Path: Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > Party 081
Indian Congress Party, 081
Variables and Codes for 1950-1962
For the concepts and variables below, use these links to Political Parties: A Cross-National Survey:
Institutionalization
Governmental Status
Issue Orientation
Goal Orientation
Autonomy
Organizational Complexity
Organizational Power
Organizational Coherence
Membership Involvement
The "ac" code is for "adequacy-confidence"--a data quality measure ranging from 0 (low) to 9 (high)
Party Name and Code Number
Indian National Congress, 081

Institutionalization Variables, 1.01-1.06
1.01 Year of Origin and 1.02 Name Changes
1885, AC9
1, AC7
The Indian National Congress was founded in Bombay as an organization seeking greater representation for Indians within the context of British rule. By World War I, it had evolved into a nationalistic movement for independence, but the organization did not become mass-based until it employed Mahatma Gandhi's strategy of nonviolent noncooperation and civil disobedience beginning in the 1920s. With the achievement of independence from Britain in 1947, the movement lost its solidifying element as it became an organization exercising governmental power rather than one seeking it. Gandhi himself questioned its suitability as a parliamentary party, and some elements left the Congress by choice or pressure soon after independence. Nevertheless, the organization adapted itself to electoral politics, and it underwent a subtle name change to Congress Party in conjunction with its new role.
1.03 Organizational Discontinuity
16, AC8
Communists left the Congress Party in 1945. Congress Socialist Party members left in 1948. These are considered to be major splits. In December, 1949, 21 Congressmen formed the Jan Congress. This constituted a minor split. In 1951 a large number of Congressmen left to form the KMPP. The forward bloc returned to Congress in 1956. This does not appear to be a major merger. The formation of Jana Sangh in 1951 does not appear to have involved Congress to any appreciable extent. The Shiromani Akali Dal joined Congress in 1957 and split again in 1959. This is one of the most important of the non-Hindu communal parties but these actions do not appear to be major. The formation of the Swatantra in 1959 does not appear to have involved Congress to a large degree. It is not considered in the evaluation of the code.
1.04 Leadership Competition
12, AC7
There were several prominent leaders of the Indian National Congress - such as G.K.Gokhale and B.G.Tilak--prior to Gandhi's emergence in the 1920s as the spiritual and, to a lesser extent, the organizational leader of the movement. Two major factions developed in the Gandhian era--a conservative wing led by M.Nehru and V.Patel and a radical wing led by S.C.Bose, J.Nehru, and J.Narayan, but Gandhi was the acknowledged leader by both. The office of the president of Congress was distinctly subordinate to Gandhi during his life, and with the achievement of independence, the incumbent president became embroiled in tensions concerning the relationship of the party to elected officials. Upon Gandhi's assassination in 1948, the Congress leadership passed to Nehru, the Prime Minister, and Patel, the deputy Prime Minister--neither of whom were Party President. In 1950, the party presidency involved a test of strength between the two, as Nehru quietly backed A.Kripalani for the position and Patel openly backed P.Tandon. Tandon won, but Patel died in late 1950 and in 1951, Nehru forced Tandon from the presidency and was elected president himself, thus assuming official leadership of the party as well as the government. Nehru kept both positions until 1954, when he resigned in favor of his selected successor, U.N.Dhebar. Nehru's daughter, Indira Gandhi, succeeded Dhebar as party president in 1959, and she was replaced by N.S.Reddy later the same year. In 1962, Reddy was replaced by D.Sanjivia. Thus, throughout our time period, Nehru remained the effective leader of the Congress after having won legitimate control of the party following his 1951 election as president by the all-India Congress committee.
1.05 Legislative Instability
Instability is .02, AC8
A problem arises in determining legislative representation for 1950 and 1951, when India operated with a provisional parliament. Only one source (the making of the Indian Republic, by P. Misra) gives the seats held by the Congress Party in the constituent assembly, which was elected in 1946 as the forerunner of the provisional parliament, the name change occurring with the 1950 constitution. The Congress was credited with winning 205 of 296 seats, or 69 percent. Assuming this figure remained constant through 1950 and 1951, this was the low point of Congress representation during our time period. In the first elections to the Lok Sabha (House of the People) in 1951-1952, the Congress won nearly 75 percent of the seats and held that figure over two subsequent elections in our time period.
1.06 Electoral Instability
Instability is .03, AC9
During our time period, elections were held in 1951-52, 1957, and 1962. The Congress Party won 48 percent of the votes in 1957 and 45 percent in the other two elections.

Governmental Status Variables, 2.01-2.07
 2.01 Government Discrimination
1 for 1950-56, AC7
1 for 1957-62, AC7
The Congress Party continued as the ruling party from independence in 1947 throughout the end of our time period. It received some important benefits from this fact, such as widespread renown and the ability to deliver in fulfillment of requests for governmental policies and favors. It is clear, moreover, that elected Congress officials could draw upon governmental resources in their campaign activities. Most of our sources, however, do not feel that Congress employed "contrived unfairness" in using the power of the state to discriminate systematically and effectively against opposition parties, with two exceptions. The choice of single-member districts, which predominated during our time period, and simple majority vote was intended to favor the Congress Party in controlling parliament and to discourage representation of minority parties. Also, there can be no question but that the Congress government did discriminate against the Communist Party during our time period by disrupting its meetings and otherwise harassing its officials. But this form of discrimination was largely limited to the Communist Party, and the other parties enjoyed freedom of opposition. Most scholars gave special credit to the electoral commission for the administration of fair elections. The unique case of discrimination against the Communist Party is handled in the "governmental discrimination" variable for that party.
2.02 Governmental Leadership
7 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC9
6 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC9
Nehru had been the national leader since independence in 1947 and was a member of the Congress.
2.03 Cabinet Participation
7 out of 7 for 1950-56, AC9
6 out of 6 for 1957-62, AC9
Nehru, a member of the Congress Party, had been Prime Minister throughout this time period.
2.04 National Participation
6 for 1950-56, AC8
6 for 1957-62, AC8
Dividing India into five regional zones (see Zagoria, 1971), we find the composition of the Congress Party deviating from the distribution of the electorate across these zones by an average of only 1.7 percentage points, based on the 1961 all-India poll.
2.05 Legislative Strength
Strength is .73 for 1950-56, AC8, and .75 for 1957-62, AC9
A problem arises in determining legislative representation for 1950 and 1951, when India operated with a provisional parliament. Only one source (the making of the Indian Republic, by P. Misra) gives the seats held by the Congress Party in the constituent assembly, which was elected in 1946 as the forerunner of the provisional parliament, the name change occurring with the 1950 constitution. The Congress was credited with winning 205 of 296 seats, or 69 percent. Assuming this figure remained constant through 1950 and 1951, this was the low point of Congress representation during our time period. In the first elections to the Lok Sabha (House of the People) in 1951-1952, the Congress won nearly 75 percent of the seats and held that figure over two subsequent elections in our time period.
2.06 Electoral Strength
Strength is .45 for 1950-56, AC9, and .46 for 1957-62, AC9
During our time period, elections were held in 1951-52, 1957, and 1962. The Congress Party won 48 percent of the votes in 1957 and 45 percent in the other two elections.
2.07 Outside Origin
9, AC7
A retired British civil servant, Allan Octavian Hume, was associated with the formation of the Indian National Congress in 1885. His name is mentioned in several sources but not in all. One source states that four of the early Congress presidents were Englishmen. Although all sources do not mention the name of Hume, it would appear that he and other Englishmen were important in the formation of the party. However, our consultant advises that the critical founders were upper class Indian leaders.

Issue Orientation Variables, 5.01-5.15
 5.01 Ownership of Means of Production
3, AC8
During this time period, the public sector was widely increased under Congress rule. Private production was not to be phased out, however. The 5- year plans called for an increase in public production and the expropriation of private industries if deemed necessary for strategic benefit or overall planning. Congress statements prescribe some state control of the private sector.
5.02 Government Role in Economic Planning
5, AC9
The Congress Party, as the ruling party, initiated two 5-year plans during this time period. The public sector was increased through the building of such things as a fertilizer factory and irrigation projects. The government was supposed to provide water, power, and fertilizer and a general comprehensive plan for the economy of the state as a whole.
5.03 Redistribution of Wealth
3, AC8
The party advocated the elimination of poverty and supports major land reform, but sources indicate that the local levels did not carry out this land reform to a large degree. Land reform was urged throughout the time period, indicating that it was not completed to a sufficient extent. The tax structure was reoriented. Personal property was not eliminated. In 1959, joint co- operative farming was advocated, with all who worked the farm receiving products according to work not ownership.
5.04 Social Welfare
3, AC4
The party stated the goal of establishing a welfare state in India. Evidence on practices to implement this program is slight. Compulsory provident funds did exist in industry. Party policy called for an improvement in public health and in the situation concerning the untouchables. One source states that housing sites were allocated to untouchables, nursery school and scholarship programs existed, and some governmental jobs were reserved for certain backward communities. One source claims that the government of the Congress as the ruling party was not organized to implement a welfare state.
5.05 Secularization of Society
1, AC6
The Congress Party's policy called for India as a secular state. All religions were free to practice under reasonable restrictions. The government under Congress operation sought to eliminate religion as a method of creating social inequality. Some legislation was passed which interfered with religious practices which proved discriminatory. The party welcomed all, regardless of religious beliefs.
5.06 Support of the Military
1, AC5
Little information is available on the armed forces, and the position of the Congress Party towards expenditure is not given. Nehru of the Congress Party criticized other parties on their stands for more allocation of resources to the armed forces. Cohen's study of the Indian army notes that after independence the status of military officers was adjusted downwards in comparison with civilian officials, and disparities in pay also appeared. He also states that Congress leaders decided early that defense was not a high priority as long as Pakistan was viewed as the likely enemy. But as our consultant points out, the border war with china found India woefully unprepared to defend herself.
5.07 Alignment with East-West Blocs
0, AC9
All sources state that the Congress Party favored a strong policy of nonalignment with the two major military blocs.
5.08 Anti-Colonialism
3, AC9
The Congress Party advocated maintenance of independence and sought the return of areas considered to be a part of India which are held by Pakistan and Red China. Colonialism and imperialism were condemned throughout the world. The party was not opposed to foreign investment in India.
5.09 Supranational Integration
3, AC6
India was a member of the commonwealth, and information on the party's position on this is scarce. One source states that the party was satisfied to remain within this organization.
5.10 National Integration
3, AC9
Near, leader of the Congress Party, called for the obliteration of communalism. Other members of the party, especially Hindus, wanted a continuation of the caste system. The national level may have called for the elimination of divisive elements yet this program may not be implemented, especially on local levels where the caste system was encouraged and put to use for support of the party. Candidates were often chosen on the basis of their caste.
5.11 Electoral Participation
5, AC9
Universal adult suffrage existed in India under Congress rule during our time period. No attempts to change this situation are recorded.
5.12 Protection of Civil Rights
3, AC8
The Congress Party was quite explicit in its views on untouchability. All party members had to pledge to eliminate this type of discrimination. However, the party made use of the caste differences in political situations, as candidates were chosen by caste in many cases. The untouchability act of 1955 provides for punishment of discriminatory practices. The policy was strong, yet activities were not in total keeping with the stated policies.
5.13 Interference with Civil Liberties
1, AC7
The Congress Party made no apparent moves to censor statements made by opposition parties, but elections occurred with much controversy and criticism of Congress officials and methods. Our consultant states that over the years, the Congress used various tricks to stay in power, including limitations on paper supplies for campaign material. The media seemed unhampered by governmental control. Information on this variable was not great in quantity.
5.14 / 5.15 US--Soviet Experts Left-Right Ratings
US says 2, center
Soviets say 2, the party goals aimed for the prosperity and progress of the Indian people, the achievement of a government of democratic socialist, and economic and social equality. In practice, the party politics were directing the country along a capitalistic line of development and were further strengthening national monopolistic unions.

Goal Orientation Variables, 6.01-6.55
 6.00 Open Competition In The Electoral Process
3.5 for 1st half, AC9
4.0 for 2nd half, AC9
The Congress Party relied on open competition in elections for the most part. In the 1951-52 elections, the Communist Party was declared illegal in two states, although the national party policy declared that the CPI was legal. Congress supported this suppression of the communists in these states. For the most part, however, Congress supported open and free competition in all elections and encouraged participation by all in the process.
6.10 Restricting Party Competition
.5 for 1st half, AC9
0 for 2nd half, AC9
The Congress approval of the illegal status of the Communist Party in two states during the 1951-52 elections was a definite restriction of party competition. The Congress viewpoint on a national level was recognition of the CPI, however, so a small value is given to its restriction in two states. One source says that the CPI was banned in 3 areas during this election for violating the peace and attempting violent overthrow of the government. For the later time period, no evidence of restriction of the electoral process is evident.
6.20 Subverting The Political System
0, AC9
No substantial evidence of the Congress Party's goal of subverting the electoral process exists. Indeed, the electoral commission is credited with having administered fair elections during our time period.
6.30 Propagandizing Ideas and Program
6.31--0, AC5.
No evidence exists of the party having operated radio or TV. The party operated mass communications media during election times to propagandize ideas and programs. Pamphlets, posters, handbills, public meetings, and recordings, were used. Party publications seem to have been distributed only within the party structure. Communications were based upon personal meetings with the masses and therefore could not have been too extensive.
6.32--1, AC3.
Only one source was considered for this code, and the source itself does not make the issue clear. The Youth Congress trained youth for party work, but the source claims that political activity was discouraged in this organization. A monthly magazine was published and study tours of the country were operated where various public works were visited. Youth camps funded by the central ministry of education were operated. The youth did manual labor such as repairing roads and schools, at these camps.
6 .33--2, AC9.
Large numbers of resolutions concerning party policies and platforms were passed at annual sessions of the Congress Party and at meetings of the all India Congress committee and the working committee, two party organizations. The resolutions were concerned with both foreign and domestic affairs. Prominent examples include the Five-Year plans concerning the economy and the 1955 socialist pattern of society resolution adopted by Congress.
6. 34--2, AC9.
The party appears to have frequently published position papers on foreign and domestic affairs. National level election manifestos were published before each national election. Working committee resolutions were passed to create favorable opinion, so it is assumed that the public was informed as to the content of these resolutions. Party publications were published for many candidates in electioneering.
6.50 Providing for Welfare of Party Members
6.51--2, AC9.
Many instances existed where food, clothing, and shelter were provided by the Congress Party, but the distinction between governmental aid and party aid is difficult to make. Since independence, the government has greatly expanded services of this nature. Congress members collected money for aid in emergencies such as famine, flood, or riot. Child care centers, milk programs, and maternity care programs were performed by Congress. The distinction between government and party is difficult, but Congress urged members to participate in voluntary or governmental social welfare programs.
6.52--2, AC6.
Congressmen found jobs for youth and the unemployed throughout India, according to the one source which yielded information on this variable.
6.53--2, AC9.
Members of the party frequently intervened on behalf of citizens in governmental matters. The literature suggests that citizens knew the power of party members and looked to them for aid in tax matters, permits for goods such as cement, fertilizer, and seeds, and in dealings with the police. Party members were often requested to act as intermediaries between citizens, and between citizens and the government.
6.54--2, AC6.
Congress Party members were active in running schools for harijan (untouchable) children and adults. They also made pleas to the government for more aid for education. Many School Boards were run by Congressmen.
6.55--1, AC6.
Information on this variable was almost non-existent. The Youth Congress operated by the party sponsored sports and cultural activities for members. Local Congress organizations sponsored ceremonies to celebrate national holidays. No further mention is made of this type of activity by Congress, and it is assumed that the party was not overly concerned with this matter.

Autonomy Variables, 7.01-7.05
 7.01 Sources Of Funds
2 (sectors 04, 05), AC8
Parties were not required to publish expenditures or contributions information. Estimates of expense for elections are given in the literature, as are reports of party dues and business contributions. It is generally reported that business and wealthy individuals contribute heavily to the party. Party dues paid for only 14.5 percent of expenditures of the all India Congress committee from 1959 to 1963. Electioneering costs for 1962 were estimated at 15,853,231 rupees. Business contributed RS 6,874,571 to the party from 1961 to 1963. If all this was spent on elections, it would only constitute one half of the necessary amount. Party dues could not account for much. No figures were available for contributions by wealthy individuals. Many candidates were expected to finance their own campaigns, but many received party money. The party had the image of being supported by the two elements coded.
7.02 Source of Members
5, AC9
Membership in the Congress Party was open to all who reached the appropriate age (18 or 21). Caste, religious affiliation, or community ties were not considered important. One had to work for the welfare of the people and forego the right to join any communal organization. Multiple group membership was traditionally a phenomenon not known to India, and no concomitant membership in another organization is mentioned in connection with party members.
7.03 Sources of Leaders
5, AC5
The Congress Party was composed of many factions. Much of the literature states that the Congress itself contained factions which could make up opposing parties. The party leaders were classified as left, right, or center and represented many different sectors of society. The literature searched did not yield much information on the specific backgrounds of leaders in high positions. Business and industry were not highly represented in leadership. Leaders did seem to represent all factions, however. Much of the lack of real opposition to Congress is explained by this fact.
7.04 Relations with Domestic Parties
7, AC9
The party clearly dominated the political scene during this time period. In most areas, Congress won elections very easily. In states where support was not large, coalitions on local levels were set up to defeat the communists. The Praja Socialist Party was supported in such a situation in 1954 in Travancore-Cochin, but the resulting government depended on Congress support alone. It fell quickly, regardless. The party had sought agreement with the PSP on socialist goals, but had been unsuccessful as the PSP sought to remain autonomous from Congress. On the whole, the party did not feel the need for coalitions or alliances.
7.05 Relations with Foreign Organizations
5, AC6
No evidence exists which points to Congress relations with foreign organizations.

Organizational Complexity Variables, 8.01-8.07
 8.01 Structural Articulation
11, AC7
At least six major national organs existed in the structure of the party. Selection for some was prescribed, while for others it was through appointment or a combination of election and appointment. The members of the AICC, Congress Parliamentary Party, and Parliamentary Party Executive Committee were elected. The AICC elected 5 of the 12 members of the central election committee and one-third of the working committee. The central parliamentary board was appointed by the working committee. Some members were coopted to these organizations to represent elements not adequately represented by the election processes.
8.02 Intensiveness of Organization
4, AC9
The Mandal Congress Committees represented the basic element of the party structure. Each MCC covered an area of about 20,000 in population.
8.03 Extensiveness of Organization
6, AC6
Mcc's seem to have existed throughout the country. They may not have been active in all areas, but party members could be found throughout the country, and the organization of MCC's was probably carried out.
8.04 Frequency of Local Meetings
2, AC6
The activities of the MCC's are not well documented in the literature. Some sources do say that they were active only at election times. In 1954 a movement to rejuvenate the MCC's was started with hopes to establish regular meetings. Five years were spent on this with poor results. The district Congress committees, which are one step above the MCC's, were the main organs of active party work. These DCC's met several times a year.
8.05 Frequency of National Meetings
3, AC8
The all India Congress committee, which was the national party organ, generally met two to three times a year. In some instances it met more often. The meetings were not regular but were held at the call of the working committee or the request of fifty AICC members. The working committee met monthly.
8.06 Maintaining Records
9, AC6
The party often published its program, especially national election manifestos. The AICC maintained a good library and research department according to one source. A code of 3 was given for this. Membership lists are maintained in DCC offices, but were known for their generally poor quality.
8.07 Pervasiveness of Organization
17, AC7
Congress formed and controlled to a large degree the Indian national trade union Congress, which represented a majority of the trade unionists in the country. Business groups, such as the all India manufacturers organization and the associate chambers of commerce, sought the private support of Congress, although the degree to which the party controls and penetrates these organizations is unclear. The same is true for the cases of scheduled caste groups and minority religious groups who supported Congress.

Organizational Power Variables, 9.01-9.08
 8.01 Structural Articulation
11, AC7
At least six major national organs existed in the structure of the party. Selection for some was prescribed, while for others it was through appointment or a combination of election and appointment. The members of the AICC, Congress Parliamentary Party, and Parliamentary Party Executive Committee were elected. The AICC elected 5 of the 12 members of the central election committee and one-third of the working committee. The central parliamentary board was appointed by the working committee. Some members were coopted to these organizations to represent elements not adequately represented by the election processes.
8.02 Intensiveness of Organization
4, AC9
The Mandal Congress Committees represented the basic element of the party structure. Each MCC covered an area of about 20,000 in population.
8.03 Extensiveness of Organization
6, AC6
Mcc's seem to have existed throughout the country. They may not have been active in all areas, but party members could be found throughout the country, and the organization of MCC's was probably carried out.
8.04 Frequency of Local Meetings
2, AC6
The activities of the MCC's are not well documented in the literature. Some sources do say that they were active only at election times. In 1954 a movement to rejuvenate the MCC's was started with hopes to establish regular meetings. Five years were spent on this with poor results. The district Congress committees, which are one step above the MCC's, were the main organs of active party work. These DCC's met several times a year.
8.05 Frequency of National Meetings
3, AC8
The all India Congress committee, which was the national party organ, generally met two to three times a year. In some instances it met more often. The meetings were not regular but were held at the call of the working committee or the request of fifty AICC members. The working committee met monthly.
8.06 Maintaining Records
9, AC6
The party often published its program, especially national election manifestos. The AICC maintained a good library and research department according to one source. A code of 3 was given for this. Membership lists are maintained in DCC offices, but were known for their generally poor quality.
8.07 Pervasiveness of Organization
17, AC7
Congress formed and controlled to a large degree the Indian national trade union Congress, which represented a majority of the trade unionists in the country. Business groups, such as the all India manufacturers organization and the associate chambers of commerce, sought the private support of Congress, although the degree to which the party controls and penetrates these organizations is unclear. The same is true for the cases of scheduled caste groups and minority religious groups who supported Congress.

Coherence Variables, 10.01-10.06
 10.01 Legislative Cohesion
.90, AC5
No source cites data on voting in the Lok Sabha. This code is cited on the basis of generalizations from sources which say that party whips were hardly ever disobeyed. One example concerned the Hindu marriage bill which many party parliamentary members found unsatisfactory. When it came time to vote, however, these members obeyed the whips, and the bill was passed.
10.02 Ideological Factionalism
2, AC8
The party covered all aspects of Indian life and recruited individuals who shared almost all ideological tendencies. These factions do not appear to be distinguishable in the party, however. Congress ideology was constructed to appeal to all groups. Most party members supported the goal of socialism, although they may define socialism in different ways. The majority seems spread over the center, with minorities forming informal factions both to the right and left.
10.03 Issue Factionalism
3, AC6
Several factions existed over issues. The size of these factions is not mentioned in the literature, and further research might suggest the use of code 5. The Wardha group was a group of Gandhians favoring more land reform and an increase in village industry. A westernized, business-minded group favored the expansion of private industry and heavy industry. A Hindu faction favored a ban on cow slaughter, opposed the Hindu code bill, wanted sanskritized Hindu as a sole national language, and favored a more aggressive policy in Kashmir and Pakistan.
10.04 Leadership Factionalism
0, AC9
Except at the very beginning, leadership factionalism was not in evidence within the Congress Party during our time period. In 1950-51, a struggle arose when Nehru's personal choice for Congress President, Acharya J.B. Kripalani, was defeated by Tandon. Nehru was upset by this and submitted his resignation from the working committee. Tandon did not wish to see Nehru resign and resigned himself. Nehru"s leadership was confirmed at this point, and remained unchallenged up to the time of his death in 1964, although there were frequent grumblings about his domination of the party.
10.05 Strategic or Tactical Factionalism
3, AC7
This variable refers primarily to the strategy and tactics employed by the party for achieving governmental office. On this, there was no evidence of factionalism within the Congress Party, for there was universal commitment to a strategy of open competition. But there was considerable evidence of factionalism over party strategy in another sense--that of the relationship of the party organization to elected officials. Practice at the state level prohibited chief ministers to also head the state party organizations. While they could usually control their party organizations, this was not always the case--leading to factional conflict between the organizational and ministerial wings over the control of the party. This conflict was also latent at the national level, although it was resolved by Nehru in 1951 when he personally assumed the presidency of the party to accompany his office of Prime Minister. Or sources note that the ministerial factions were usually dominant within the Congress Party throughout our time period, but that changes occurred soon afterward which saw an increased role for the organizational factions at both the state and national levels.
10.06 Party Purges
0 for 1st half, AC9
0 for 2nd half, AC9
No evidence in the literature points to any purges of party activists in the time period. Purges occurred before 1950, however.

Involvement Variables, 11.01-11.06
11.01 Membership Requirements
3, AC9
The Congress Party distinguished between primary and active members. Primary members number in the millions--4,644,436 in 1960. Active members have numbered around 800,000 since independence. Primary members had to sign membership applications and pay a fee. Active members had to do the same plus undergo a period before they were accepted. The code for active membership would be 7.
11.02 Membership Participation
2, AC6
Membership in the Congress fluctuated, especially around election years. Primary members numbered between 4 and 6 million. Less than 100,000 were classified as active members. True active members may have numbered less than this, as active members were required to perform some social service or constructive work. Activities of primary members are not mentioned in the literature. Usually their size is just cited. Active members seem to have been quite active in party affairs. The party mobilized its supporters when the need arose, so it is assumed that primary members were at least marginal.
11.03 Material Incentives
1, AC5
Material incentives to join the Congress were huge, as the party had a large access to patronage due to its control of the country. Many joined to further their political careers. Some Congress militants were interested in helping the people, the Gandhian faction mainly. This code is given as an estimate, backed only by generalizations in the literature.
11.04 Purposive Incentives
1, AC5
Again, the literature is very vague on this variable. One source claims that ideological enthusiasm attracts few if any active members while another states that party workers were deeply involved in affairs of "socialist " government. In 1963, Nehru expressed dissatisfaction about the lack of knowledge about party ideology by Congress parliamentary members. It would seem that some but not many were motivated by purposive incentives. Gandhians would be in this group.
11.05 Doctrinism
2, AC5
The party published election manifestos, 5-year plans, and other plans and members referred to the goals and achievements of the party in light of these writings. Some sources claim that the party had no official programme and was merely guided by decisions made at meetings of the party members. However, our consultant advises that party doctrine was important.
11.06 Personalism
2, AC7
Nehru"s charisma appealed to many party members. His presence was thought by many to be the only factor holding the party together and many predicted the dissolution of the party upon his death. This did not occur. However, his ability to unite the party and implement programs cannot be underestimated.