Personification of speeches – it’s an art, distilled to the finesse of characterization and intended to establish a bond with the audience. In politics, and the sort of politics Rahul Gandhi talks of practicing, this art needs to go beyond the realms of art.
The words need to perform here. The words need to get their person in time. The words need to push the act to the action.
It is mastered not just by the masterly use of the written words, but also needs the emotional connect with the subjects.
Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly tried to sound pro-people by using real life examples and anecdotes. But the ground reality of the real life metaphors that Rahul tries to convey and symbolize through his speeches fails the very intent.
The ground reality of Rahul’s real life metaphors fails Rahul.
And by allowing that to happen, Rahul fails the real life metaphors that he so passionately talks about; that he so sincerely looks to propagate.
In 2008, a non-descript Kalawati was immortalized when Rahul Gandhi had passionately spoken about her in a speech in the Indian Parliament. He had linked prospects of Kalawati’s empowerment with progressive policies like the ‘India-US Nuclear Deal’.
India is dotted with millions of Kalawatis – living in poverty, burdened, miserable, vulnerable. Kalawati got ample attention and help after Rahul made her a central figure of his speech.
Yet, Kalawati remains, after five years, just one of the millions Kalawatis – miserable and burdened. She still works as a contract labourer and finds it hard to feed the family of eight. Had Kalawati thought of this sort of immortalization?
Has Rahul Gandhi pondered over it? We are yet to know that.
And now, Rahul gives us another personification of his thoughts, this time in a migrant worker, again some non-descript Girish, much like Kalawati.
Rahul, like Kalawati, talks passionately about Girish. Rahul talks of optimism and aspirations of the youngster who leaves his village to make a living in a big city.
There are millions of Girishes in India. And sorry Mr. Gandhi, their migration is more out of compulsion than out of excitement to make it big. They realize they are going to be a part of the grinding machinery that squeezes them out and at the end of the cycle, they return back to their shores as lesser men than what they used to be.
The majority of domestic migration in search of livelihood in India is a sorry story because it adds to the burgeoning population of big city slums and not to the living spaces of the rising multistory buildings. We cannot be proud of that Mr. Gandhi because this population group would never want to leave its roots if it gets its livelihood there, in that non-descript village.
That non-descript village needs its script Mr. Gandhi.
Have you thought over it?