AIPC: A Successful Experiment, An Ongoing Adventure
On August 2, 2017, Rahul Gandhi ji launched AIPC. I remember the day quite clearly. We were at the AICC HQ at 24 Akbar Road and Dr. Tharoor, Milind Deora, Dr. Reddy, Gaurav Gogoi and I were present. Our conversation was about this new adventure in politics, where we would engage with professionals and entrepreneurs, seek their inputs and participation as well as have them represent our views in society. In the last 5 years, we have tried to live up to those aspirations.
Setting up a new institution is hard work. It is complicated work. But AIPC had one thing going for it – our leader, Dr. Tharoor was already a well-established personality both in politics and beyond. His presence helped drive a lot of interest in AIPC and I have no hesitation in saying that along with the ideology of the Indian National Congress, his presence has been instrumental in expanding AIPC’s Fellowship. More importantly, the way he makes time for AIPC and its Fellows is exemplary. If more leaders of the INC bring this kind of professionalism to their work, I have no doubt that our Party will be energized and can take on any challenge thrown at it.
My colleagues in the National Executive, including Szarita Laitphlang (who succeeded Gaurav) and Rajiv Arora (who succeeded Milind) have devoted considerable effort to grow and nurture AIPC. Aalim Javeri, a young man who took on the big job of Chief Operations Officer, has been a rock star for our department. He and our Regional Operations Officers and our team of state and chapter leaders around the country have made sure that we keep trying new ideas in support of the Indian National Congress. But our AIPC team has done so much more – from manifestos to dharnas to policy debates to Covid helplines and more, we have done it all in service of the INC family and the country.
I found two areas to be especially gratifying. First, I cannot tell you how often I sat in meetings with AIPC Fellows and was amazed by the talent in AIPC. I think the Congress Party is very lucky to have such supporters and I hope our Senior Leadership utilizes this talent pool strategically and systematically. The second area has been one of outreach to non-INC professionals. We have been incredibly successful at engaging with eminent personalities across the spectrum and I feel that has created a bit more of a supportive environment for INC among influential members of civil society. I think this is another area that deserves Senior Leadership attention.
Let me conclude by saying that, at a personal level, I wish I could have done much more for AIPC. But I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this wonderful experiment, I am thankfulto all my fellow travellers, and I hope our AIPC grows beyond my wildest imagination.
Happy 5th, AIPC!