07 May, 2021

The Remote Is Mine

Intra-party democracy is the last thing our parties want to think of

Illustration by Sorit
The Remote Is Mine

In one fell stroke, Narendra Modi has jockeyed himself into becoming the sole contender for the prime minister’s job. By saying that the people of the country would compare the prime minister’s Independence day speech with only one other speech—which he made—Modi trumpeted that he’s the only man of consequence in the prime ministerial race. For now, the field seems clear for Modi. Rahul Gandhi shies from a slugfest with him. None in the Congress has the courage to project himself as the prime ministerial candidate. Regional party leaders have the ambition, not the appeal of Modi. Some such satraps remind one of notorious megalomaniacs of banana republics, who stop short of declaring, like Louis the XIV, “I am the State.”

In the cacophony of personality cults, we are missing the woods for the trees. Take the Congress. In the backdrop of Rahul’s efforts in the last few years to usher in elections at the grassroots level in the Youth Congress, his anointment by the party high command as ‘party supremo’ without an...

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