Immature young leader
With family suffering tragedy, Rahul Gandhi’s callous attitude is unbecoming of him
Being Rahul Gandhi must not be easy. It is not easy being born into such wealth and privilege. It is not easy being the scion of India’s first family. And it is definitely not easy when you decide that you want to become a public personality. Make no mistakes, despite the stories of ‘poor Rahul’ being forced into doing something he does not want to do, there is enough evidence to the contrary: That Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi wants to be a politician and that he wants to lead the Indian National Congress like his mother, father, uncle, grandmother and great-grandfather before him. That said, his forebears knew it is not easy being a politician, particularly in a country so vast as India. And being a politician involves a lot of interaction with the public, after all the public votes for you. On that front, Rahul Gandhi has taken large strides as a politician over the past few years. His ideas and public speaking might remain weak and his party cadre gutted, but he is not down for the count as yet. Yet, he must keep his father and grandmother’s tragic deaths in mind when he goes out in public. Whether it is to meet the voting public and raise issues like a responsible Opposition politician or when he travels abroad for some downtime. There is no doubt that Rahul Gandhi is entitled to his private life and to enjoy himself as every individual is. But he cannot do either thing at the cost of his personal security. He has chosen this path for himself, unlike many children of prominent politicians in other democracies. Part of the price that he has to pay for having chosen this path is constant protection whether in India or abroad. The Special Protection Group security must seem stifling at times and Rahul Gandhi’s complaints about the armoured cars being stuffy probably do have an element of truth. Yet, his recklessness with his security detail is unbecoming of him and while many other public personalities, such as film actors and sportspersons, can enjoy a degree of anonymity abroad, the same cannot apply here, as unlike them, Rahul Gandhi is protected on the public exchequer.
The simple fact is that there are threats to the lives of most of India’s top politicians today from both internal and external forces and the same applies doubly so to Rahul Gandhi — one of the two most important people in the Opposition. If an attack were to happen, his party would waste no time to blame the Union Government as they have done with the recent stone-pelting incident in Gujarat. And while the Gujarat Government must bring the perpetrators to book, Rahul Gandhi’s callous attitude towards his personal security is rightly being highlighted.
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