Rahul's prattle displays his political illiteracy

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Rahul's prattle displays his political illiteracy

A look at Rahul Gandhi’s interview to Nicolas Berggruen will display his colossal multi-dimensional illiteracy when it comes to India. The scion fails to connect with its people and, therefore, glibly disparages the latter

Rahul Gandhi is perhaps the most callow, shallow-thinking, impulsive, self-serving, self-obsessed, ill-informed, graceless and politically illiterate leader that the Congress has had in a while. His vagabonding across the United States last month amply displayed how he synthesised and blended in himself all these qualities or non-qualities, as one would say. Had Rahul Gandhi lived or attained his present ‘stature’ during the era of Tolkien and Satyajit Ray, we would have had a character blending in himself the traits of ‘Gollum’ ‘Barfi’ and ‘Maganlal’, if such a coalition of characters is at all possible!

In his embodiment and manifestations of these negative traits, Rahul Gandhi is perhaps surpassed only by the rotund and increasingly senile Mani Shankar Aiyar — whose only positive contribution to India’s well-being and to its future was his labeling of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a chaiwalah. Aiyar, as his habit, meant it to be an expletive, but the people of India, from whom both Aiyar and his master, Rahul Gandhi are cut off, understood it differently and were galvanised into ushering a transformative change in 2014.

But then, Aiyar, unlike Rahul Gandhi, never led the Congress, the party’s future and existence did not depend on his whims and articulations and, therefore, Aiyar could afford the luxury of freethinking and spend his days as a useful idiot within the party system. In short, what he said did not matter to his party and to the world at large except the ‘Khan Market’ and ‘Gole Market’ caucus. With Rahul Gandhi that is not case, he and his hangers on, his mother and sister seriously believe that he can lead the party and rule India.

But we are not discussing Aiyar, why spoil the sacred space of my column with repeated allusions to this Congress leader who goes abroad, especially to the land of his soul, Pakistan, and from their calls for overthrowing Narendra Modi. However, Aiyar comes in the context here while pointing out how the Congress under Rahul Gandhi is announcing a new era in Indian politics, this era, if flows unabated, will only serve to put together a dismal and false narrative of India, a narrative that many self-servers across the world will be quick to latch on to and propagate. 

By repeatedly denigrating Prime Minister Modi on foreign soil, by deliberately painting a misleading canvas of India with false and poisonous colours, Rahul Gandhi’s destructive brand of politics is actually demeaning our collective consciousness as Indians, and displays his neo-colonial mindset, which exaggerates our challenges before a foreign audience in order to earn cheap accolades and approbation.

In this unthinking action of his, Rahul Gandhi is being promoted and propped up by a section, whose interest and objective has been to see an India stymied and challenged, unable to move ahead and claim the rightful status of a great power. This, they try to do so by heaping imagined and unjustified calumny on Narendra Modi, the one leader they see capable of pulling India out of the crevice that it had been pushed into by decades of Congress policies designed by Rahul Gandhi’s ancestors and his mother. In order to stymie India’s chances to achieve great power status, these elements, have thus taken recourse to the most non-reflective political leader of our age — Rahul Gandhi. His blabbering helps them put together a narrative which feeds into their larger grand narrative of an India in decay.

In essence, what stands out in Rahul Gandhi’s prattles is that the people of India are fools, they have been duped, they have no power of thinking, have no will to express their choices and by rejecting his party and family, they have done a great disservice to themselves and shall, thus, pay and repent for it. Rahul Gandhi casts aspersion on the collective will of the people of India; he abuses their choice, questions their capacities and belittles their democratic choice of electing Narendra Modi and of endorsing his vision of what he wishes to do for India. As Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley once aptly put it, “The first family of the Congress takes defeat very personally”. Hence, its members and their courtiers have been unable to extricate themselves from the defeated mindset, the only occasion, which momentarily rejuvenates them, is when their sub-supreme leader heaps abuse on Modi and disparages the people of India.

Rahul Gandhi’s recent interview to Nicolas Berggruen, Chairman of the Berggruen Institute, one needs to recall Berggruen’s payment to a former French Defence Minister who had to resign for misusing facilities — others have written about in detail. I mention this here for the simple reason that the platforms or people, through which Rahul Gandhi chooses to denigrate the people of India and to abuse its Prime Minister, to defame its constitutional institutions, are themselves dubious, agenda driven and of shady objective. His latest interview to the World Post and Berggruen fall in that category and, therefore, augurs ill for the future of our political discourse both in the country and beyond its shores.

In his interview to this foreign publication, Rahul Gandhi calls the entire duly elected Parliament of India as “a debating society without any power”, with members of Parliament only “talking to each other.” In one wide sweep, he as poured scorn on our entire parliamentary structure and its spirit.

While Prime Minister Modi looks at Parliament as the temple of democracy and is never tired of reminding members from his party and across, of the need to be accountable to the mandate conferred upon them by the people, while Modi bows down on the steps of the Parliament, Rahul Gandhi disparages and downgrades the Indian Parliament as a talking shop and a powerless debating society. But since it is Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family, it hardly generates outrage, the scion is “entitled to”, so it seems, to such views. His party men, those among them who have risen through the ranks by interpreting Rahul Gandhi’s haikus will quickly swagger out with explanations and justifications, which will make his statements, look like the utterances of a formidable statesman and thinker!

Rahul Gandhi spoke of India being more centralised today than China, isn’t his assertion laced with irony? One needs to just recall that Rahul Gandhi’s grandmother mastered the art of political centralisation, trampled on democratic rights and treated regional leaders like doormats, that ever since the days of his great grandfather Rahul Gandhi’s party had championed the use of Article 356 and dismissed duly elected State Governments with relish, that Rahul Gandhi’s father ensured that democratically elected Chief Ministers of Provinces carried his footwear — a practice that Rahul Gandhi continues to occasionally indulge in even today — and that Rahul Gandhi’s mother’s locked up the then octogenarian president of the Congress in the toilet and then effectuated a coup de toilette. 

Rahul Gandhi’s knowledge of history, his understanding of India, his knowledge of his own party’s past and the past of his far and immediate ancestors is weak. He does not understand India; he fails to connect with its people and, therefore, glibly disparages them. He fails to gage India primarily because, as BJP president Amit Shah recently observed, he insists on seeing India through tinctured foreign spectacles…

A look at his interview in some detail displays Rahul Gandhi’s colossal multi-dimensional illiteracy when it comes to India. However, we keep that for another day.

(This is the first article in a two-part series on Rahul Gandhi. The writer is Director, Dr Syama PrasadMookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi)

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