Failing the tests of political leadership

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Failing the tests of political leadership

While Rahul Gandhi and his party thrive on the politics of hate and appeasement, he himself has become a political separatist who pretends to be a liberator of India. In short, he is an impostor

The first part of my column on Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s imbecile interview to World Post through Monsieur Nicolas Berggruen evoked a sharp volley of expletives from the Congress and Communist trolls. Both parties, and most of their members have long given up on their past habit of intellectual responses and have developed the habit of trolling.

Their responses thus, were laced with some of the choicest expletives directed at this writer, at the Editor-in-Chief of The Pioneer and at my friends and activists who shared my article. The imbecility that Rahul Gandhi exudes inspires these trolls of his to bark and yap, mongrel like, at anyone who takes on their princeling-in-chief. But such reactions, for those of us who are in the field of narrative building and discourse generation, acts as signposts, indicating that we are on the right track.

One of the greatest damage that Rahul Gandhi has done to his party is to push it into an alignment with the most nefarious elements embedded within our body politic today. The Congress under Rahul Gandhi has abandoned its traditional space and positions and has jumped across to align with the ultra-Left and extreme jihadi elements. By pushing itself into this undeclared marriage, the de convenance, the Congress is cornering itself into a veritable cul-de-sac from which it will  eventually prove to be its undoing. 

These forces, with which Rahul Gandhi’s Congress has aligned, and whose agenda it is now peddling around, thrive on division, on violence, on bloodshed, on destruction of our democratic institution, on exploitation, on political elimination, on weakening India and on trying to wreck it from within. These forces with which Rahul Gandhi has joined hands, couch their ideologies in attractive words denoting liberation, freedom, democratic rights etc but which, in reality, bases themselves on the exploitation and duping of the weak and the marginalised.

In fact, the momentum for empowering the weak and the marginalised that is being seen today in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has never been seen in the past. Empowering and enabling is Modi’s mantra of a ‘New India’. As he points out, “He aspires to change the system from being a regulatory one to becoming an enabling one”. Efforts at governance is focused on empowering those weaker sections who, because of Rahul Gandhi and his party’s flawed and discriminatory policies, were left out of the march of growth and of opportunities.

While Modi bases his vision of governance and transform-India action on the philosophy of lok adhikar as well as lok kartavya, Rahul Gandhi’s Congress has not only given up on whatever was left of its old political philosophy, but is evolving into a destructive political machine, devoid of direction, of purpose, of goal and is taking upon itself the role of a political mercenary that will align itself with any force that has pledged to destroy India and Prime Minister Modi.

Rahul Gandhi, for obvious reasons, avoids speaking on the role that his party, he himself, his mother and her advisers played in ruining India. Prior to 2014, when Rahul Gandhi and his mother shared the ‘burden’ or ruling and of exploiting India, we experienced a decade of uncertain growth and of hesitant political direction, which was marked by corruption scandals. It was a decade in which, those were tasked to run the Government, had no real political power, while those outside the Government formed bodies and advisory councils that overruled or worked at cross-purposes with the elected representatives. It was a decade where there was no clarity or division of labour between the political party and the Government of the day generating daily crisis.

It was a Government where decision-making was delayed and placed on the back burner, in which policy paralysis and procrastination was a dominant feature, and governance through Empowered Group of Ministers became the rule of the day. The sense of collective responsibility, delivery, accountability and an active Prime Minister to oversee, monitor and fast-track essential and transformative projects was non-existent. The UPA Government “squandered away hard-won gains and India’s political, regulatory and institutional systems simply failed to keep pace with the galloping aspirations of its young people and the rapid changes in the economy.” Narendra Modi’s victory in 2014, seen against this backdrop, was “more than a popular mandate. It was a cry from India’s heart, a call for profound change and decisive governance in a country and among a people tired of excuses and exasperated by the old ways.”

While Rahul Gandhi today and his ancestors in the past subsisted on the politics of appeasement, Modi speaks of equal access and opportunity. Modi is clear on the aspect that development should not be denominationally driven, unlike other times when one Prime Minister piloting the UPA’s sinking ship had declared that minorities had the first demand on resources. In contrast, Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, had stated that it was the poor, the marginalised, the deprived regardless to which community and denomination they belonged to who had the first right over resources. However, since it was Modi who said it, and since such a statement did not fit into the false stereotypes that have been popularised about him, it had to be blanketed and brushed aside. In Modi’s vision of a ‘New India’, there would be no captive sections, sections that were paid obeisance for votes and support while their physical and material status and condition remained unaltered.

On August 15, Modi brought in a new dimension to take the people forward — a dimension which was motivating, goal setting and transformative and called for societal, governmental collaboration. He defined the goals and contours of a ‘New India’ exhorting everyone to work to rid India of the corrosion of: Poverty, dirt, corruption, terrorism, casteism, communalism, and to create a ‘New India’ by 2022 — the 75th anniversary of India’s independence. In 2017, on India’s 75 year as an independent nation, Modi insisted that the call of ‘New India’ must be Bharat jodo (unite India), he sees that as ‘our true strength, irrespective of caste, community and religion we are one India.’

Modi’s effort to free Muslim women from the shackles of triple talaq received great support as a large section of Muslim women saw his exhortation as genuine support to their cause. In Modi’s vision of a ‘New India’, anachronisms such as triple talaq had no place or relevance. When the Supreme Court’s verdict came, Rahul Gandhi and his party, some of his allies like Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and the communist parties, who habitually harangue the electorate on India’s secular fabric and on Modi’s communal mindset, kept silent, indicating their disapproval of such empowerment.

Naturally, for the Congress, which  through generations, has thrived on Bharat todo, such a vision is anathema and painfully asphyxiating. For those like Rahul Gandhi, who have all these years laboured to create a false stereotype of Modi, naturally find such an approach disconcerting, it does not fit into their narrative of how they would want the Indian people and people at large across the world to view Modi and his India.

In the last seven decades, Rahul Gandhi’s party has pandered to separatists, supported them in the valley, and secretly batted for their demands while exposing our forces to bullet and death. The mess that they created in Kashmir, the politics of hate that they gave space on, is only now being gradually dissolved and healed, while kowtowing to separatism has been put an end to.

Rahul, who has little knowledge of the Indian history, boasts of how the Mizo insurgency was tackled. Had Ajit Doval not strategised and acted on the ground in the manner in he did during that phase, Laldenga could never have been brought to the table. The clinching of the Mizo insurgency was not done through the sagaciousness of Rahul’s father but through the acumen, determination and speed of Ajit Doval who spent months in hard conditions on the ground.  Ironically, Rahul’s minions, who have no iota of commitment to India, leave no opportunity to abuse Doval today!

The list of facts exposing Rahul’s empty-headedness is long and cannot be expressed in a single column, but our case has been sufficiently argued; only the purblind and heavily biased will refuse to see it. While Rahul and his party thrive on politics of hate and appeasement, Rahul himself has become a political separatist who pretends to be a liberator of India. In short, he is an impostor!

(This is the second and final article in a two-part series on Rahul Gandhi. The writer is Director, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi)

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