There is a joke circulating on social media that the BJP carefully stays silent and does not disturb Rahul Gandhi’s speeches in Parliament because he reveals his many shortcomings in the process. His latest speech was full of self-goals revealing his lack of sync with the present political reality. Particularly embarrassing for someone who looks to foreign media and agencies for inspiration and support, the US is the latest to disagree with his assessment on PM Modi’s policies having brought Pakistan and China together.
And then, of course, another statement, “India is described in the Constitution as a Union of States and not as a Nation.” Not even a school student would provide such an interpretation of constitutional thinking. A long term MP should know the concepts of what are a Union, Federation and Confederacy.
He was pulled up by the Chair when he questioned the Speaker’s power to allow someone to speak in the House, appropriating that right for himself. One senior analyst has pointed out that the repeated references to his family’s sacrifices revealed his sense of entitlement as one who has ‘inherited’ power. His condescending and patronising tone when commenting on a Dalit MP’s status in the BJP was strongly contested by the very person he was supposedly empathising with. And, of course, the more Rahul Gandhi presents his understanding of history, the more he embarrasses his party because it only gives his opponents the opportunity to bring up some very inconvenient facts. He also revealed an unseen aspect of his beliefs when he blamed a ‘section’ for atrocities committed on Dalits over the past 3000 years. This all the more reveals the hypocrisy of ‘janeu’ wearing and temple-hopping.
Many senior Congress leaders have understood that, logically, the party cannot continue down this line. Repeated electoral fiascos have shown that whatever he may have inherited, he does not have the charismatic hold over the people’s sentiments that Nehru, Indira or even Rajiv did. The rank and file, however, realise that there is no going back to the high principles of the past. The only hope is that a combined opposition would succeed in bringing down the BJP so that everything could begin again.
Sadly, other parties too have similar versions of dynastic inheritors. They find resonance in limited pockets of influence but cannot rise to a higher level. So, all that they can do is wait for public disillusionment with the BJP. But, that possibility is pushed a little further away every time Rahul rises to speak.