Rahul Gandhi: theatre of the absurd

Date: 08 May 2009


Rahul Gandhi: theatre of the absurd

Hilda Raja

8 May 2009

Rahul Gandhi’s press meet betrays his lack of political maturity. This is not strange, but his comments and opinions make one shudder that he aspires to be Prime Minister some day. And he was projected by Dr. Manmohan Singh and his sister Priyanka, as being of prime ministerial material. 


Rahul Gandhi likes to speak the truth, or so he said as a preamble to what followed. According to him, the system of dynastic politics is most dangerous to democratic accountability and in the long term seriously damages the fibre of democracy. Is he really honest; does he say what he believes in; or believes in what he says? 


If so, he should step down and not fall back again on the family, giving the excuse that his position gives him some advantages. Because he is the outcome of the system does not mean that he can’t change the system. ‘It’s ironical,’ he adds. What is ironical - his saying that he can change this system, or that he as an outcome of the system being an instrument to change the system of which he is the beneficiary with a vested interest in exploiting dynasty politics to the hilt? 


If he has the advantage simply because of his family name and wants to use it to change the system, he is thoroughly mistaken. The system cannot work against itself. He should opt out of the system; prove his honesty by stepping down from general secretaryship of the Congress and work his way up the hierarchical ladder. That will be the first initial step towards proving his honesty. He cannot have it all and say that he would use all that he has to change - change what - undo all his mother so vigorously and conceitedly did all these years?  Dismantle her extra-constitutional position, vacate 10 Janpath and take up an MP’s quarters, cease thinking that the Congress means Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka, and himself? 


Stop insisting Dr. Manmohan Singh as PM (if Congress comes to power) is non-negotiable. Strengthen the democratic process by throwing out the nomination mode and revive the democratic process of electing the PM from Lok Sabha MPs. If Congress cannot follow this minimum democratic norm, what is Rahul Gandhi promising to change in the system? He has fallen in a rut by proclaiming that he and his mother want Dr. Manmohan Singh and that there is no compromise on this. Is that the verbal expression of one who believes in democracy and intends to change the system? 


There seems to be a dichotomy between words and intentions. How many years did he slog in public life for the people, and sweat it out to earn his position? He can walk into the PM’s office and demand that the NREGS be extended and the number of beneficiaries doubled. As a mere MP he can do this, when Ministers wait for a meeting with the PM. The media splashes his sound bytes and gives him points for his boldness and concern for the poor - to demand this from the PM. His programmes across the country are well planned with hundreds of foot soldiers smoothing his path. Do others have such facilities? 


If MS University in Vadodara denied him permission to address students, for security reasons, or simply because he cannot be an exception, Rahul can decide to walk into the canteen and interact with students. He need not worry about finances all his life - did he earn that through the sweat of his brow?

A change agent?


On Quattrocchi, he states it is a dead issue. It may be dead for him, but not for the people of India who see in it the conspiracy and deception wrought on them by the Gandhis; the misuse and abuse of power, and of Central agencies.


How is ‘Q’ more important than the people of India to whom he and his sister plead for votes? It is just not the amount of money, but the process of scuttling the whole affair, that proves that the Gandhis have something to hide and that they used government agencies and the Indian government for this. This is substantiated when Rahul says that not only the CBI, but other agencies, are also pressurized by the government. To Rahul it is natural for those in power to put their persons in these agencies. I don’t think these are words of a change agent. So we can take it that Naveen Chawla’s appointment also falls under such a ‘natural’ process. 


Doesn’t that subvert the whole fairness and independence of the Election Commission? It is one thing to put your own persons - who are known for fairness - but it is another thing to defy the advice and recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner and put in public office one incapable to rising above nepotism and affiliations of friendship and obligations.

The Press meet was an occasion for Rahul Gandhi to make a partial confessional statement. In the Catholic Church, there is the sacrament of Confession in which the penitent enumerates his/her sins and begs forgiveness on condition that he/she is truly sorry and will not repeat them. These are the two conditions to obtain absolution (forgiveness), symbolized by the priest making the sign of the cross and telling the penitent ‘go in peace your sins are forgiven.’ But absolution becomes valid only on one more condition - a penance is imposed. 


What penance?


For the Gandhis, the penance is to really live true ‘renunciation’ - quit the political scene of India, not keep muddling and meddling, abusing and misusing the dynasty. Only then can the system be changed. Heavens will not fall if the Gandhis start from the scratch and work their way up. Rajiv Gandhi came to power in tragic circumstances, when the country was still numbed with the loss of its PM, assassinated within her compound walls by her own bodyguards. Till date the nation has not been given a clear explanation of how this could happen. 


Sonia Gandhi through undemocratic means threw out Sitaram Kesri and snaked her way up. She exploited the ‘Gandhi’ name and abused her position as a daughter-in-law. She has no right to this country’s political legacy. Sonia Gandhi planned and chalked out her strategy of perpetuating dynasty rule. She had to be in power and keep the Prime Minister‘s chair warm till such time when Rahul Gandhi can take over. Manmohan Singh was found best suited to be Regent. The ‘Q’ affair is linked with this compulsion.


Rahul Gandhi wants to be honest, but is dishonest in saying the ‘Q’ affair is dead. It is very much alive because it does not start and end with ‘Q’; there is a political conspiracy and deception against the people. If Rahul Gandhi is ignorant of the dynamics of this whole affair, he cannot pose as a strategist and great planner and futurist out to cleanse the system. He must have a thorough knowledge of what he has to clean up and change.


Touchy about Swiss banks!

Coming to Swiss banks where Indian politicians have stashed ill-gotten wealth, Rahul Gandhi says that Swiss banks have existed for more than 60 years. True, but it is only last year that they agreed to disclose the names of those who had monies stashed there. Why did the Government of India not pounce on the offer and make an urgent request? Who are the politicians who have stashed money in foreign banks? Can Congress ever be sincere in cooperating, when it allowed ‘Q’ to flee India? 


The whole affair of ‘Q’ is mired in slime. The Gandhis are responsible for this as Rahul Gandhi himself conceded that government puts pressure on the CBI. Opinion polls show that BJP is giving a good fight to Congress, but Rahul the Honest denies the existence of the BJP at ground level; according to him it exists only in the minds of the BJP! A futuristic leader who is unable to read the signs of the times! His uneasiness about the poll outcome shows when he reaches out to Nitish Kumar, the Left parties and the Telugu Desam. 


He did not show caution in attacking the Leftist parties, which supported the Congress for 4 years. There is no communism in the world - only in Tripura and West Bengal, they are not bothered about the poor and development, he said electioneering; yet at the Press meet he said Congress and Left parties share common concepts! Can he enumerate these? Chandra Babu Naidu did a lot of good for Hyderabad, but his model was wrong, said the new strategist. Vague inferences do not indicate knowledge. 


Rahul Gandhi is a greenhorn in politics, recklessly faulting tested and experienced politicians with vague terminologies. Not once in his public exposure before the media or the people and select groups did he articulate his goal, his model, and his strategy. 


But the best part of his vision - develop villages and terrorism will disappear in fifteen minutes - he urges. Can there be a more ridiculous statement. It would seem that terrorists are villagers and that once the villages are developed, in 15 minutes terrorism will disappear! Look at his time-frame and his concept. This is the man who aspires to be PM and who is projected as the youth power of India by courtiers and sycophants making India a THEATRE OF THE ABSURD.


The author is a retired Professor from Stella Maris College, Chennai, and lives in Vadodara