WAHT RAHUL GANDHI COULD NOT DO?

Rahul Gandhi has been missing the point – and the phenomenon is now so famous that it has become a routine stuff in Indian politics of the day.

He could not capitalize on the ‘brand Kalawati’, a grand opening that he had got in Indian politics (with a possible tag of ‘politician with a difference’), and let her be a dragging point for his political career when it started maturing.

He could not come forward and take the country’s leadership in unorthodox ways that the country needed. He had the golden opportunity of taking credit of giving India’s its Lokpal after the massively popular anti-corruption movement of 2011 and thus had the space to present himself as the ‘new type leader of Indian masses’ but he failed to do so, even if he later on, famously tore down his own government’s document to ‘protect’ tainted lawmakers.

No effective movement on ‘Lokpal’ or no effective curb on political corruption later on told us that Rahul failed to translate display of his public aggression and maturity into action. In fact, if we go by the need to set the precedent, even his family needs to come clean on corruption allegations on Robert Vadra, his brother-in-law.

He very eloquently spoke about his hatred of corruption at a FICCI event in December 2013 – “Biggest issue is corruption, it is an unacceptable burden on our people. We must fight corruption.” – while just before that, his party’s government in Maharashtra had ‘summarily rejected the Adarsh Housing Society scam report (report which implicated many political leaders and bureaucrats). While speaking at the FICCI AGM, he was silent on this report.

Questions over Rahul’s intent were being raised as early as 2010 with Congress’ debacle in Bihar assembly polls. And with every such political development where Rahul could have scored a point well above the others, something that he never did, questions on his intent became more and more routine.

Why did Rahul Gandhi took almost a week (Nido Taniam’s incident happened on January 29 last year) to call the Home Minister, Sushilkumar Shinde, to ensure justice for Nido? Nido Taniam, a 20-year old student from Arunachal Pradesh, was beaten fatally by some shopkeepers in the Lajpat Nagar market of Delhi after he reacted to the racist comments by them, and who, later on, succumbed to his injuries.

There was a visible ‘bias’ in Rahul Gandhi’s visits to places like Bhatta Parsaul, Michpur, Maval and now to Bisada and Sunped, the Haryana villages.

Where his party was in power, Rahul Gandhi took some 8 days in visiting the crime scenes, i.e., in Mirchpur in Haryana in April 2010 where Dalits were murdered and tortured and in Maval in Pune in August 2011 where protesting farmers were killed in police firing.

While he was very active in visiting places where he was in political opposition like Bhatta Parsaul in Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh), the symbolic point of 2011 Uttar Pradesh land acquisition protests. During May 7-9, 2011, the village had violent protests leading to death of some policemen and villagers and Rahul, despite prohibitory orders, was in the village on May 11 to protest along with villagers. Same, we can say, about Bisada in Greater Noida and Sunped in Faridabad (Haryana, that has now a BJP government).

Farm suicides in Maharashtra have been a regular curse but Rahul was never so alarmed about visiting the state when his party’s government was there, but he mapped the country in most other areas considered crisis hotbeds of farmers’ suicides and agrarian crisis.

And if we scratch more, we will easily come across many more such instances.

The nation knows Rahul Gandhi is not corrupt. Instead, most political commentators prefer to call him a ‘reluctant’ (or forced) politician.

In retrospective, it seems he could never set his eyes on his targets or we can say he could never set his aims for his trajectory ahead or he was never careful about his political future ahead.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

RAHUL GANDHI’S SOCIALLY CORRECT INTENT BUT POLITICALLY INCORRECT EXPRESSION

Even if Rahul Gandhi fumbled again while expressing him out, by our common sense, by the sense of the public, he doesn’t deserve to be hooted.

Yes, the political booing is an altogether different thing in an age when Indian politics has no talking points left on norms of ethics.

It can be safely said that the right intent of Rahul Gandhi, once again, chose the wrong or misplaced words to express what he meant and since his intent was amply clear, he is to be given the clear benefit of unclear doubt.

According to the media reports on his address to the congregation of the women members of the Indian National Congress yesterday, on the occasion of the 70th birth anniversary of the former prime minister and his father Rajiv Gandhi, this is what Rahul Gandhi said – Mr Gandhi, referring occasionally to notes, focused a large part of his speech on urging his party to ensure the safety of women. “In India, we worship goddesses,” he said. “But the same people who go to temples to pray to goddesses molest you in buses. Every woman in India has been oppressed at some point,” Mr Gandhi said. (NDTV here – http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/congress-needs-woman-power-tsunami-says-rahul-gandhi-to-workers-578851)

Now, that is basically about a good intent only.

One of the basic tenets of the human nature is that we all have good and bad elements within our psyche and which one plays out when and to which scale is circumstantial, shaped over a period of time.

Yes, there are impulsive gaffes as well, but they clearly come in the ‘to be given benefit of doubt’ category.

Now, by nature, most of us in the Indian society are religious and every religious person in this country visits the places of worship and offers prayers – be the person with refined sensibility on universal norms of social behaviour – or the person with no regard to moral values and human life – or the persons in the in-between shades.

Yes, we believe Rahul Gandhi was addressing to this section of the people in our society who become perpetrators of crimes, from molestation to rape, from fights to killings, from thefts to robberies, from bribes to extortion. We cannot say they don’t visit the places of worship, irrespective of why they visit.

Believing in a God must be about refinement of the character – but we are living in times when value-distortions have become so common, so as to become the regulars in lives.

But God never accepts them. God will never accept them. Even if they visit the places of worship daily.

What Rahul Gandhi said was correct in intent, yes, but he wasn’t politically correct in expressing it.

His speech should have been religion-neutral, like ‘places of worship’ in place of ‘temple’, like ‘Goddess’ in place of ‘Devi’ or doing away with it altogether.

Yes, it can be said it was said consciously, given the Congress’ history of Muslim votebank appeasement politics – but, in the changed political circumstances, when the nation saw how the religious appeasement politics of Congress and other parties failed and how it polarised the majority Hindu votes – the senior Congress leaders would not tread that line in the near future, and no Congress strategist would advise Rahul Gandhi to do so openly – so, here, Rahul Gandhi can be safely given the benefit of doubt on ‘wrong selection of words’.

It was reflected even in the media coverage. The speech was delivered yesterday but the controversy erupted only today after the political opponents including the BJP raised the issue. But it died down soon with no prime-time media programming centered on it.

Because what Rahul said was not wrong – because it was said with a right intent – and such rightly-intended ‘gaffes with wrong selection of words’ don’t make for big news stories.

While speaking on women’s rights yesterday, even if Rahul Gandhi was politically incorrect, he was correct socially.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/