New Delhi: Today’s analysis in the series, “The party begins...,” focuses exclusively on one of the two mainstream parties, the Congress, and the concluding part featuring the Bharatiya Janata Party will appear next week.

The Congress party is a little like Pakistan. India has multiple agendas with Pakistan, and Kashmir is not at the forefront of them. Once Pakistan progresses to complete democratic normalcy, with the military under firm civilian control and having no say in foreign affairs, and jihad extirpated as an instrument of state policy, India believes the Kashmir issue can be settled. But Pakistan is singularly focussed on Kashmir; it has destroyed itself for possessing territory which cannot strengthen its fragile nationhood; and it is engaged in a war to the bitter end with India.

Like Pakistan is obsessed with Kashmir, the Congress party exists solely to be in power. Power determines its being. Because the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has proved so long to be an ideal vehicle to reach this state of being, the dynasty is worshipped with a fanaticism usually reserved for dreaded ideologies. Naturally, in the circumstances, power cannot be used to the good. Power is employed to perpetuate power. And in this no-holds-barred process, nothing is kosher.

And nothing is quite as special as loot. The bigger the loot, the better, because it generates surplus, after the enormous individual avarices are satisfied. This surplus is employed to suborn the election process by rigged polling (one Union minister won a Lok Sabha election by a laughably low margin); votebanks are created and funded; dirty tricks are liberally resourced, and one manifestation of this is sting journalism which has sullied the profession; institutions are subverted, which includes certainly the subordinate judiciary, all levels of police, the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Comptroller and Auditor General; and Parliament is compromised, and this can no longer be brushed aside after the corrupt confidence vote in favour of the Indo-United States nuclear deal, and in the way laws have been passed with no correlation to public good but all singularly designed to keep the Congress in power. In other words, in the most fitting Nazi tradition, the Indian state exists only to serve the Congress party, with the people becoming slave labour.

How did things go so wrong? The rot began when Mohan Karamchand Gandhi ignored the superior claims of Sardar Patel to be India’s first prime minister and anointed Jawaharlal Nehru who was supposed to have international charisma. Patel’s early death enabled Nehru to bury his glorious legacy and supplant it with phoney democratic liberalism, which did not prevent the dismissal of arguably the world’s first elected communist government in Kerala (the Paris Commune was a forerunner of a different kind).

Her father’s virtual dictatorship grew to become Indira Gandhi’s authoritarianism. This lead to the decimation of residual inner-party democracy in the Congress, the promulgation of Emergency, the rise of the first dynast, Sanjay, and the second, Rajiv, and it provoked the tragic joining of faith and politics in Punjab, which culminated in the horror of Operation Bluestar. Through Rajiv Gandhi, the Bofors scandal, the insane intervention in Sri Lanka, down to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul, the Congress has been on a downward trajectory since. But as the party’s growing electoral rejection rings alarm bells in dynastic quarters, the desperation to preserve power by any means becomes rabid. Today, Narendra Modi stands as the only alternative to the venal and dynastic Congress, and therefore, the entire Congress machinery is mobilized to destroy him.

What does it tell about the Congress that one man symbolizes doom for the party?

The history of dynasties is that they grow extinct or cease to matter over a course. This happens with royalty (the British revere theirs because there is nothing else going); it is true of industrial and banking dynasties; the record is no better in cinema and in the others arts. The Kennedys and the Clintons will pass on, and may already have. The trouble with the Congress party is that it is entirely bound up with the Nehru-Gandhis, and cannot conceive of an independent existence. There are those such as Pranab Mukherjee who refuse to equate the Congress party with the dynasty, famously demanding to be prime minister after Indira Gandhi died, but eventually he too bailed out to the Rashtrapati Bhawan. But his departure has weakened the Congress.

The Congress today is a vast dinosaur which finds itself marooned in a suddenly mutated environment of round-the-clock hostile television, a vengeful social media, and a great sullen electorate that has had enough of a political party that should have ceased to exist long ago. India no longer wants to be an appendage of the Congress. It desires to be rid of the dynasty, because the dynasty has only brought it pain and hurt and suffering. It wishes to start all over again, and the process has commenced with the assembly elections that are underway, and will reach its apogee in 2014. The Congress will suffer a knockout blow next year from which it cannot re-emerge in its old dynastic form. Rating of the Congress: 2 out of 10.

Also read “The party begins...1,” “The party begins...2,” “The party begins...3,” “The party begins...4” “The party begins...5.” and “The party begins...6.”

To be continued...