The Congress has had a long history in the Indian subcontinent. It started with the first president of the Congress party, Mr. Womishchandra Banerjee. For the first 30 years of the Congress party, the biggest bulls in Indian politics became the party presidents of the Congress, Dadabhai Naroiji who was a Parsi Intellectual, cotton trader, social reformer and also renowned as the grand old man of India, Romeshchandra Datt who was a civil servant, writer, translator of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana and an economic historian, Gopalakrishna Gokhale who was a leading moderate and one of the most renowned freedom fighter, Rajbihari Ghosh who was a politician, lawyer, social activist and philanthropist, Madan Mohan Malviya who was the founder of the Banaras Hindu University, Lala Lajpat Rai who was the leader of several Hindu reform movements including the very famous Arya Samaj, Abul Kalam Azad who was a revolutionary poet, journalist, activist, freedom fighter and also credited for the formation of the UGC and the IIT’s.
During that era even foreigners could become a congress party president, such as George Mule, Sir Willaim, Alfred Web, Henry Cotton and Annie Besant who worked on the Home-rule movement with our first Prime Minister Mr. Jawahar Lal Nehru who is today blamed for all the political, social, economic, cultural, ecological problems in the country by the ruling party or the current regime. Today, the Congress party is called a Pseudo-secular party but there was a time when even Muslims could become Party Presidents. But, sadly with the partition coming near, Muslim leaders in the party almost ended in the party and a serious problem emerged in the congress party, that of tussles within the congress party.
In 1938, Subhash Chandra Bose became the Party President with the support of Gandhi, Patel and Nehru but in 1939, Bose waged a war against Gandhi due to ideological differences. The re-elections within the Congress party took place and Bose won the elections, but Gandhi gave so much heat to the situation that the entire Congress Working Committee gave their resignation and hence Bose gave his resignation too in 1939.
In 1939 the fight was Gandhi vs. Bose; 1949 it was Patel vs. Nehru. Now the question was, who was to be the first Party President of the independent India. Patel’s call was PurshottamDas Tandon, but the problem with Tandon to Nehru was that Tandon wanted imposition of the Hindi language nationwide and being of a liberal mindset Nehru never supported Tandon. But, irrespective of Nehru’s denial, Tandon was chosen as the Congress President and in the heat of the situation Nehru was about to give his resignation from Congress. But, unfortunately in December, 1950 Patel passed away and within 9 months Tandon had to resign because of lack of cooperation. Hence, the Congress passed a resolution declaring Nehru as the Part President! There were no elections, only a resolution.
This is where the problem started in the Congress Party, and the decline of democracy in the Congress Party because with the coming of Indira Gandhi it became a fad in the party, that whoever is the Prime Minister will become the Party President. The same formula was followed by PM Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister=Party President, even PV Narasimha Rao followed the same formula in the early 1990s.
Hence the roots of the Congress Party got very weak. There was no new energy, no new ideas, what was going on was never changed. There was more of internal politics in the party and less of policy building. Membership work, groundwork, surveys. The party which played a major role in the independence of the country, itself could not remain democratic. Post the election loss 1996 and corruption allegations PV Narasimha Rao resigned as the Party President and hence Sitaram Kesari became the Party President, but in the backroom the play was different, there were discussions about bringing Sonia Gandhi into the playground of Indian Politics. In 1997, Sonia Gandhi agreed to campaign for the Congress Party and the pressure got built up on Sitaram Kesari and on 14th March, 1998, Kesari went to the Congress headquarters, 24 Akbar Road in a normal meeting of the CWC and there, Pranab Mukherjee started reading a Thankyou note and a new resolution was bought in the congress party, that Sonia Gandhi was elected as the Party President and for 19 years Sonia Gandhi remained as the Party President and became the longest-serving party president in the congress. But, the fresh blood of the party and new policies were fleeing away and the Congress couldn’t realize that on the time they were running a dynasty, on the other hand, the BJP-RSS clan was working day and night, they were bringing talent, building up their party, sharpening up their communication, were working on data harvesting and were taking every step that every political party should take.
Finally, in 2014, the Congress party only won 44 seats in the Lok Sabha General Elections and 91 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. This was the shock therapy that the Congress Party went through. As of now, to clear the air, Rahul Gandhi has resigned from the position of the Party President, Jyotiraj Scindia has resigned from the position of President of the AICC and Milind Deora quits as the Mumbai Congress Chief post a meeting with the Ex- Party President and sitting MP from his constituency in Kerala, Wayanad in which he had a historic win and on the contrary where he lost his 21-year-old bastion, Amethi, Mr. Rahul Gandhi. As of now, there are talks over Sachin Pilot leading the congress party, in the meantime we can wait, and observe the elections of two of the most important states/ union territories in India, Delhi and Maharashtra. This is the history of the Indian National Congress, the oldest political party of the Indian Subcontinent.
NOTE: THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE HAS BEEN ADAPTED BY A YOUTUBE VIDEO PRODUCED BY POLITICAL SATIRIST AKASH BANERJEE. ALL THE INFORMATION USED TO WRITE THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN TAKEN FROM HIS VIDEO. PUBLICTUNES MEDIA DOES NOT OWN ANY RIGHTS TO THIS ARTICLE. ALL THE CREDITS GO AKASH BANERJEE.WE HAVE MERELY TRANSLATED THE AUDIO-VISUAL INTO TEXTUAL FORM. LINK TO THE FOLLOWING VIDEO IS GIVEN BELOW: