INC’s dilemma over nationalism

Voices of discontentment and disagreement among Congress leaders over the move of the BJP government to remove Article 370 from Jammu & Kashmir continue. The Congress’ Haryana stalwart, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, raised eyebrows on Sunday by declaring support for the government’s move to end the special status for Jammu & Kashmir – deviating widely from the party line ahead of the coming elections in the state. He even went to allege that the party was losing its way on the issue of nationalism. Before him also, several leaders, including the likes of Jyotiraditya Scindia, supported the move of the government. The grand old party took the official position of opposing the manner in which J&K was divided into two union territories while scrapping Article 370. The confusing statements coming out from the Congress will puzzle its core voters and supporters.
A section of the party’s leaders seems to believe that the Congress needs to counter the BJP on the nationalism issue by aggressively pursuing a nationalistic agenda, while others oppose it. This confusion, along with the leadership crisis, is hurting the prospects of the Congress. The party is struggling to make an impact politically, owing to confusion among workers and cadres. The more chaos prevails, the more it is going to damage the party. If the party wants to revive itself, the Congress will have to be clear about its ideology and commitment to its political ideology. Instead of worrying about immediate gains, the party should focus on long-term ideological commitment. For Indian democracy to flourish, the country needs strong opposition parties who are committed to their ideological beliefs. Unfortunately, the Congress, which is the principal opposition party at the moment, has miserably failed in this regard.