Read the following passage and answer the questions below:

“Patel, the organisational man of the Congress, wanted to purge the Congress of other political groups and sought to make of it a cohesive and disciplined political party. He …. Sought to take the Congress away from its all-embracing character and turn it into a close-knit party of disciplined cadres. Being a ‘realist’ he looked more for discipline than for comprehension. While Gandhi took too romantic a view of “carrying on the movement,” Patel’s idea of transforming the Congress into strictly political party with a single ideology and tight discipline showed an equal lack of understanding of the eclectic role that the Congress, as a government, was to be called upon to perform in the decades to follow.” — Rajni Kothari

(a) Why does the author think that Congress should not have been a cohesive and disciplined party?

(b) Give some examples of the eclectic role of the Congress party in the early years.

(c) Why does the author say that Gandhi’s view about Congress’ future was romantic?

(a) The organizer of the congress party wanted to flush out the congress of other political group and sought to make it a cohesive and disciplined political parry. He wanted that those members of the congress party who did not believe in the ideology of the congress should be out from the party. Patel was determined to make congress a party of discipline cadres.

(b) In the beginning congress party was dominated by the higher middle class; Upper caste and the educated class. It was not the party of the masses. The urban elite played a key role in the congress. Bal Gangadhar Tilak played an important role in making congress a party of middle class. With the home rule movement and non-cooperation movement. The social base of the congress party widened.

It provided a platform for numerous groups, interest and even political parties to participate in the national movement.

Congress party represented a rainbow like social collision representing diversity of India including various caste, class, religion and languages.

(c) Patel was a realist. He preferred discipline within the party rather than comprehension while Mahatma Gandhi took to a tender view of carrying on the movement. Gandhi believed in hand in hand characteristic of national movement led by congress which attracted various sections, groups and societies to form a social and ideological collision in congress.