The process for the formal anointment of Rahul Gandhi as president of the Congress began earlier this month. Prior to this epochal event for some, there has been an effort by the so-called and self-styled left liberal media and intelligentsia to give Rahul a makeover.
The effort began when Rahul visited Berkeley at the invitation of a group of non-resident Indian academics who wished to project to the world at large that India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi was falling apart. Rahul served that agenda well but betrayed India and instead of articulating his vision, indulged in incoherent abuse and made disjointed observations that failed to draw his roadmap.
Those speaking of this image makeover, in fact live in a world of make-believe and persist with their missions which will never really succeed.
A Gandhi family-owned or directed mouthpiece declares that the stage is set for the “Rahul era”. But pray, what is this era, what are its contours, what are its positions, what is its vision, what does it offer India? No one is sure. Some glimpses of it have been emerging out of the mist in the last few months. Let us sample a few of these pointers arguing that these will only be strengthened and institutionalised within the Congress in a “Rahul era”.
While our soldiers faced the Chinese on Doklam, Rahul was on a hugging and dinner spree with the Chinese ambassador in India. The dinners were secretly organised and the Chinese soup delightfully gulped while our soldiers grappled with the PLA on a near inhospitable terrain.
When insidious demands were raised in the campus of the Jawaharlal Nehru University to tear India apart, Rahul was the first one to leap across and endorse those who made such a demand. He defended them, tutored them and offered them political protection. It was a deeply ironical moment to see Indira’s grandson side with separatists and separatism.
When one of his colleagues and a former Union minister—P Chidambaram—called for extending support to “azaadiwallahs” in Kashmir and advocated their right to secede from the Indian Union, Rahul kept silent, did not restrain him, indicating his consent with the former’s views.
When the Surgical Strikes were undertaken all that Rahul did was to question our soldiers instead of coming down heavily on Pakistan’s perfidy. For days together, Rahul and his minions cast aspersions on our men in uniform, on their capacities, on their dedication and on their success.
It was rich to see Rahul, the adopted nephew of that late middleman Ottavio Quattrochi, it was impressive to see Rahul, a member of the Bofors kickback family, irresponsibly speak of kickbacks and irregularity on the Rafael purchase when it was a clear and proven case of transparency and saving of Indian resources. Unlike his father’s era, Modi’s government saved around `12,600 crores on the Rafael purchase.
When Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed was released from detention causing dismay across civilised communities and countries, Rahul celebrated it as India’s failure, he was ecstatic while stating that Modi had failed.
Rahul’s “Modiphobia” is so compelling that he and his party have lost all sense of proportion. He has become the spokesperson for terrorists and separatists.
Rahul despises and laughs at those who worship in temples; he publicly abuses them, he had infamously stated that those who worship in temples molest women. But during elections Rahul tries to dupe temple worshippers with himself paying lip-worship for a few votes. This is the level of his chicanery.
In a “Rahul era” all of these habits and attitudes will see intensification and brazen justification by the party he will head. Who can, therefore, honestly welcome such an era?
Director, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation
Follow him on Twitter@anirbanganguly