Class on nationalism for Cong workers
New Delhi: While some will see it as a much-delayed attempt to set the ship right, others will call it a leaf out of the saffron playbook. But the fact is that Congress’s planned training module for workers across the country may focus on issues on which the party has fumbled after the advent of Narendra Modi as the BJP helmsman.
Top Congress sources said that the training course would focus on important subjects to prepare workers for their political task, prominent among which would be ‘nationalism’, ‘communication’ and ‘campaign’. The emphasis is likely to be on the “nationalist credentials” of Congress which spearheaded the freedom struggle, its subsequent record as the ruling party and how “pseudo-nationalism of BJP has to be exposed”.
The workers would also be taught about the new mechanisms of election campaign. “How to conduct poll campaign will be a key issue of training,” a senior AICC office-bearer said.
Besides, the party will strongly emphasise on communication tools and strategy in contemporary times, and the importance of connecting with voters on burning issues on a regular basis.
In the process of drafting a module, Congress plans to “institutionalise” workers’ training by making it a round-the-year affair for cadres and office-bearers at every rung of the organisation. Training was among the top agenda in the recent brainstorming between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and state unit chiefs and legislature party leaders, besides AICC state in-charges.
Congress’s focus appears to be on a strategy to undo the political damage wrought by BJP’s success in inserting ‘nationalism’ in the popular discourse. It was an issue that Congress had taken for granted for years owing to its history but was caught unawares as the Modi-led BJP conflated Hindutva with national identity and also pitted independence icons like Sardar Patel against national mascot Jawaharlal Nehru to bring Congress’s legacy under a cloud among voters.
As BJP continues to dictate the discourse, Congress appears to feel that it has to strengthen the confidence of its grassroots workers in its nationalist legacy.