What chance for Profesional Congress? dr. james kottoor (Chicago)

 Is Modi unbeatable in 2019? 

James kottoorOnly yesterday we posted an editorial asking No stopping Modi in 2019? We were commenting on the article of Manish Tewari, contesting more forcefully that the turncoat Nithith Kumar’s claim that victory for Modi in 2019 is assured already now, need not come true.

Politics in any country, especially with a multi party system as in India, is like betting in a horse race. The front running horse now in India is Modi’s. One threat for his defeat was the possible coming together of all parties opposed to a saffron party under Nithish’s leadership. Nithish betrayed that people’s trust by joining the Saffron party himself leaving the opposition high and dry in total disarray. When one door closes, another door opens.

So what about the idea of an All India Professional Congress (AIPC) mooted by Sashi Tharoor in this interview to Indian express and supported by Rahul and the whole congress battalion? 2019 Election is quiet far away. A young Macron 39, could cobble up a new party ‘On the march’ (En Marche) in one year and come to power in France. Also a AAP under a misguided Kejriwal could capture power in Delhi.

Of course AIPC should steer clear of all the dishonest ways of  a Kejriwall and imitate the young Macron, although he too is falling in popularity in France, according to latest reports. One should keep trying and hoping. Succes is for the one who never give up.

Now it is an All India professional Congress, attached to the apron strings of the Congress. Eventually it should become “An all India professional politicians group,” thinking and planning independently of any political party to supply clean qualified politicians to any party or capable of building up a more vibrant new party better suited for India. Is  such a thing possible? james kottoor, editor ccv.

Please read below Tharoor’s interview

‘Time for Congress to reach out to middle classes’

By Manoj C G, in the Indian Express | Updated: August 4, 201


Rahul Gandhi with the vice-chairman Milind Deora (2nd L) and four Regional Coordinators Gaurav Gogoi (L), Shashi Tharoor (3rd R), J Geeta Reddy (2nd R) and Salman Soz (R) of the party’s newly formed department All India Professional Congress. (PTI Photo)

What is the idea behind AIPC?

There are so many educated professionals who are interested in politics but have no clue how to access it. And they feel that politics is a closed shop. The classic political activities like dharna, hartals and so on do not interest them. Their interest is idea, policies and all. So we are saying we will give you a platform. Come in, we will create an Indian National Professional Congress which would have chapters… every individual would sign up with an address and they would belong to a chapter at their address.

That chapter has to have a minimum of 25 members and a maximum of 100. They will have weekly meetings, discuss current affairs… you actually encourage them… in some cases by Congress leaders coming… they connect with each other through WhatsApp groups. They feed each other through the chain to the state level and then to the national level.

We then create projects and tasks for them. For instance, once we have a few chapters we can task them to monitor how Swachh Bharat is doing in their area… they can use their professional skills to monitor such schemes… What they feed to us will be input for Congress spokespersons and Congress policy makers and Congress speakers in Parliament.

So, they will just help Congress. What is in it for them? 

It will be a two-way traffic. They will be contributing their expertise. It also becomes potentially a recruitment pool because people who will come into the party through this mechanism may have skills and talents which are otherwise not available to us. They could join many of our other… they could join the research department, become spokespersons… there are a number of things which the Congress could use them for if they are interested.

BJP has professional forums like this. Is there a realisation that it is time the Congress reach out to the middle class? 

I have been saying this for some years now. If you see my article and columns… I have been arguing for it… it is not totally new. Many of us have felt the need for this. …but we are doing it now. But it is a good time because a lot of the middle classes who voted for the Modi government in 2014 are increasingly disillusioned.

They say we voted for economic growth and ease of doing business and efficiency and instead we got cow vigilantism and bigotry being unleashed on us. That is not what we voted for. Lot of people have come and told us that the Congress will have to stand up.

There are others, some of the professional middle classes, who might have turned to the AAP. They are also equally disillusioned with the AAP because it has come across as a rather cynical outfit and its reputation now is not what used to be. So people are genuinely looking for a platform which has competence and at the same time values their professional skills.

The perception has been that educated professionals, the middle or upper middle classes, by and large are Modi supporters. Do you think you will get a good response? 

Yes, yesterday the response was so astonishing that the system crashed with thousands of people trying to log in. We had to migrate to a larger server which was done overnight.

Congress also announced setting up of All India Unorganised Workers Congress. So, finally there is some activity in the party?

We are trying to reach all segments. It is unfair to say that there was no activity earlier. But I can certainly say that the party vice-president is taking a personal initiative to revive the party and these are all led by him. You will see more innovation in the party structure and organisation. He has various plans… particularly the objective is to reach out to segments of the society who have perhaps for one reason or the other been largely neglected by the political establishment.

Rahul Gandhi , Milind Deora (R), Tharoor (3rd R), J Geeta Reddy (2nd R) and Salman Soz (C) interact with the media in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

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2 Responses

  1. almayasabdam says:

    James Kottoor wrote:

    Very well said Pamplani and congrats! “The very name Congress leaves a bad taste in the mouth” of most Indians. That is precisely why I said in the concluding para:

    Now it is an All India professional Congress, attached to the apron strings of the Congress. Eventually it should become “An all India professional politicians group,”thinking and planning independently of any political party to supply clean qualified politicians to any party or capable of building up a more vibrant new party better suited for India. Is  such a thing possible?”

    We in India definitely need a professions political pool, which can supply men with vision, conviction, courage and action, honest men and women ready to work  for and put public good before private profit – for todays’ politicians profit alone matter, see all of them are crorepathies – and are ready to put their neck on the block than to yield to tempting whores of corruption, and detached from all party or partisan interests. How to fashion them, select them, train them and maintain them financially because often such idealists are financial paupers.

    But there are no dearth of young, dare-devil idealists in India ready to die for a noble cause. How many are the instances of youngsters who join even the ISIS?

    Democratic party politics with checks and balances is considered the best form of Government we have discovered. At least, so we think. That need not be true. So these professional politicians should be able to come up with a new forms more suited for India. Leave that to them for the moment.

    We took the Congress man Sashi’s suggestion, not because of any sympathy for Congress. None actually! Only because we have to learn to take a queue even from a gravedigger, in the absence of anything coming from the Solomon’s of this world.

    So let the better informed speak up. We are here to listen and learn while thanking Pamplanil for volunteering to come out as the first batsman in this game of cricket. james kottoor, jameskottoor@gmail.com 

  2. almayasabdam says:

    Varghese Pamplanil wrote:

    Apropos, Dr. Kottoor’s comments on Sashi Tharoor’s proposal for All India Professional Congress under the aegis of Congress Party. The very name Congress leaves a bad taste in the mouth. The party has degenerated in to a cess-pool of sycophancy, corruption, dishonesty, wheeling and dealing.  The late Indira Gandhi, in order to project her wayward son, Sanjay had ensured that state leaders like V. P. Naik, H.N. Bahuguna, Brahmanda Reddy etc. were booted out. No local leader was allowed to come up. With the sad end of Rajiv Gandhi, the party became the pocket borough of the Italian origin Sonia, with no political acumen or leadership qualities. Her son Rahul is incapable for reviving the fortunes of the party.  Modi is a cunning politician, a good communicator. He is the creature of the corporate world. He is the mouthpiece of Hindu diehards who can effectively project the cow, the mandir and the OBC. This charade will flourish till the “daridhra narayanans” belatedly realise that they have been hood winked and taken for a ride. India is no France where the reverberations of the French Revolution still linger. Modern Protestant European society is dynamic. India is still in the clutches of religiosity of the worst kind. The country is centuries behind modernism in real terms. But nothing in nature or society exists in the vacuum. Some unexpected force may appear and change the scenario That alone is the hope.

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