What Does Indian National Congress Believes in?

It is a question that comes to my mind. Now, the best representative of congress would perhaps be Nehru.

Nehru did not believe in free speech. Nehru and Indian national congress didnt care for religious minorities during partition or afterwards, which mostly were non muslims in muslim majority areas. They were happily abandoned. They do not believe in individualism, the Hindu code bill reform was only for Hindus, congress never attempted to reform muslim civil code under nehru and didnt care since. So it doesnt believe in common citizenship transcending religion based on some kind of universal rights either. It does not value nor has it ever made the case for wealth as something useful to escape zero sum game or something useful or necessary to create a liberal society. A big difference between it and western liberalism which does give value to wealth. The major reforms were carried under PV narsimha rao, though under congress, he had been sidelined entirely. Nehru too never supported capitalism. So, the only thing it seems they support is a feudal dynasty and specific group rights. It has not produced any worthwhile literature in favor of individual liberty or try to get its own voters to consider. Which should be their primary goal if it indeed is the goal. So, is there a vision?.

17 thoughts on “What Does Indian National Congress Believes in?”

  1. The question is in present tense , but the answer is looking at the past. Forget the past, what does C believe now and how does it plan to be a vigorous opposition party and Ruling-Party-in-Waiting.
    Destruction of the Congress , partly by Indira Gandhi and later by the dynasty , is a great tragedy for India. History won’t absolve INC of it’s abdication

  2. Its is party of opportunists. Its ideology is “opportunism”. They have played ‘majority’ politics and they have played ‘minority’ politics. Except for the BJP and possibly communists (in a very limited definition) none of the other parties are ideology driven.

    This lack of ideology and ideas is what they try to fill in the incompetent family rule.

    What Con did have is their administrative ‘muscle’. Many of the people in the party had been in power and know the ins and outs of running a central government. This lack of admin muscle hurt the BJP initially, and even now the bench strength is weak.

    Now people BJP have gained admin muscle, let us see if the BJP can utilise this in the next 4 years.

  3. The INC as existed at Nehru’s time does not exist today. I don’t mean this metaphorically. After Indira Gandhi split to make her own organization in 1969, the INC (R) made new bylaws and codes for itself. EC gave it back the original Congress symbol and name in 1971 but this Congress was just an organization made to fit one person rather than the multi-leader organization of yore.

    The current Congress has no democratic traditions, same person has been the party president for last 20 years, with some sham elections held now and then.

    Economic Ideology – Outsourced to Left
    Societal stewardship – Whatever pleases Islamists
    International relations – Don’t aggravate anybody (including Pakistan)
    Governance – Populism
    Law and Order – Again a mix of all of the above
    Technological outlook – A patina of Nehruvian thinking remains wrt Big Ideas

    1. You are forgetting about ‘Asianism’ with regards to international relations.


      I agree with you but here is how i would frame few of these –

      Economic Ideology – Welfarism, Clientism, Socialism & Demonizing Middle & rich class in accordance with Socialist & cultural Marxist far left ideology.
      Societal stewardship – Giving indirect support to ‘conversion drives’ & conservative leaders of minorities and divide Hindus & increase the divide along caste lines using govt’s. differentiation methods.
      International relations – Asianism followed by Don’t aggravate anybody.

  4. I really would like to see a positive view of its supporters. Its ministers, what is their vision?.

    1. Some of its ministers have achieved significantly in some areas, like –

      Jairam Ramesh – Rural development – reduced Maoism tremendously by having an integrated approach
      Nandan Nilekani – UIDAI – very much visible

      But the fact remains that most of UPA-2 ministers lost their parliamentary constituencies in 2014.

  5. On the ground level, they are mostly cynical powermongers.

    At the elite level, they are a branch of the global leftist ideology (wokism).

  6. By all means lets pile on Nehru , but on things he should be really blamed for. AKA China, Pakistan

    Nehru did not believe in free speech. As if rest of Indians are some free speech absolutists? And Nehru was some sort of prude here? He didn’t; care for religious minorities , yeah because the people who should have hold him accountable voted for him regardless of how he dealt with the issue. If the folks who suffered from partition dont care abt their own people , why would Nehru or even rest of India care.

    Nehru never supported capitalism because none of the democracies around him were supporting capitalism. Forget Nehru, does anyone in India today support capitalism? Can that politician come out and say that and hope to win another election?
    Finally on Hindu code Bill, if its so bad why aren’t Hindus revolting and scrapping the law. Similar to how we have scrapped RTE and the Govt takeover of temples. Today there is no Nehru to stop us.

    Nver thought have to defend Nehru, but well…

    1. My sense is that Nehru wanted different religious groups to evolve a consensus among themselves about the need and urgency for reform, and that he was willing to let them all take their time about it. He thought he had the right and mandate to speak for Hindus, being Hindu himself (nominally) and knowing the views of most of the Hindu leaders of the country (apart from the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS, even the Congress had conservatives like Rajendra Prasad, but they likely represented a minority opinion among the Hindu elite). There was no such equivalent among Muslims, because most leaders with liberal tendencies (like Jinnah himself) had become Pakistanis; the ones that were left were conservative religious types. Given the demons that had been released during Partition, Nehru understood the proprietary feeling most Indians held about religion.

      Now, I think he was wrong, and ought to have appealed to Indians as citizens on an equal footing regardless of religious affiliation, but his combination of liberalism and atheism may have made it hard to grab this bull by the horns. Liberals in Western countries behave somewhat similarly towards Muslims; they feel it’s churlish to demand reform from groups they personally have no affiliation with.

      1. I would go as far as to say it does not even matter if Nehru was nominally Hindu. He made the law which passed the parliament and the BJP has ruled for a decade and if the law is so evil should have scrapped it. I mean they did scrap 370 . But they won’t since they know the laws does enjoy significant support especially the inheritance ones.

        If muslims don’t have that law its their loss. There is no need to help any community/ethnicity which does not want to help itself.

    2. you are mistaken, i am not attacking nehru here. I am saying he is the best case for congress. And asking, what is their vision regarding these issues.

    3. Reading “War and Peace in Modern India,” it seems Nehru actually believed his drivel about interfaith amity, to the point that he would temporize on cases like Junagadh and Hyderabad for fear that action would spark more riots.

      This idea, and most of the other ones he held, were bad…without a doubt, Nehru had a deleterious effect on India. But he was not a cynic or a liar, he believed in his stated goals.

  7. Do they move the needle ahead on these issues or they dont. If not, then what is their purpose?.

    1. You need to look at this from an electoral politics pov. Here is what I believe is the sequence of events in regards to Con style of ‘secularism’:

      1. Gandhi, Nehru believed in this ideal for whatever reason. But Congress in itself was then an umbrella organization for people with differing views on this topic

      2. Decision making got more centralized and rested with Gandhi which led to exodus of some major Hindu leaders from Congress

      3. Later, Indira and Rajeev both played majority politics when it was convenient for them. They could never go full on it because of historical reasons

      4. With the rise of BJP, Cong latched onto ‘secularism’ as a useful way to get allies and keep BJP away from power

      5. With the consolidation of Hindu votes, they are in dilemma. Thus Raga suddenly became janudhari brahmin

      Do they contribute anything on ground in terms of opposition to the ideology of BJP? They don’t. Except for statements of leaders, they are nowhere on the ground on these issues. They know it won’t fetch them any votes, except for ones already in their pocket.

  8. Reading Swapan Dasgupta’s “Awakening Bharat Mata”. The relevant para about Nehru:

    “Based on his interactions, Walter Crocker (Aussie diplomat) listed ‘Hinduism’—along with maharajas, Portugal, moneylenders, certain American ways, and whites in Africa—among Nehru’s pet prejudices.

    So intense was Nehru’s distaste for what he used to call the ‘RSS mentality’ that he even subordinated the challenge posed by the communist parties to the more pressing battle against ‘Hindu right-wing communalism’.

    The dismissive distaste of all politics that encapsulated the Hindu ethos became more and more marked as the stranglehold of the Congress began to weaken after 1967.”

  9. In my eyes INC is more defined by Who they’re not than who they are. Who they were in 1947
    NOT of
    1. Muslim league ( pre independence)
    2. Hindu mahasabha RSS
    3. Some communists and revolutionaries

    Post independence there r these subtractions.
    1. Fiscal conservatives – swatantra
    2. Socialists – Lohiate
    3. Hindu Trads and some Hindutvavadi
    4. OBC and Dalit Caste coalitions.
    5. AAP type Populist.
    6. Indira’s purge
    1. Muslim conservatives.

    I guess what remains is a party that believes in soft nationalism, feudalism, status qouism, minority appeasement and some genuine liberalism.

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