Rahul Gandhi has been putting off becoming the ‘ultimate’ leader, that his party claims him to be, for a long time. This is 2013, Congress is already neck-deep in blunders after blunders in administration and public-relations. Congress is anything but the symbol of clean politics. They may want to pull the secular card again – but it does have an expiration date. I voted for Congress in last 2 general elections – because I cared about the sentiment of secular equality that Congress stood for. But what if that was only the front? It is becoming very clear that Congress is breaking from within – and is merely clutching on a very twisted version of minority justice. It won’t be hard to predict that Congress doesn’t have a future in India, for at least next 10 years. Congress may not admit to this fact – but inside they know it. They know that they have used every trick in the book to advertise the evils that Modi brings – common man still seem to side with the hope of prosperity given by Modi. People’re ready to look away from a possible chain of communal crimes committed by him just a decade ago. The partial credit for this forgiving attitude goes to Modi’s successful policies and superb salesmanship. But the other big chunk of Modi’s success goes to the rampant corruption going completely unchecked under the apathetic UPA government.
Congress will like you to believe that everybody supporting Narendra Modi today is communal. But that is far from the truth. Congress had been selling ‘secularism’ in India for past 65 years. It had, you can say, a kind of monopoly over it’s supply. Congress thought secularism alone will row it’s boat, despite a long series of financial crimes committed over a decade. People now can see through this facade. How come ‘Harvard’ educated Rahul Gandhi can’t see that?
The fact is nobody controls Congress today. What keeps them together is the hypnotism of the word ‘Gandhi’. But Gandhi is a stale product. Gandhi is the brand-name of poverty. India desperately wants to see affirmative and proactive action towards development. Modi has given India that dream. Modi’s product is targeted towards the aspirations of young majority in India. People in India seem to be in love with Modi because they truly believe that he deserves a chance to run the country. If barely-vocal Manmohan Singh can ruin a whole decade for India, we’re willing to bet on Modi for another five. In 2014, the key agenda is development and not religion. Rahul Gandhi and his party are way behind in that department.
Believe it or not, things wouldn’t have gone this badly for Congress if even one person had the courage to lead from the front. Anybody would have worked, even the foreigner, Sonia Gandhi. The problem is that when shit hits the fan in Congress (like 2G, CWG) nobody wants to speak. They elbow each other to lead, but nobody leads. What they put forth is lawyers-acting-as-politicians who defend their party on technicalities. What Congress doesn’t realize that these spokespersons did more harm than good to party’s image. All people needed during crisis was a face to the government. Congress couldn’t produce even one. Instead they served arrogance (Sibal, Dixit) , buffoonery (Shindey, Digvijay), shamelessness (Tiwari, Singhvi). I’m not trying to give Congress a lesson in integrity. No government in the world is completely clean and if people expect Modi or Kejriwal to give them a 100% pure governance they’re heading for disappointment. I’m trying to give Congress a lesson in leadership, public relations and humility.
Secularism is one of the major pillars of our democracy. India will always be a secular state. But Congress has overtime turned the virtue of ‘religion-free politics’ into a dirty word. Today secularism is being seen as unfair appeasement for vote-bank politics. This is Congress’s doing. So far only successful stint BJP had was under Vajpayee – who had meticulously kept himself away from RSS. Exactly why Advani’s desperate dreams to PM’s post never materialized. Nobody is proud of what happened in Godhara. But till when can Congress downplay it’s own failures because some Hindus and Muslims killed each other 10 years ago? The entire premise of Congress’s campaign for 2014 can’t be based on the fact that we’ll provide safety for minorities in India. Nobody’s going to fall for that – not even minorities.
Coming back to the future of Congress – Rahul Gandhi. Who is Rahul Gandhi? Congress want to project him as a ‘Rajiv Gandhi Reloaded’. They say he’s a good guy, a reformist. For past 2 elections, Congress was chanting how brilliant is Dr. Manmohan Singh, who was not only impeccably clean, but some kind of a financial genius. As oppose to this Narendra Modi is the big bad wolf who eats innocent Muslims for breakfast. Let me break it down for you, Congress is suffering from fatal deficiency in strong and motivated leadership. And organizing a Chintan Shivir in 2013 discussing the battle-plan for 2014 is too little too late. You don’t create leaders overnight. Before you can create leaders, you need to become a leader. Rahul Gandhi has been shying from this job for a long time. Working as a dedicated party worker and strengthening party from within will be redundant when you’ve no front leadership. Whatever position he’s at, or he refuses to take for parties sake – are basically tied to his surname. He doesn’t have even an iota of experience or wisdom of a leader like Narendra Modi, who has spent his whole life in politics and rose from the bottom of the food chain.
For a capable leader, Rahul Gandhi is in the most enviable position. Imagine if a dynamic leader like Arvind Kejriwal was a Gandhi. He would have taken the reigns way early. Anna Hazare once said that Arvind Kejriwal has no greed for money, but he may have a big hunger for power. That is the motivation for him. It made him rise from a lesser known activist to the toast of the town. It’s not hard to predict that within a year Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is going to play a very important role in Delhi elections. AAP has already re-packaged what Congress was selling for past 65 years. They have even taken their slogan of Aam Aadmi. As opposed to this, Rahul Gandhi breathes under a heavy burden of his legacy. I’m very keen on listening to any of his speech where he doesn’t mention his family. Because that’s all he got. What Congress supporters will never admit, but secretly fear that Rahul Gandhi suffers from a bad case of mediocrity.
After British lost their hold in India, it was naive to expect a complete turn around in administration and governance. What India traded for freedom was to handover of power to another dynasty – Gandhis. After 65 years, maybe India is ready to move on. Rahul Gandhi could very well be the Bahadur Shah Zafar of Gandhi dynasty.