Rahul Gandhi – The New Arundhati Roy on the Block

अमितायु शर्मा: What was the rationale based on which Rahul Gandhi calculated that there was “greater” not “similar” or “lesser” threat  from Hindu radical groups as compared to Lashkar-e-Taiba? To gain political mileage, the congress party projects as if Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi are comparable to the soldiers who died fighting the border wars :

There are nationalists and anti-nationalist, whose position is known to everybody. Then there are some dangerous set of people who vacillate between the two. Their actions and words do not match. More complex cases are of those whose words at various forums are not in sync and whose public actions we are yet to witness. Whatever they say is meticulously crafted and staged for different audience. Our beloved Rahul Gandhi seems to belong to this category.

When without power, such people thankfully fade into oblivion, names of Amar Singh, Lalu Yadav springs to mind. However, when we have somebody like Rahul Gandhi, who has a mighty political machinery providing him unrestricted access to the corridors of power, who at his command has the unlimited resource to orchestrate highly regulated well promoted forums to interact and charm the masses, proceedings become lethal.

As an individual Rahul Gandhi is well within his constitutional rights and has the freedom to think and voice his opinions. But to have used the occasion of the state dinner of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as early as 2009, to sidle up to ambassador Timothy Roemer, and actually say that the “greater threat” could come from the growth of radical Hindu groups was an underhand action on part of somebody like Rahul Gandhi.

There are two things that are improper. For one, what was the rationale based on which he calculated that there was “greater” not “similar” or “lesser” threat  from Hindu radical groups as compared to Lashkar-e-Taiba? If he has that kind of conclusive proof then he is guilty of not sharing it with the police.

Secondly as an elected representative and a member of a ruling party, never once did he voice this opinion in front of the Indian electorate? It is deceitful more so, now that the congress party has belatedly assured us of a statesman like posture of his believing that terrorism of all kinds was a threat to India. Well if that’s what he believed why didn’t he inform the US ambassador that terrorism of all kinds, including financial scams, were a threat to India?

Besides his belief that it was Indra Gandhi who created Bangladesh, till date we do not know how bravely the politician Rahul stands either for or against regarding various important national and international issues? Except for maneuvering blocks of potential vote banks and conducting stage managed meetings, speaking with youngsters exhorting them to join politics, nothing tells us what his understanding is of economic issues? He has not voiced his pleasure or displeasure on his party’s performance in dealing with corruption.

We do not have in public domain any statement where he has taken a stand or has acted in a manner that strengthens our belief that he will not tolerate corruption. He has shied from taking up a position in a government which might have given us an idea of how much of a doer or a non-doer he is (remember prime minister Narasimha Rao – inaction is an action too), Which might have given us a preview of what to expect when he will supposedly become the prime minister of India.

The maternal side of his family made great sacrifices fighting the British. To show solidarity to the Indian freedom movement, they stopped paying taxes and had their palatial home of Allahabad confiscated, his maternal grandfather went to jail and suffered lengthy separation from his loved ones, sadly his grandmother was killed while in office, and his father assassinated while electioneering.

Even today these three are credited and blamed for many good and evil that plagues India. Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were assassinated, but the congress party projects as if they are comparable to the soldiers who died fighting in Pakistan or China border wars. This is stretching things too far, as opposed to a hapless soldier; they had the entire state machinery behind them, the entire Indian secret services teeming with career spies who failed to do their job, as they continue to do now.

Rahul has a winning smile, comes across as a polished, sophisticated, honest and a studious professor, but has not yet shown any leadership traits nor has proved that he is job ready to lead a country like India. He is good at what he is doing, grass root politics, cashing on the accrued political capital.

Recent Wikileaks disclosures have shown that he still does not have the depth to interact with senior dignitaries from foreign countries. He needs to be protected from himself. For his own good he must spend more time amongst the masses less amongst elites. As of now it seems he is not cut out for an administrative work where he has to shake things up, or to be projected as a strong and decisive leader of Indian masses at international level where cloak and dagger and smoke and mirrors are the order of the day. For that we have Nitish Kumar, who come 2014 would have proven itself beyond reproach.

Amitayu Sharma

Free Lance Journalist

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