideology of the RSS-BJP moves to engulf the country’s secular democratic ethos, the Left wishes the Congress to remember its own Gandhi-Nehru legacy and its past. We urge the Congress to self-critically analyse its economic and political positions during the period of globalisation. That was and still remains the crux of the Left critique of the Congress. The Even during ‘Bharat Jodo’ yatra, considered to be an attempt to revitalize the party, this aspect was not seriously touched upon. Left never expects the Congress to follow the left ideology or to become left in its political perceptions.
Many in the Congress have utterly failed to understand the reason, why the reactionary forces are keen to unleash their tirade against Nehru. Their newly invented love of the RSS towards Sardar Patel stems out from their bitter hatred towards Nehru. Surprisingly the Congress leadership remained miserably indifferent to the ideological warfare which was aimed at hitting at the Gandhi-Nehru foundation of the party. Now this indifference has entered a new stage. Then responsible leaders of the Congress party began to recall their affinity towards RSS. No less a person than the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president stands in this pro-RSS advocacy. Not being satisfied by this, he went to the extent of painting Nehru as an ideological companion of communal fascism.
The all India leadership of the Congress due to its own reasons remains silent on this very serious issue. With this kind of ideological neutrality, the Congress will not be able to come out of the deep crisis they have fallen into. This is a moment of decision-making for the Congress. They need to categorically tell the country about their ideology and politics. Let them have no doubt Jawaharlal Nehru is going to be the fundamental factor in their search for ideological and political clarity. To be or not to be with Nehru is the question before them! (IPA Service)