oppn parties Rahul Gandhi Deserves It, Fashionable or Not

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
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Rahul Gandhi Deserves It, Fashionable or Not

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2017-03-16 13:10:14

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The truth is out in the open. The Congress party does not think that Rahul Gandhi is the best man for the top job, but tolerates him as he is the biggest binding factor. So the party thinks that with anyone else but a Gandhi at the helm, the Congress will no longer be a party as we know it. This fact is known to all, but it was not admitted till now. But Renuka Choudhary let the cat out of the bag when she said that “it has become a fashion to bash Rahul Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi must not step down. The Nehru - Gandhi family is the biggest binding factor for the Congress.”

But shouldn’t Congress leaders ask themselves whether the country needs a leader who can bind the Congress party or a leader who can bind the country? Rahul Gandhi has displayed zero talent in the latter direction. Maybe the Congressis can fall at his feet and ask him to go on so that they have a party, but the people of the country have rejected him continuously since 2014. How many more chances does he want? More importantly, how many more chances will the spineless Congress leaders give him? He will bind the party when there is a party – at the rate they are going; it seems there will be no party after 2019.

There is an old truism of marketing that says that however good your advertising might be, in the end the product has to be good for sales to happen. The advertising can create sales, it cannot create the product. Rahul Gandhi as a product is basically unworthy of the high office he is aiming for. Hence, Prashant Kishor cannot create Rahul Gandhi. He has to make himself worthy enough for Kishor to sell him to the people. Apart from criticizing Narendra Modi and his policies, Rahul Gandhi has done precious little that can repose the people’s faith in him.

The Congress had made its biggest blunder 13 years ago. If UPA 1 was ushered in with Pranab Mukherjee as prime minister, Manmohan Singh as finance minister and P Chidambaram as commerce & industries minister, the story would have been different. But Sonia Gandhi needed a goonga gudda and Mukherjee could not be trusted. In the event, she reduced Manmohan Singh to a caricature. The second big mistake was not inducting Rahul Gandhi in the ministry. In an age when even family held businesses are inducting heirs apparent in the lower rungs of the corporate hierarchy and letting them move up on the job, Rahul’s insistence on not taking up a ministry cost him dear. Like the Modi jibe about being born with a silver spoon, people too have started believing that Rahul wants everything on a platter.

But the days of introspection are over. Rahul Gandhi has to move fast if he has any political ambitions. Waiting for Narendra Modi to make a mistake will be foolish. For, Rahul thought his day had come when demonetization was announced. He hoped to cash in on the supposed public anger over the move. But there was no anger. Hence, instead of reading Left-liberal views, Rahul should sit down with party leaders and develop a strategy.

He had once advised Modi to learn from Manmohan Singh. The time has now come for Rahul to take classes from Singh and other experienced leaders in the party instead of fooling around with his coterie and the likes of Kishor and Robert Vadra. The trolls are having a great time on twitter and the memes and jokes are getting worse on social media. There is whole industry out there that finds him a very engaging subject.

He can make the structural changes in the party if he can (his father Rajiv, despite making a rousing speech about power brokers and how they needed to go if the Congress was to become stronger, could do nothing), but the fact is that the Congress culture does not like changes. The Congress needs to be held by the scruff of its neck and given a strong shakeup. But one feels that Rahul Gandhi is not the man who can do it. He has neither the charisma nor the ability. As for the binding factor, haven’t Congressis heard of Fevicol?