Some six days ago, on December 8 evening, after much cry, after much of the hoarse jugglery, after much humiliation of the miserable of the lot that day, the Congress spokespersons, Rahul Gandhi came forward, flanked and supported by his mother and the Congress party numero uno, Sonia Gandhi, and he said (smiling but in his familiar aggressive style, though without the gestures of his moving hands) it in a way like making a grand proclamation.
And he said (quoting the Wall Street Journal*): Through these elections, the people have delivered a message. That message has been taken by me and our party not just with our minds, but with our hearts. The Congress party has the ability to transform itself, to stand up to the expectations of the people of this country and the Congress party is going to do that.
I am going to put all my efforts in transforming the organization of the Congress party and…give you an organization that you can be proud of and has your voice embedded inside it.
I think the Aam Aadmi Party has involved a lot of people who the traditional parties did not involve. We are going to learn from that and we are going to do a better job than anyone else in the country in ways that you cannot imagine right now.
And for aggression, another media report (the Indian Express**) said: Rahul said he would work aggressively to make the organisational changes that are needed.
Talking big, enumerating the grand, it would have been so good for Indian politics but for the many let-downs after the ‘Kalawati’ speech delivered by Rahul Gandhi in the Parliament in 2008.
And yesterday was yet another.
Like always, there were demands for Rahul Gandhi to get more communicating, more interactive, more involved, after the drubbing of the Congress party in the assembly polls in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
And surprisingly, Rahul Gandhi did come forward on December 8, offering his vision of ‘days ahead’ in some nicely spoken, introspective words the excerpts of which are in italics here.
So, when it was conveyed yesterday that Rahul Gandhi would hold a press conference on Lokpal, it was interesting to watch what he was going to speak, whether the introspective words spoken in the evening of December 8 were going to have any effect.
But, the tradition of ‘let-downs’ continued that evening.
The presser was a brief one with Rahul speaking what we have been listening to and what we do not want to listen to anymore (even the electorate spoke so this time). Even for Rahul to emerge on the line of the expectations he had raised when he had begun his political career, he needs to put a different approach in place now, moving in action, and not just in words.
But worse, the second public appearance, after the introspective words of December 8 evening sounded hollow even on words.
He spoke to sound dismissive of Anna Hazare’s ongoing protest Fast for the Lokpal Bill, AAP’s stunning success in Delhi assembly election being a reason behind the sudden attentiveness in the government to pass the Bill in the Winter Session of the Parliament, and thus the public’s eagerness and the sense of urgency in looking for a political change away from the mainstream political lot of the country.
Had it been for the validity of the introspective words of December 8 evening, he should have accepted honestly that these developments indeed were the primary factors behind the sudden spurt in the attentiveness to get the Lokpal Bill passed.
Instead, once again, he chose to shield the empty rhetoric of ‘everything good in India is by Congress’ with empty claims of Congress enacting the RTI Act and UPA’s other anti-corruption efforts. Listening to such claims again and again, from representatives of a government that is undoubtedly the most corrupt of the governments in India, makes all this so disconcerting, and goes directly against Rahul Gandhi.
When would Rahul Gandhi and the Team Rahul Gandhi understand it?
When would Rahul Gandhi and his team of strategists understand that they need to stop treating the voters as the perennial fools who cannot not think why the RTI Act took two decades of struggle to get passed and why the Lokpal Bill is still not there even after over four decades of ‘history of debacles’ in spite of Congress being in the government most of the time?
Accepting the faults gracefully and moving ahead accordingly (not just in words) would make him more acceptable among the youth and larger population base and he needs to realize it soon.
The humiliating defeat of the grand old party of India, the Congress party, in the recently concluded assembly elections, was yet another warning call for the party strategists. But are there any takers?
..message taken with heart..expectations..transformation..pushing aggressively..the words spoken on December 8 evening and now comes the December 14 afternoon!
This evening’s presser by Rahul Gandhi, flanked by some senior ministers of the Manmohan Singh government says NO.
Certainly not a way to involve the ‘Aam Aadmi’, the common man of India, in the changing times!
Certainly not a way to a more involved, more participative Rahul Gandhi!
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/