What a fall for mighty Congressmen post-Nehru

Ramachandra Guha in the Hindustan Times:

“In Jawaharlal Nehru’s time, the Congress had strong, capable, and focused CMs — among them S. Nijalingappa in Karnataka (then known as Mysore), K. Kamaraj in Tamil Nadu (then Madras), B.C. Roy in West Bengal, and Y.B. Chavan in Maharashtra. They successfully won elections and ran governments.

“Now, in states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh, there is no one, identifiable, Congress leader. Five or six senior men jostle for position, their precedence varying from month to month depending on the winks and nods of the high command. In other states the situation is even more dire.

“There is thus not a single Congress leader of substance in Bihar, UP, Tamil Nadu or West Bengal, not a single leader who can be relied upon even to safely and regularly win his or her own seat, still less to canvass successfully for other Congress candidates.”

Read the full article: It’s a chief concern

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30 Responses to “What a fall for mighty Congressmen post-Nehru”

  1. ThyampannaShettru Says:

    In those days there was no TV, no internet and newspapers curried favors from politicians. Now that the things have changed, the drawbacks/merits of political leaders are a public knowledge

    Corruption was there then and still exists now. Only difference is that people come to know about it due to information technology

  2. Sapna Says:

    Is there is a credible face anywhere in any party now?

  3. sunil Says:

    If TV / Internet is there or not, people can definaitely identify the able administrators. For eg., Modi and Nitish are NDA’s trump cards.

    One cannot fool the people for long time by using news papers. People will definaitely come to know about them.

  4. sanjeev Says:

    Downfall of congress began long long time back… nothing new in what Guha is saying..

  5. mysore peshva Says:

    i am deeply concerned about the non-intellectual, even anti-intellectual, culture in almost all indian parties and their leaders…

    it seems that all of our parties, and primarily the congress, have become divorced from the best traditions of indian culture — traditions such as self-inquiry, recognizing a oneness with nature (cosmos), humility, and so on. from their public utterances, few of our leaders seem to be well-read, original, or even insightful.

    i don’t see much hope for advancing indian culture with most of our current political leaders. shri. guha is correct!

  6. Brahmappa Says:

    All parties have full time jokers. Leaders who are capable of running a government and providing good administration as a rule can’t be from Congress and are not acceptable to the liberal media and the civil society.

    It is a pity that we are living in such bad times.

  7. Mohd Afzal Says:


    Yes, there are two:

    Chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa and energy minister Shobha Karandlaje

  8. Gaby Says:

    Umm there must be some simple answer for this!

  9. Indu Ramesh Says:

    The way the congress party is waiting for a word from Sonia Gandhi to utter even a word about the SC verdict on CVC appointment shows just what kind of sycophancy exists in the party. Earlier, whenever a leader or a chief minister had to be elected in any state, the High command used to send its minions with a sealed envelope. That would be opened in the legislators meeting, and the name mentioned there would be”Unanimously elected” to whatever post it had to elect.
    How can we expect any free thinking leader in the Congress party?

  10. Sanjeeva Says:

    In general, yes – we do not have real leaders in any party, who have some stature and command respect, leave alone statesmen and visionaries. We have only politicians, with short, narrow and selfish vision and motives. At the most you can categorize them as good, bad, ugly, passable, nuisance, jokers, crackpots etc. Antony, Modi, Nitish Kumar, Naveen Patnaik and few others are still doing good work.
    Afzal – It may be an offside remark about BSY and SK. Right from the day one, BSY is not allowed to do any work and as he is busy in saving his position, he is not able to prove his mettle. SK indeed seems to be doing good work. One has to give some time before judging.

  11. Deepak Says:

    If a national party like the Congress has no single credible leader in such big states, it bodes ill not just for the party but for our democracy. Bigger point is that Kangress has no credible face even at the centre!!! MMS is an apology for a leader and Madam and Yuvraj have no courage to take over the leadership – they prefer power without accountability, tragic indeed.

  12. Prabhu Says:

    Have u ever noticed the attidude and body language of Karnataka Congress head Siddharamaih?. To be noticed he has never been a CM yet. He even almost manhandled our respected police commissioner Shankar Bidri, during the vote of confidence.
    With people like Siddharamaih in place congress is never ever going to win in Karnataka.

  13. the colonel Says:

    Gentlemen, go back to Sleep

  14. Simple Says:


    I agree with what the post says.

    It is that simple.

  15. Mathihalli Madan Mohan Says:

    The rot was set in during the Indira Gandhis time. It was her decision to split the party and go on her own, which demolished established structure of the party in the state. Then began the era of the rule of nominateed and the sychophants. The high command (the Madam, then and now) did not like any strong leader to emerge from the states. If anybody tried to emerge, he was immediately pulled down and put into the doghouse. Everybody was taught to look forward to the body language of the high command. And the rot set in is nearing completion and devouring theparty.
    Had Mrs Gandhi in her wisdom, chose to democratise the organisation, things would have been different. But he had no time or thought to give for this mundane thing. And the Congress is paying the price for it. It has become a cotery of sycophants, self seeker and tale carriers.
    Ramakrishna Hegde used tosay ‘When the bird in Delhi opens the mouth there will be chirping all over”.IT

  16. G Says:

    @Gaby.. I like the comment

  17. Mango Abdul Says:

    Congress party may be full of duds, but remember that it has Sonia Gandhi. Rajmata will take the country on the path of glory and progress. Yuvraj will become Prime Minister in 2014, and then India will enter the league of super-developed nations like Japan within a few years!

  18. Deepak Says:

    @Mathihalli Madan Mohan – Well said, the root of all our problems lies in the arrogance of the original Mrs.G.

  19. Gaby Says:

    Does this mean you agree that there has been a decline in the quality of central leadership as well in the Congress- the dowager empress and the heir apparent are inferior in their leadership when compared to Lal bahadur Shastri, Morarji Desai, Jagjivan Ram etc!

    You cant simply agree with degeneration of local/regional leadership and not the leadership at the national level.

  20. Narayana Says:

    The rot started the day Nehru was given the reins.

    Nehru was not a statesman as he was being portrayed. He was the lover boy from a rich family who flunked in academics.. Do we see that pattern repeating in each generation of Gandai Khan family.

    Nehru did not understand democracy. He wanted separate country for his home state to which he can parachute if Independent India were not to accede to his demand of prime minister’s post. He lost elections to Congress president’s post two times and then finally Gandhi appointed him as president!!! So the command of “High Command” was started in 1940!!

    Nehru also did not understand diplomacy. He was an ace idiot whom British found gullible enough to believe that Aksai Chin historically belonged to India and went on to declare a war on China on his own without consulting anyone. When the war was lost he went on to the world with a new story that it was China which attacked first!!!

    Nehru was also a coward. He wept for the people of Assam on All India Radio who had to suffer for the sins committed by Nehru.

    Nehru also did not understand meritocracy. He was surrounded by cronies and Nehru actively encouraged cronies. There was this low ranking but highly amenable officer who got promoted to the stature of a general in the coterie that planned China War with disastrous consequences. When it was time to court martial this crony of Nehru, Nehru let him off!!!

    Nehru did not have strategic vision.
    It was Netaji who predicted in 1936 a likely war in Europe and need for India to draw strategies based on the likelihood of that event.
    When Netaji’s superior strategic skills were becoming evident, Nehru perceived Netaji to be threat and got Netaji ejected from Congress.

    In the free India, in absence of Netaji, Patel would have been next best leader .. however Nehru introduced the concept of younger leader (himself) for a new nation and messed up big time in his years as prime minister.

    Nehru was also a characterless guy. Mathai talks about a sanyasi from Bangalore becoming pregnant in Nehru’s mansion. It was veneral disease that killed Nehru and not the stress of running a new country as we were taught.!!

    And lastly but not least, Nehru did not have character based on principles. As the second world was about to unfold, Netaji had predicted dire consequences for people of India and called for non participation of India in the war. However Gandhi Nehru duo did not feel that it was unethical to kill 2 million people in Bengal to satisfy Nehru’s craze for gifting a victory to Lady Edwina Mountbatten’s family and friends. In other countries there would have been a tribunal of war crimes on Nehru and his cronies. India’s losses on account of WWII were second only to Russia. Only people who made money due to WWII in India were Tata, Birla and Bajajs.

    So Guha sir, Rot was not after Nehru. Rot was Nehru.

  21. Mango Abdul Says:

    I don’t know why everyone is pouncing on the Nehru-Gandhis and blaming them for all of India’s problems!!

    Fine, what is past is past, but today’s Congress is not the Congress of those days. Today’s Gandhis are not the same as those of that era. Rahul Gandhi towers above his father, grandmother and great grandfather as far as vision and agenda for the nation is concerned.

    Rahul Gandhi is young, dynamic and inspires the youth of the country. Sonia Gandhi is a silent worker without any airs. And both are the epitome of honesty, sorely lacking in other politicians.

    If Rahul Gandhi had become PM in the early 2000s, India would have almost been in the league of Japan and Norway today!

  22. Deepak Says:

    @Narayana – strong views, I don’t think I agree with some of your points – but I 100% agree with your last line!!!

  23. Simple Says:


    We were talking about state level leaders. Not central leadership of Congress. While Sonia Gandhi is not perfect, she is better than Rajiv and Indira who were dictatorial and stuck to power at any cost. Under her leadership, congress has turned out to be better than before.

  24. twistleton Says:

    Nehru was a man who had the toughest decisions to make. He was responsible for shaping the future of the country. Its always easy to be wise in retrospect :)

    Tempting though it is to think of the what-could-have been, there are no re-takes in life. While things could have been better, things could have been a lot worse. Given human tendency to gravitate towards mistakes, I doubt anyody else could have done as good a job as Nehru.

    Console yourselves with the reflection that at the hands of almost anybody else, things would have been a lot worse.

  25. DailyBread Says:

    >Under her leadership, congress has turned out to be better than before.


    Under her leadership, congress has more billionaires than any other political party anywhere in the world.

  26. Faldo Says:

    Agree with Narayana’s last sentence. During JN’s time, there was a personality cult which got further accentuated in later years.

    The personalities mentioned (Nijalingappa, Kamaraj, YB Chavan etc) were stalwarts and did a lot for their states but came into national prominence only towards the end of Nehru’s rule when his influence was waning.
    Kamaraj and Nijalingappa assumed the presidency of the Congress during Nehru’s last years as leaders of the Syndicate while YB Chavan was made defence minister in the wake of the war fiasco with China after Nehru appointee Krishna Menon resigned. BC Roy was largely confined to West Bengal.

    Moreover one must remember that in the 40s and 50s there was very little political opposition to the Congress in most of the states, so electoral victory was never a major issue. So the leaders then could focus more on governance than worrying about their seats.

  27. Deepak Says:

    ROFL @ DailyBread’s comment. How apt!!

  28. Simple Says:


    Who has become a billionaire? Stop spreading rumours, as is your habit. Pranab Mukherjee’s sister still lives in a middle class home, whilst Sonia Gandhi is not known for her ostentation unlike BJP leaders.

    So give proof before making such foolish allegations.

  29. Mango Abdul Says:


    Don’t pay any attention to people like Dailybread. They are jealous that BJP has been rejected by the nation while Congress and Rahul Gandhi have been accepted. They will talk about millionares and billionares, but they cannot alter the fact that one year’s growth and development under Sonia Gandhi’s leadership are more than all five years growth and development under Vajpayee.

  30. DailyBread Says:

    Mango Sir,

    >They are jealous….

    I am not jealous, I am proud. They are teaching people how to acquire personal wealth in percentages of GDP. Executives managing our trillion dollar economy deserve billion dollar remunerations :))

    And we have BJP L boardus like Yeddy who does not even know how to acquire a 30X40 site when people have gobbled up half of sayadhri mountain range. Shri Yeddyuarappa should be fired for incompetence…….

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