BP? Who was he? Here’s New Age leader for you!
Staff Writer, KATHMANDU: Congress party is meeting for its general convention later this month. An event that follows a gargantuan organization churning, the quadrennial affair is suppose to be ending with ideological message and future agenda.
Which is to say those who are at the forefront of the party and competing to lead it into future while also working to achieve the objectives of the party have to have ideology and of course a vision and economic agenda.
B P, who was a pivot around which the party revolved, handed out democratic socialism as the ideology of the outfit which attracted large following and is to this day attracting equally large number of people although electoral fortune have been fluctuating from election to election.
B P had long back circulated a sketch of a decent hut saying it is his dream to achieve the objective of seeing that each and everyone has one of those and a plot of land to till. That, he said, is what people are to understand when they come across the word ” democratic socialism”.
There was very little which he could undertake to do given the turbulence he faced in the 1960s. But the idea was passed on in the Congress party with credible people much like him still at the helm and they included K P Bhattarai and Ganesh Man Singh.
Fast forward to the 1990s when Congress party was in the forefront with the restoration of democracy and the country turning into constitutional monarchy. The situation had come when someone or the other could start working to the stated objectives of the party.
Bhattarai, who headed the interim administration, was eliminated in the general election that followed. Welcome to Nepal where it is all right to talk about party ideology and economic agenda for the masses while not yet in power but an altogether a dog eat dog scenario when you are in a position to work towards that agenda.
G P stepped in and soon made it clear that party is merely a vehicle for those who into politics like him, thus epitomizing the dog eat dog story right away, with the outfit now wracked in intra-party squabbling aimed at monopolizing party and government.
From the omnibus socialist dream, the party agenda and objectives fast boiled down to the fabled dog eat dog pragmatism, that started eliminating old guards of the party with upstarts and outright suspects taking their space in the party fast
B P had by circulating that picture also suggested that planners must think of the people who occupy such huts so that nothing goes amiss while planning expenditure and welfare schemes.
By the time G P had come on to wear the crown of a prime minister, those who had long read about socialism and what it could lead to were slowly realizing that perhaps they were wrong to believe in what was mere party literature best read but not trusted.
What was evident sooner was party was being dominated by men who turned up in ” clean and flashy clothes” something which B P used to say by way of warning party workers that the party could be overtaken by “smart ” set of people while the old guards look on.
That proved true, with Congress demonstrating all that with fast men and women looking for opportunities and finding them before the lower rung party workers learned that they too can turn the party into their vehicle to better time.
Welcome to the phase when the dog eat dog dictum is in full vogue at the grassroots level too, with expediency guiding who should be promoted and how to buy space in the scheme of things not bothering of course whether party is on right path at all.
However one can still expect to hear from contenders of the party chairmanship about the dream B P passed on and democratic socialism which still figures in Congress party literature and stationery. The only difference will be the nature of the delegates with all the possibility of not all caring what is spoken there leave alone taking home.
Congress today is mixture of power brokers, wheeler dealers, pure and simple cronies all under leadership which is corrupt, incompetent and simply insouciant that rules out any serious bid at creating a society envisioned by B P. The reports that old guards are being eliminated at the lower rung suggests arrival of racketeers in politics.