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Mistaken Belief

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Rahul Gandhi knows how to attract attention to himself even if it is by scoring a self-goal a day. His latest ‘Shakti’ gaffe, and an embarrassing conversation with a pastor from some time ago, were in the news on Monday. Such incidents reveal, over and over again, his disconnect with the Indian ethos that disqualifies him from representing India on a political platform. He is certainly not to blame for being what he is – education, upbringing, life experiences and choices have a lot to do with it. He has the right to aspire for India’s highest job, but the present is the time for public evaluation and he misses the qualification mark by miles.

Why hasn’t the Congress woken up to this reality after so many revealing incidents? It is clearly that its description as the ‘Grand Old Party’ is a gross misnomer. It is the rump of the rump of what once was the umbrella organisation for the freedom movement, eventually putting all its eggs in the basket of one family that is supposed to charm the people into granting a mandate to rule over a very complex nation. This dependence has divested it of almost all the attributes of a genuine political party. It had a good run for as long as the opposition comprised rag-tag, mostly post-election alliances, or regional parties. In the presence of an organised behemoth like the BJP, which has certainty of belief and has skilled leadership right down to the booth level, all the shortcomings have become even more starkly evident.

The INDI Alliance, in principle, was a good idea. Unfortunately, it required visionary leadership from the Congress. This was not forthcoming, fundamentally because merely targeting the BJP and Prime Minister Modi is not enough – there has to be an alternative model of development. What emerges from what can at best be described as rants from Rahul Gandhi is a delusionary projection of himself as some kind of an inspired prophet. It may come from the conditioning of his part European background, but it does not fit into the Indian ethos. To merely put things together without inherent logic and expect it to be welcomed as ‘revelation’ can help put a cult together, not a winning political strategy. It is no wonder that members of the Congress are deserting the party in droves. It is clear they are getting the message from their constituents, which is not good.