The Indian National Congress: A Brief History and Current Status in Indian Politics

JUNE 23, 2023

The Indian National Congress (INC) is one of the oldest political parties in India. The party was founded in 1885 by Allan Octavian Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji, and Dinshaw Wacha, with the aim of advancing the rights and interests of the Indian people under British colonial rule. Since then, the INC has played a significant role in Indian politics, and has been instrumental in India’s struggle for independence.

During the freedom movement, the INC was led by stalwarts such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Subhash Chandra Bose. The INC organized various campaigns such as the Non-Cooperation Movement, Salt Satyagraha, and Quit India Movement to challenge British authority. Eventually, India gained independence in 1947, with Jawaharlal Nehru becoming the first Prime Minister of India and the INC ruling the country for most of its post-independence history.

In the years following independence, the INC became the dominant political force in India, securing victories in multiple general elections. The party’s socialist policies, commitment to secularism, and pro-poor stance made it popular among the masses, especially in rural areas. However, the 1990s saw a rise in regional political parties, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as a formidable opposition. The Congress lost power at the national level in 1996, only to return in 2004 under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi.

Today, the Indian National Congress is one of the major political parties in India. The party’s manifesto includes promises of job creation, investment in education and healthcare, and tackling climate change. Rahul Gandhi, the great-grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, is a member of the party. However, the party has had a few setbacks in recent years, with its performance in the 2014 and 2019 general elections being below expectations.

In summary, the Indian National Congress has had a long and illustrious history in Indian politics, playing a significant role in India’s freedom struggle and shaping the country’s post-independence policies. While the party is still relevant today, it faces stiff competition from regional parties and the BJP, and will need to adapt to changing political

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