P.S. (This was an assignment for our POLITICAL reporting class given by my favourite Professor Mr. Dakshin Murthy) :):):):):)
I know it is too long and I have quoted sources of Websites, you can check them out for more information.
The Indian National Congress (INC) began as a “movement” than a party. In 1889, a committee for INC was formed by A.O. Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji, Surebdranath Bannerjee and William Wedderburn. In 1892, Naorji was elected to the British House of Commons to represent India. In 1907, party split into extremists and moderates. In the meantime, Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi, Sardar.V. Patel, B.R. Ambedkar C.R. Das, Motilal Nehru, Bose and other leaders became prominent and eventually started the struggle for India’s Independence. Apart from Gandhi, Nehru was a noted leader who became the first prime minister of an Independent India on 15 Aug. 1947.
Since 1947, India was shadowed by Congress’s dominion due to its non-discriminating ideology and steered the country on a socialist path. Jawaharlal Nehru introduced the Five-year plan. After the death of Nehru in 1964, internal conflicts within Congress began which led to Indira Gandhi taking her father’s place in Congress.
In 1967, Congress had a united opposition from Samyukht Vidhayak Dal and, youngsters in the party questioned Congress which led to a split in Congress. Congress (R) was led by Indira Gandhi and Congress (O) by Kamraj. Thus, formation of Congress(R) paved the path to family politics and eventually led to the disintegration of Congress. In 1969, Indira Gandhi nationalized 14 commercial banks in order to increase the role of government in banking system. This was a welcome change that would increase the country’s economy and GDP.
In 1971, the polls were swept by Indira Gandhi by a whopping 352 votes i.e. 44% of the total no. of votes and the party members hailed her as a savior. The 1971 elections paved the way to individualism in the Congress party through Indira Gandhi. Another major part of India was vivisected in 1971, which was Bangaladesh. She was alleged for fraudulently using government machinery in 1971 elections due to which the Allahabad High Court invalidated her election to the Lok Sabha and declared it as null and void. The credit for the formation of Bangaldesh by dividing eastern part of Bengal was given to Indira Gandhi. Also, she felt the uprising of charismatic Jayaprakash Narayan as a threat to her political power and status. She felt the threat to her throne and declared emergency in 1975. Democratic process in the country was suspended. It is said that Sanjay Gandhi and his political patron, Bansi Lal were prepared to deal with the course of action. ( Source : http://www.hindu.com/fline/fl1809/18090740.htm ).
In 1977, Indira Gandhi called for elections and lost to Janata Party after which she realized her power being limited. She relied much on her son, Sanjay’s decisions. In 1980, his tragic death shocked her as she was sure of him being her political heir. But, she eventually won the 1980 election with a majority of about 300 seats. During this period her political decisions were marked by an increasingly arbitrary and authoritarian exercise of power. She stoked the fires of Sikh Extremism in Punjab and cultivated the aura of Hindu virtue in Kashmir. This paved the way to political anarchy and her brutal suppression of Bhindranwale’s criminal insurgency in Punjab; she disregarded the counsel of her more seasoned advisers and plunged into a constitutional coup in Kashmir.(Source: http://www.hindu.com/fline/fl1809/18090740.htm)
After her tragic death (Assassination) in 1984, her son, Rajiv Gandhi, who was reluctant to enter politics was persuaded by the Congress party members to take her place. Thus, Rajiv Gandhi was the third heir from the Nehru-Gandhi family to become the Prime Minister of India and head the Congress party. By this time, INC became a monopoly and there was no democracy in the party. The main aim of Rajiv Gandhi was to eradicate corruption and reinvent Congress party. In the meantime, Rajiv was found trapped in the 64-crore Bofors Scamp controversy where he tried to defend himself in the Parliament.
In the 1989 elections, Bofors created havoc in the country and thus, Congress lost elections. United Front government under the Prime Ministership of Chandrashekar came into power which did not last long and collapsed in 1991. In the meantime, in order to do damage control to his image, Rajiv Gandhi went to the Supreme Court to neutralize Shah Bano’s case in order to win Muslim Votes. On the other hand, he allowed the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to break the lock perform Shilanyas (a religious ceremony) at the Babri Masjid site. This plan was carved to win Hindu votes. But, in 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated at Sriperambudur by LTTE in connection to the Indian forces he sent to Sri Lanka.
In 1991, P.V. Narasimha Rao was one of the few non-Gandhi family politician to become the Prime minister of India. Under his prime ministership, he brought economic reforms to India and open economy was adopted by welcoming LPG (Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation). But in 1992, Babri Masjid was demolished which tarnished P.V.Narasimha Rao’s image. In 1996, Congress lost elections as most Muslims were against it due to the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
The Janata Dal government came into power in 1996 for a short period till 1998 and then BJP won the elections and Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the PM of India for 13 months. During this time, Sonia Gandhi was elected the president of Congress party when replacing the late Sitaram Kesri. Her entry into Congress brought back Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to power. She is the fifth-member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to become the president of Congress. She is has been in office for 12 years now and is the longest serving President of the Congress party. She is presently the political nerve-center of Congress and possesses the entire UPA government under her control. She defended the UPA government against NDA for six years. Advani called the Congress a dynastic party. (Source : http://www.antireservation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=304)
In 1999, she won became an MP from Amethi and later in 2004 for UP’s Rai Bareli, Sonia Gandhi officially took charge of the 125-year-old Congress party as its president in 1998. (Source : http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Once-a-reluctant-politician–Sonia-now-at-threshold-of-history/676321/)
In 2004, UPA won the elections and Sonia Gandhi was chosen by the party members to be the Prime Minister of India. But, BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) raised the issue of her origin as a result of which she recommended Manmoham Singh as a worthy candidate to be the Prime Minister of India. In the same 2004 elections, Rahul Gandhi was elected to Lok Sabha as MP from his father’s constituency, Amethi. In the meantime, Priyanka Vadra also had created a ground for her to foray into the Indian political scenario. Thus, Rahul and Priyanka too became a part of Congress.
Similarly, in 2009 elections to UPA II came into power with Manmohan Singh continuing his second term as the PM. Sonia Gandhi is set to be re-elected as the Congress Chief for the fourth time. Apart from them, even Varun Gandhi, son of Maneka Gandhi has become a member of BJP, Congress’s main opposition party at Centre. Though he does not belong to Congress, his surname and his ‘hate speech’ brought him into the limelight.
Rahul Gandhi was elected as an MP in 2009 elections from Amethi and is presently regarded as one among the young politicians who holds a significant position in Congress and heads the Youth Congress wing. He continues to be a principal campaigner of congress.
Over the last 18 years, on a rough estimate about 450 Central and State Government programmes, projects and national and state level institutions involving public expenditure of hundreds of thousands of crores of rupees have been named after these three individuals. This trend is even more apparent in the states, which have vied with each other to name programmes and schemes after these three members of the Nehru-Gandhi Family whenever the Congress Party was in power. (Source : http://www.lkadvani.in/eng/content/view/856/424/ )
A perusal of these programmes and schemes shows a systematic attempt by the Congress Party to name every government programme concerning every citizen – man ,woman, child; every possible circumstance in the life of every citizen – child bearing, child rearing, education of children, food, education of youth, employment, marriage, unemployment, destitution, handicap; and every possible challenge flowing out of lack of infrastructure – drinking water, electricity and housing after just three members of this political family who are icons of the Congress Party.
The plan is to ensure maximum recall of Brand Congress among voters at every stage in life. The Congress Party has taken its obsession with this family to such an extent that even calf-rearing schemes are named after them. Shockingly, even Brand IIM had been tinkered with. While all institutes of management started by the Centre go under the IIM brand, the Congress Party has mischievously named the IIM is Shillong as the Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management.
Such is the obsession of Congress governments with this family that they name India’s biggest Open University after Indira Gandhi and name fellowships granted there after Rajiv Gandhi. Similarly, the centre for advanced scientific research in Bangalore is named after Nehru and the science talent fellowships awarded are named after Rajiv Gandhi.
While there are many examples of this kind in the states as well, the most glaring example, which raises a question in regard to free and fair election, is the blatant advertisement of the Congress Party. For Ex: Rajiv Arogyasri Padhakam in Andhra Pradesh. (Source : http://www.lkadvani.in/eng/content/view/856/424/)
Thus, the whole report clearly shows how Nehru-Gandhi family held the Congress party in their grip, despite the presence of many other potential leaders in the party, who were quelled by the brand “Nehru-Gandhi”. Apart from few losses in elections, the Nehru-Gandhi family still stands at the helm of Congress, even today. This clearly reflects how Congress would easily disintegrate without the Nehru-Gandhi family as many party members chose to look up to family politics and not question them fearing the loss of their own position in the Congress party. And, the Sonia-mania still continues to scare party members, even today.