Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption and the appeal his movement generated among the youth has prompted Rahul Gandhi’s Youth Congress to go for introspection.
The youth wing of the Congress, which had been at the forefront of several agitations in the past, has been relegated to the background in the past two years. The organisation has not conducted agitations or mass contact programmes in any of the non-Congress-ruled states. Even the annual calendar of programmes issued by the youth Congress at the beginning of every year is missing.
“...Of the 28 states the Congress and its alliance partners are ruling in 14. Is everything fine in non-Congress ruled states? Is corruption not an issue there?” said a youth leader.
The only programme it has undertaken in the recent past is a “padayatra (march)” in each state to reach out to grassroots and connecting with youth.
“Dharnas, sit-in programmes and agitations used to keep the fire burning among the Youth Congress cadres… not anymore,” said another leader.
The Youth Congress leaders attribute this trend to “all-out concentration” on organisational elections and the “mad rush” to join Team Rahul. “People only want to take part in elections as shortcut to becoming members of Rahulji’s team...” he said.
“We need to change the strategy to reach out to the youth who are now looking for icons... See the impact of Anna Hazare’s campaign on the country’s youth. They saw in him a role model and a leader who inspires them to fight for a cause,” said another Youth Congress functionary.
Youth Congress president Rajeev Satav could not be reached for his comments.