Fact 1: The Indian National Congress is 132 years old. It has been in power for much of India’s post-independent history.
Fact 2: The Indian National Congress is not short of cash. If you believe the BJP, it has made mountains of it in 70 years.
Fact 3: The Indian National Congress leadership has a cultivated image of being suave, sophisticated, urbane, with a touch of class.
Yet, this is the third-rate cowshed that a party with pedigree has managed to build in magnificent Mysore for its headquarters.
In a touch of pure genius, it is called the Indira Gandhi Congress Bhavan.
It is one large hall, with metal sheets for a roof, and nothing more.
The toilets at the rear are a slap on ‘Swachh Bharat’.
Admittedly, the Congress HQ in Mysore was built in a matter of days after it got hold of the “disputed site” near the city railway station.
And admittedly, a party headquarters by its very nature has to be a functional, janata structure which does not dazzle voters and visitors.
Maybe, hopefully, a proper structure will come up, by and by.
Still, it boggles the mind to think that this ramshackle eyesore is all a century-old party could muster even for the short term.
Or that its leadership is so devoid of taste.
The shame of it all is that this Congress headquarters lies smack-bang next to some exquisite buildings.
The railway divisional headquarters in front of it.
The railway station to its left.
And the Metropole Hotel to its right.
Power is the only objective India’s political parties chase. About time they worked at something more abstract: aesthetics.
Maybe Rahul Gandhi will impart that brief but important lesson when he comes visiting during the election campaign.
If he doesn’t, somebody should remind him.