“He has leadership and it is evolving. Rahul does not need to grab power." Digvijaya, in an interview to Headlines Today Executive Editor Rahul Kanwal. Kanwal didn’t ask Digvijay an important question about his comment on RG. A few months ago, on Rahul Gandhi’s birthday in June, Digvijay Singh had declared “I think it is time Rahul becomes the Prime Minister”. Secondly, no one has accused RG of trying to grab power. So why the defence by Digvijay? Even if his cronies, like Digvijay don’t tell him, I am quite certain RG is aware of the many nicknames he has earned. Here are a few: Pappu, Babloo, Amul Baby, Buddhu, RahulRetard, OwlGandhi, ClownPrince and the list could go on. I doubt any ‘evolving leader’ has earned so many titles in a short time. Sure, simply dismiss those people as ones who just hate RG. The carefully crafted media plan and that of the Congress slaves of the dynasty is slowly coming undone. Ever since the mounds of ash and dead bodies of Bhatta Parsaul Rahul Gandhi is, in reality, running from his own shadow. And if Rahul Gandhi does have his ‘own mind’ why does someone like Digvijay have to speak for him so often? Far from ‘Rahul evolving’ there is evidence of withdrawal symptoms.
The SpiceGirls, a girl-band of the UK, churned out hit after hit during 1996-97 and had become a rage. Britain, devoid of any great accomplishments in recent history, used marketing as a tool to promote personalities. Even David Beckham the footballer fumbled at major events prompting some commentators to bestow him the title “Anna Kournikova of football”. But Beckham did have talent and great performances to back him. What about the SpiceGirls? Well, the first time they went on stage live the crowds discovered the girls couldn’t really sing all that well. They came crashing. They were just studio-creations and not real singers. The media marketing blitz came crashing too. I would liken Rahul Gandhi to the case of SpiceGirls or AnnaKournikova, too much hype by the media and his supporters but lacking in real substance. Rahul Gandhi is, very much, the Anna Kournikova of Indian politics.
Ever since his dramatic Bhatta Parsaul discoveries of mounds of ash and dead bodies RG went into hiding for a while, only to resurface during Anna Hazare’s fast in August 2011. (Lately, Congress channel NDTV is desperate to prove he was right.)While the Anna agitation was proving to be a thorn our evolving leader rushes off to meet victims of police firing near Pune. Not a bad idea but the only response he has to Anna’s agitation is a written speech during zero hour in the parliament. He sought constitutional status for the Lokpal. That’s not all, he patted himself by calling it a “game-changer”. That was humility! Hahaha! Having seen the goof up the Congress ministers, like Salman Khurshid, somehow now want to shore up the ‘great vision' of RG in turning the Lokpal into a constitutional authority.
If at 41 RG is still evolving then I have to wonder when he will mature. There have been at least six or seven people who have been prime ministers or presidents around RG’s age, including his own father. For the record, William Pitt (The younger) was the youngest PM of the UK at age 24. Not just that, Pitt went on to be PM for 17 years. What does it say about a man about whom someone like Renuka Chaudhary, Congress spokesperson, had to say that “he is not a parrot”! He runs around schools and colleges and talks to students where cameras and media are banned. He suddenly dashes off to trouble spots like Bharatpur to sympathise with riot victims, sometimes wearing a skull cap.And the only channel that seems to be allowed to cover him is NDTV. His Bharatpur visit was shown on NDTV in grainy mobile videos. Later his stunt on a Delhi metro train and taxi ride was also reported on NDTV. So he even gets to pick the media he likes and is friendly to him. Evolving connectivity, I suppose!
Someone mentioned RG had a drug addiction problem and Tehelka even defended it. Yes, people do make mistakes. But it’s how they handle responsibility that counts. And what exactly is RG’s responsibility. Failed in Bihar, failed in Tamil Nadu, did he own up to any responsibility? Bihar is all the more shocking where his campaign leadership not only resulted in a severe loss but more or less wiped out his party. And reading written down speeches (God knows who writes those) without having to do a Q&A after it is a reflection of a person who does not have the slightest conviction in what he’s talking about.
Following the Anna agitation and Team Anna’s promised campaign against Congress in the Hisar bypoll one would have expected a leader to stand up and fight. What does RG do? He rushes off to Jhansi, for heaven knows why, and meets up with a Dalit family for dinner. You have an election battle that is being rated as a decisive bypoll and RG is nowhere to be seen. It’s not a shame to lose an election battle. It’s a shame to not even put up a fight by the so called evolving leader. And Hisar isn’t very far from Delhi either.The fear of failure is a serious withdrawal symptom in any supposed leader, even 'evolving' ones.
TOI in an article states (Oct 24): “It has now emerged that Rahul was at least partly responsible for the PM's insistence that Union ministers' spouses and children should also disclose their assets”. That is nice, it’s not as if RG does not have good intentions, it is just that he doesn’t have the talent or the courage to take issues head on. And whenever he speaks impromptu he betrays a severe lack of knowledge and intelligence. The more his gaffes are exposed the more he shrinks into a shell. The letter about family disclosing assets should have been extended further to include his own – Robert Vadra. The phenomenal rise in the reported wealth of Vadra surely does not seem to be mere business acumen.
If the Bhatta Parsaul comedy wasn’t enough, RG had to face some more sordid moments in front of cameras. His visit to the RML hospital after the Delhi HC blast on September 7 gave him a taste of something he had never experienced before – heckling and booing. Even though he might have been genuinely concerned for victims of the blast he has been so cocooned that he doesn’t learn how angry people are at his party. His own silly statements of RSS=SIMI etc., tutored by his mentor, reflect his thoughtlessness on issues of terrorism and suffering. Prior to the Delhi blast his "99% terror attacks averted" statement after the Mumbai blast was another instance of stupidity and bad timing, if not ill-intentioned.
Last week RG also gave a speech on globalisation. This was at an event at ‘Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Studies’. The speech sounds like a cross between Arundhati Roy and Aruna Roy. “There was only one India 60 years ago and it was poor. That India was completely unconnected, both internally and externally. But India today has changed and is changing as we speak” said Gandhi. This reflects very poor understanding of history itself. There were rich people, very rich people, even 60 years ago as there were poor. There were zamindars, nizams, businessmen. The thought and longing from freedom from the British connected many Indians. If there is one party to be held responsible for damaging the aspirations of a free India it has to be the Congress. Why? Because for most part it was Congress that was dividing the nation at every single opportunity. The two Indias, which is RG’s pet theory, is a creation of his own party. What does it say about a two bit man-child who runs off to some European location to celebrate his birthday? If anyone has to introspect it has to be the Congress and not the people. In July 2011 RG is reported to have stated that “UP is being run by Dalals”. Hmm! Who’s running the Congress?
One of the funny reports about RG’s speech last week comes from SunetraChoudhury. “To find out this somewhat inane fact (Blackberry addiction), I, along with journalists representing all major news organisations, had to pass through an obstacle course that included arriving more than an hour before the event, being separated from all our own communication devices, and then sitting through long, academic lectures. Yes, us foolish hacks did all this to hear the elusive Gandhi express his views on some of the urgent issues facing the nation, but all we got was a balcony view of Gandhi toying with his phone and sneaking glances at it while others were speaking……The argument that his supporters and Congressmen make is that it is real India that matters and its voters are the ones that the UPA government needs to engage with. So does that mean the people who came from Ralegan Siddhi weren’t from the real India? Is that why the villagers, who announced their intention to meet Gandhi days before, were humiliated till the last minute? Gandhi’s office simply said that no appointment had been granted to them so there was no question of an audience. But don’t they get the ridiculousness of asking villagers to get an appointment?” Withdrawal!
The ridiculous incident with the Sarpanch and villagers of Ralegan Siddhi says it all about his connection with rural India. As far as I can see the behavioral patterns of RG are not of one who has evolved as a leader or whose understanding of issues has evolved into a direction or vision. He only seems to have developed serious withdrawal symptoms from real issues and is happy to read out speeches written by others. Maybe his mother’s illness has some influence on that. But clearly this is a man who cannot face any challenges and is unfit for any leadership role. If there was a title I would bestow upon him it would probably be Miss ‘Hit and Run’. A man who cannot honestly reform his own corrupt party can hardly be expected to handle a nation or international issues. He was heckled and faced protests in own constituency of Amethi during a recent visit. That done, he can now withdraw to a Dalit dinner in some corner of one of the Indias.