And I agree with him for once.
The great young hope of Congress has been pretty unremarkable so far. General Secretary, and before that the face of Congress in UP, nothing much worked in any substantial way.
But the recent CWC, he made a speech asking for some semblance of practicality in the requirements for becoming a congressman. So he suggested, get rid of all those rubbish about wearing khadi, not drinking alcohol, subscribing to party periodicals etc.
This makes a lot of sense. I understand that the requirements were put in place when Congress was still a nationalist movement for independence, when it was still Gandhian. Getting rid of them would be like finally abandoning Gandhi.
But as every Congressman knows, that has already happened.
This is not Gandhi’s Congress anymore. Congressmen drink, smoke and do much worse quite similar to other partymen. They have been involved in rioting and violence the same way every other party has. They have been implicated in scams and scandals like everyone else.
But why not insist on these stuff, and make some kind of a token resistance, some may ask.
I say that insisting on khadhi and no-alcohol policy is, in practice, nothing but a dishonest beginning. Why ask a young man or woman to start their political career in the party with a lie? Starting off on a such a bad note is anything but auspicious. More than an ideal, now it is an open suggestion to lie and be dishonest from day One.
Keep them as guidelines or something. Let the few who want to follow them do it. For me, I will be happy if those Congressmen who went around murdering people in 1984 are punished. And the nasties from Gujarat BJP are not allowed to enter the party.
Come to think of it, that’s too much to ask from the Congress. Stick with the alcohol ban. Much easier.