Written by Rakesh Kotti
From a very young age we are taught at home and at school, about the virtues of diligence and perseverance. In fact, most resumes and CVs are replete with such words. Yet, our agents of socialization seldom imbibe in us the ability to cope and deal with failure. This is perhaps one of our biggest shortcomings as a society. After all, the path to success is riddled with failure and only those who persevere will succeed, and hence we truly need to understand what it takes to carry on. At best, we are taught to use other cliché terms such as “introspection” or “going back to the basics or the drawing board”. That’s the template to muddle through life. We think in templates, and we are bound to be confined by them, unless we go beyond the trite clichés.
As supporters of the Congress party, many of us have been thinking about how we can improve collectively. While some of us recognize that there is a pattern in the rise of the far right and the populist parties across the world, we also have been ruminating over how we can overcome these adverse times. We need to be self-critical and even consider the suggestions of well-intentioned critics. For starters we could pay heed to what some of our most ardent supporters have to say.
One of the most ‘diligent and persevering’ Congressman, Srivatsa, the National Campaign in-charge, IYC summarized his thoughts in a Twitter thread on how to infuse new energy into the party. He calls for a dramatic transformation to inspire our leaders and volunteers to be conscious about our identity. He propounds that Congress supporters must be clear about who we are, who we serve, what we do and what our vision is. We must indeed ponder over such cardinal questions and align our endeavours to be in sync with what our ideology espouses. As volunteers of the party, we must view ourselves as ambassadors of the Congress ideology and live by the principles we espouse.
Meanwhile, Vishakh Cherian, of the Indian Overseas Congress feels that volunteers must work for the party and not indulge in groupism. He explains that while we have our differences of opinion, we must deliberate upon them and arrive at a consensus. And when we have decided upon a course of action, we must all put aside our differences and work for the common cause rather than indulge in bickering and groupism. While this is common in any organization, we must be careful that it doesn’t become a detriment to our synergy. He adds that the Indian Overseas Congress is a wonderful platform for the diaspora to come together and celebrate our cultural diversity in addition to discussing matters back home.
Manish Sood, from Rajasthan feels that recognition of work will go a long way in enthusing volunteers. Further, he says that we must inculcate the practice of senior leaders interacting with committed volunteers regularly to learn and brainstorm together. He opines that we must be conscious that the party is above any individual and we must all be clear about the roles we play in furthering the cause of the party.
To promote diversity, Aby Therie from Nagaland feels that it would be important to find ways to enhance cultural exchanges within the party so that we become aware of India’s diversity. This, she feels would enable party workers to have multicultural awareness which is vital in our diverse country to create a lasting connection with the people. She adds that we must establish strategy teams that can visit and assess the problems faced by individual states. Aby explains that it helps the party to grasp the unique needs and requirements of individual states and this can be incorporated into the party manifestos at both the state and central levels. Further, we need to enhance our decision making as delays often lead to loss of precious time, especially during elections. Quick decisions would translate to more time for campaigning which is crucial to communicate with people.
These are only a few voices from a multitude of opinions about how to transform the Congress party. There are no dogmas and no panaceas. Do share your thoughts in the comments. Each of us needs to think and most importantly each of us must understand the Congress ideology so that we can make it a part of our daily lives.