The Indian National Congress's ideology is painted on a huge canvas that covers the entire humanity.
'Politics' literally means pragmatism. Being practical. It is deeply connected to Ideology. Without a political ideology, a political being does not exist, even if it means being an Anarchist. So what is the ideology of the Indian National Congress? Being a strong supporter of the movement called the Congress party, I have often delved my mind into this.
Whenever I ask this question to my fellow Congress supporters, they always have phrases like “Inclusiveness, Secularism, Compassion, and Democratic etc.” to tell. I think my fellow travellers in this movement are absolutely correct with these formulations, but there is something more to it.
After losing an election, a political party would and should always go to its roots- Its Ideology. I am sure there are innumerable faults which the party might have committed and these faults need to be rectified, but when a party starts getting away with its ideology- the core values on which it was build; then it is bound to face defeat.
Many people who are reading this might not agree with this, they would list out a hundred and twenty practical solutions to revive the Congress party. Not denying that we need some of those solutions, but the thing which we need the most is going back to our roots- Our Ideology-the foundations on which this world’s largest political movement was built.
Coming back to the very first question I raised. What is the ideology of the Congress party?
The Article 1 of the Constitution of the Indian National Congress states that
“The object of Indian National Congress is the well-being and advancement of the people of India and the establishment in India, by peaceful and constitutional means, of a Socialist State based on Parliamentary Democracy in which there is equality of opportunity and of political, economic and social rights and which aims at world peace and fellowship.”
The key words here are “well-being and advancement of the people of India” and “which aims at world peace and fellowship”. The rest are just the means or the tools to achieve it.
It is very important here to note these two things in order to understand the ideology and aim of the Congress party.
The concept of Swaraj and Sarvodaya forms the basic essence of these two things.
Swaraj, for what I simply understand it is making an Indian believe and feel that it India is their home, No Indian should feel that India is not his or her home. Just because he or she belongs to a different community, caste, religion, state or region- he or she should not feel less Indian than others. He or she should feel that India is their home- part of their existence. India is where they belong.
The other very important essence is “Sarvodaya” (Sabka-Uday). The Indian National Congress is not limited to India, it aims for “world peace and fellowship”. It aims for the entire humanity. The means with which it adopts to make every Indian feel an Indian. The means like Democracy, Socialism, Secularism, Inclusiveness and so on. Those means it will adopt for the entire humanity. This larger idea or ideal has been seldom thought of. This ideology of ushering in peace and brotherhood for the entire humanity through Democratic means is not a small thing.
Fraternity is the most important aspect of the Congress ideology. It means mutual respect. It means brotherhood. It is what makes the society peaceful, without any prejudices.
The Congress in its 130 year old history has often adopted means to demonstrate that mutual respect in a highly diverse society like India is possible through democratic means.
In this time, when bigotry and communalism is at its peak, the Congress somehow is responsible for not following its ideology and thereby paving the way for such a communal regime. But the Congress needs to be more responsible now. It needs to go back to its roots, its ideology.
The simple idea of making every Indian feel that India is their home. It would be good for the entire humanity.