A few days ago the Congress party announced its manifesto for the 2014 elections. The leadership made much of their “new ideas” and assured the people of India that they will take India to great heights. The leadership never touched on why their government failed and how they expect people to believe that their manifesto will cure India of the illnesses it created for the country. There are two aspects to a manifesto. Will the political party fulfill promises? Secondly, will the promises be so harmful that it will destroy the country? It is like the medical joke which says the operation was successful but the patient died. Having seen the country slide towards economic and social chaos in the last 5 years, why should Congress expect the people to believe that the future will be very rosy for Indians.
Much noise is made about manifestoes. Political parties announce manifestoes and then forget about it. In some instances, strangely even though all the important promises in the manifesto are fulfilled, the political party loses elections so badly that becomes nearly extinct. 6 years ago, the DMK in Tamil nadu promised everything free for the voters. The DMK targeted specific gifts for voters like cooking vessels, Mixers, fans, TV sets and even had them delivered to the people. Instead of gratitude, the Tamil people decided that the DMK was only trying to bribe them and continue its own corrupt ways and give very poor governance. It threw the DMK out of power totally that it is not even the Opposition Party in Tamilnadu today.
The first famous manifesto was that of 1848 which was published by Karl Marx and Angels called the Communist Manifesto. That was the start of the communist philosophy. Than in 1905, the King (TSAR) of Russia also announced the famous October Manifesto, wherein he promised democratic e reforms for Russia. Political parties make a big show of writing manifestoes and then publicizing them. Usually those parties which will never get power make the most extreme promises. Political parties usually try to promise economic gifts or: caste reservation “gifts to the electorate. None of them promise good and honest governance. Political parties also focus on “giveaways” saying that it is social justice. Anything can be done in the name of social justice.
The Congress party made a big show of announcing its manifesto. It proudly claimed that it has delivered on 90% of its promises in its manifesto of 2009. The main question before the public is whether the 90% promises were liked by the public. If the public was satisfied with 90 %, then why is nobody voting for the Congress? The Congress party thinks that it is because of its great manifesto that the mostly illiterate population voted for it in 2009.
The Congress and some other parties believe that you print a long manifesto and people would like it. But the fact remains that over and above the manifesto, Governance is most important and the Congress has not been able to deliver it. Manifests do not deliver governance. People have to do it and the Congress must find people who can deliver governance. Manmohan Singh delivered a great amount of governance. But since 209, he has been hamstrung.
The Congress needs a new Manmohan Singh more than a Manifesto. Who is the face of the Manifesto?