Voicing reservations over Rahul Gandhi’s elevation as Congress president, the former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit, on Tuesday, said there was “scepticism” over his leadership qualities. She pitched for Sonia Gandhi instead. She doesn’t think the 44-year-old darling of the nation has the head required to manage India’s oldest national party.
Well, isn’t she absolutely right?
It’s just been a day since he showed up after absconding for close to two months. Is it even acceptable? He is an elected member of parliament, he represents a constituency. He is responsible and answerable to his people. In an interview last year to a leading news channel, he had said ‘it’s important for a leader to be transparent with his people.’ Can such irresponsible, childish behaviour be considered virtuous and transparent? The cloud of secrecy around his whereabouts was shocking. Why did Congress keep it confidential? It simply does not make any sense.
The Congress party itself is undergoing some heavy infighting. There are clearly two factions. One is backing Sonia and the younger generation leaders are with Rahul. There is struggle for supremacy. No one knows, except, of course, for the insiders what the equation between the mother and son is. It must be strained, subdued.
Rahul Gandhi’s elitist attitude and shameful conduct is a slap on the face of ordinary citizens. He is doing whatever he wants to do, whenever he wants to do and feels there is no need to explain. He harbours an exaggerated sense of self-worth. Many critics believe that Rahul Gandhi has neither the ideas nor the energy to initiate a change. He appears to be in hallucination in his TV interviews. How else can one explain the narrative he engages in?
‘Poverty is a state of mind’, ‘Escape velocity is needed’ for Dalits to overcome challenges. What kind of statements are these? He is surely in trance!
He has tried to show affinity with the poor people by indulging them. He has slept in their huts. He has eaten food with them. He has promised them the world. After that, he disappears, never to see the same faces again. He appears in bursts and ends up becoming the subject of ridicule on twitter, Facebook and across all social platforms.
He is impulsive and emotionally-driven, two of the most damaging characteristics in a leader. He reacts and makes impromptu decisions – as was reflected when he barged into Ajay Maken’s press conference and openly criticized his own government and PM’s decision to go against the Supreme Court’s verdict of penalizing criminal politicians. Or perhaps this was a political gambit that backfired?
There are innumerable instances that reflect his mental disabilities. In a much-anticipated TV exclusive on Times Now, he came out with lots of vigour and conviction to take on Arnab Goswami. In the end, he had become the laughing stock of the nation. His opinion on social, political and other issues sound amateurish and ill-informed. He has never had any clue what he is talking about.
He sleeps during parliament sessions. He gives silly, self-destructive statements that most of the time either embarrasses the party or incites public anger.
Leadership requires a deep understanding of ‘politics’, it requires visionary ideas and they come only through experience, wisdom and great effort. He has to connect with people, naturally, and not as a chore. He should possess a sound understanding of the various aspects of governance. Rahul Gandhi has none of the above.
He is simply passing time and enjoying the perks of being a Gandhi scion. He is not even interested in politics, he has hinted on many occasions. Despite that, he is not only being tolerated by the Gandhi loyalists, he is being pitched as India’s future PM. Well, good luck to him.
His mother Sonia Gandhi is at least experienced, dynamic, present, involved in the daily affairs, giving interviews, defending the indefensible son. She is on the ground, in villages, campaigning for the party she so dearly holds in her heart. Or it so appears. She is 69 and still active.
When former PM Manmohan Singh came under attack for his role in coal scam, Sonia Gandhi led from the front and defended Manmohan Singh like a tigress. Rahul Gandhi should have been there. It would have sent just the right kind of signal to his party workers and across the board. He should have been there to show moral support, if nothing else more pro-active and aggressive.
Rahul Gandhi has no political future. He needs to make a decision, whether to remain in politics, or leave. If he chooses to stay politically active, he will have to go deeper, beyond the surface. He has to sweat it out, inspire his party’s ground level workers and assure them that resurrection is possible.
Well, that much is true, but only if Rahul Gandhi makes way.