Congress Darshan: Not just a goof-up

It is time the AICC and CWC to take the party’s thought and journals department seriously.

The virulent — and scurrilous — attack on Jawaharlal Nehru and Sonia Gandhi in the December issue of Congress Darshan, the official journal in Hindi of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee — the Mumbai city Congress unit, in other words — is clearly not an innocent editorial department goof-up.

Spread over five pages here is venom-spewing against the Congress leadership of the past and the present, of the kind whose ideological provenance is firmly lodged in the propaganda systems of the Hindu far right against the Congress. Clearly this is a massive embarrassment. The issue was brought out on the eve of the 131st anniversary of the party’s founding and had a special feature on party chief Sonia. To spring such a nasty surprise on such an occasion cannot but be the consequence of some planning. Either the MRCC’s editorial department harbours elements that are Hindutva-oriented, or has been subverted by lure. Fundamentally, it is the weakness of the Congress leadership itself to which can be ascribed episodes such as these. Even the Congress Sandesh, the party’s mouthpiece published from the AICC headquarters in New Delhi, has from time to time carried edit matter unflattering to its leaders and prejudicial to Congress policy.

Unlike in an earlier era, the editorial management of Congress journals is typically in the hands of low-end people who couldn’t care less, and can be birds of passage. Often they are opportunists and careerists who are not concerned with Congress history or theology. Time was when a party heavyweight took charge and took the job of editor seriously — much as is the tradition in the RSS-Jana Sangh-BJP as well as the Left parties. Thus, Sanjay Nirupam, the Darshan editor, can claim innocence and try to get away from any sense of responsibility. Conducting an inquiry, as he has promised, is neither here nor there. Mr Nirupam is an import from the Shiv Sena, with whose thinking the damaging write-ups on Nehru and Sonia fit perfectly and which is no different from that of the RSS school. If he is disgruntled with the party’s leadership, he could well have stage-managed the whole thing. On the other hand, it is conceivable that his rivals have organised the mischief.

The Congress is a party full of tricksters. The statements of state party chief Ashok Chavan and other unnamed leaders cited in news reports show little solicitude for Mr Nirupam who heads the Mumbai unit. There seems to be inner-party tension also at work here, which can mar Congress’ future electoral chances.

It is time the AICC and CWC took the party’s thought and journals department seriously. This won’t happen so long as the Congress is packed with hangers-on.

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( Source : deccan chronicle )
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