(Pic courtesy : manjul.com via Google)
Something over the past few days has been reminding me of Rahul Gandhi (of all the people !). No, it’s not what you’re thinking. I’m no fan of the crown prince or whatever title that it is he is being anointed with at this moment. Back to the question of what has been reminding me of Rahul Gandhi – it’s the promo that TVB Pearl has been broadcasting for the Oscars this year. The lamest of promos I’ve come across – truth be told. I prefer that ChlorPheniramine ad to this promo – irritating as this ad was, it was way better than this ridiculous promo. You have Seth MacFarlane just standing there as though he expects the audience to read the thoughts in his mind. Yeah, right ! Like that’s about to happen !!
Much the same with Mr.Gandhi, is it not ? I had said in one of my earlier posts that our country has this tendency to look up in awe towards a family that has, in my mind, always considered our country their personal toy, their possession, their personal property. We, as a people, have done nothing to prove otherwise either.
Just this morning, I was reading up on Mr.Gandhi’s achievements (if one can call them that) in an effort to determine exactly why he has been upped to the post of Vice President of the Congress party. I was trying to look for a reason (other than the fact that he is a Gandhi) which would, atleast in some way, justify the party leaders’ actions in having elevated him to the post of party VP. I am still searching.
I came across this report in DNA India. Out of 244 days in Parliament, it is said that Mr.Gandhi (who will henceforth be referred to as the Yuvraaj or Crown Prince) attended all of 99 days. Wow ! Now that’s no mean feat. I put the calculator function on my phone to good use and it says that works out to about 42 odd percent. Now I’m thinking – imagine us, for instance. What would a 42% attendance get us ? I would, in all probability, (make that sure as hell) get thrown out of my job rather unceremoniously. So would most of us, I imagine. Look at our Crown Prince – he gets a promotion. Way to go ! But then again, to be fair, our country has never ever been our private little toy to play with, has it ?
He is reported to have actually asked one whole question in 2012. He actually spoke !!! Yet again, I’m not saying that he has to be hollering his throat out, just for no reason. Reasons to speak up for and on behalf of the good of the country are plenty. Our country has plenty of issues that need to be addressed. Has he ? Getting him to say anything at all, even on issues that are raging through the country, has been like using a stick to prod and try awakening a bear that is in hibernation. I’ve almost arrived at the conclusion that politicians in India have adopted a maunvrat policy. Surely it is a page out of the Mizaru, Kikazaru, Iwazaru policy. Only in this case it has been adapted to read I see evil, I hear evil but I refuse to speak or say anything at all. Nice !! I would not really have given a second thought to the Gandhis had it not been for the fact that the Crown Prince is being touted as the next Prime Ministerial candidate.
In a rather obtuse way, I guess he would be able to continue the tradition of the current PM’s office with great panache – given the fact that the PM’s office now believes in being as tight lipped as one can get – even in the light of controversies and burning issues in the country. Go Iwazaru !!!
In his speech to the AICC (his first one after having been elected Party VP), Mr.Gandhi had said “In 1947 India was liberated not by arms but by unleashing the voice of our people. This was energy behind of freedom movement voices million and millions of our voices.” True, Mr.Gandhi. Are voices in the country being unleashed now ? Voices that truly speak about a cause, voices that demand change that is necessary in the country, a change for the better, are consistently, steadily, unswervingly and regularly being quelled.
Police went after the protestors voicing their protests after the Delhi gang rape. Police went after a couple of girls on Facebook for having had the courage to “voice” their opinions on Bal Thackeray. Police went after a traffic warden in Bandra for having rightly told a politician’s son not to park his convoy of cars outside a school because he was blocking traffic. These are but a few examples. All of these people who “voiced” themselves, were taken to task. Common Indians, Mr.Gandhi. Aam Aadmi – as you would put it in one of your speeches. What were they guilty of ? They were guilty of trying to make their “voices” heard. Actions do speak louder than words, Mr.Gandhi and that is the sad truth. Sitting up on a podium, touted by the ever faithful of the Congress Party and saying “voices need to be heard” does not make things any better.
Mr.Gandhi has also said “Power is grossly centralized in our country, we only empower people at the top of a system.” Yes, indeed. We, as a country, have always been considered the personal belongings of the Gandhi dynasty. To this day, the rule applies, the family continues to hold the reins – either openly or as is happening now, covertly. He could not have come closer to the truth there except for the fact that, as always, he was looking and projecting outwards. Look inwards and tell us what you see, Mr.Gandhi. That would be some fodder for thought.
I can just go on and on about Mr.Gandhi’s speech (which was quite apparently been written by someone else) but I don’t think I can really bother. It is another one of those speeches that reeks of political propaganda and nothing more or nothing less. I wonder, I do sincerely wonder if he even understands the true gravity of the situation. To be born with a silver spoon in your mouth is something entirely different. That, however, does not qualify him to run a nation.
Mr.Gandhi talked about bringing about sweeping changes in the country. He is reported to have said that “we have to re-look things in the system and transform them completely”. Sounds good, in theory. Maybe now would be a good time to start explaining exactly how he proposes going about doing that, given the fact that our country is absolutely festering and rotting because of the corruption that has become a given in the political system today. Something as rampant as corruption – yes the government needs to do something but is Mr.Gandhi not aware that there are innumerable skeletons in the Congress’ closets in this regard ? Way too many. How about starting with the Lokpal Bill ? I wouldn’t be surprised if someone is needed to explain what this bill is, to the Crown Prince.
Mr.Gandhi had said that Indians now are demanding that they have more of a say in government, in politics and in the administration. He further went on to say that things can’t be decided by a handful of people behind closed doors. Is that not what is happening in the country as we speak ? For that matter, those closed doors that he was talking about have extended way beyond the Prime Minister’s Office. As regards the President’s Office, I, for one, had stopped considering it as a place of power the day Pratibha Patil was elected President. Her election as the President of the country spoke volumes like nothing else had or will. I guess Mrs. Sonia Gandhi should be able to better explain that point on power being restricted to a handful behind closed doors. She is an authority on the subject.
He is also reported to have said that the Congress must battle to overcome discrimination against minorities, against women and the like. Sure enough, we have seen a lot of action from Mrs. Gandhi and the Crown Prince himself in this regard too. Shedding copious tears is not deemed as action. Their reluctant statements speak , they speaks volumes. Exactly how does the Crown Prince propose going about battling discrimination against women, for instance ? Start with the Khap Panchayats, maybe. Those have always been a thorn against the side of progress, especially with regard to women’s rights and they’ve specialised in rules that discriminate against women. Would the Crown Prince have the guts (I have a better word to put in use here but choose not to) to try and trim the Khap Panchayats’ wings, for a start ?
What the country seeks today is not hollow speeches. We’ve had plenty of those. Bags of hot air that just dissipate upon people taking office. What the country is clamouring for is change in terms of visible action, in terms of palpable, tangible deeds, not inaction. There is no real point in standing on a podium and trying to milk support through emotional statements like “I was sad the day my Grandma was shot” or some such. Yes, I do believe it when he says he was sad. He had the right to be. But the country does not need to hear that now. There are much bigger issues at stake. Milking support on the basis of emotional statements has always been a strongpoint in our politicians. Shed a few tears too along the way and there – your job’s done. In that respect, he definitely is heading in the right direction.
I’ve written earlier about a lack of accountability in the country. The question now is whether Mr.Gandhi really really wants to and is game about actually doing something to improve our country ? If so, he would realise (if he has not already) that he will need to start cleaning up the closets at home first. There are way too many skeletons there – probably more than enough to even keep seasoned politicians in check. Will he have it in him ? As far as my gut feeling and my opinion on this issue goes, I will let Iwazaru speak for me, in this instance.
The question on many lips now is the same – if not Rahul Gandhi, then who ? This is another basic problem being faced not just by India but by many other countries in the world. Hongkong too is facing pretty much the same issue right now. The lack of a credible opposition party that can, just on the basis of its strengths in terms of logic, good sense and an healthy attitude towards the development and the general good of the country and its people, keep the “in power” party from straying off the path. Path being working towards the development and working for the good of the people in the country. In most places, if one looks at the opposition parties, they seem to have a misplaced sense of duty. Most opposition parties seem to be under the impression that the only thing they are duty bound to do as the opposition is to make noise, shout and trash every single proposal that the “in power” government comes up with. That’s not it, is it ? But then, just about everywhere one sees, this is exactly what’s happening. What this leads to is a lack of choice for the people, when it comes to electing their representative to head the nation.
What has Rahul Gandhi done for India, so far ? That answer is a given. I read in an article a few days back that his main qualification is the fact that he is one of the most eligible bachelors in the country today. Are we, as a people, just looking for someone cute, chubby and doe eyed ? To lead the country ? Really !!!??? Surely one is not screening for a baby milk formula ad. This is the PM’s office in question. What the country needs in the PM’s seat now is someone with substance, someone with integrity, not someone sitting there on the basis of dynasty. If Mr. Gandhi is the VP of the Congress Party today, it is not on the basis of his achievements. It is just dynasty through and through. Oh and while on the talk of dynasty, throw in a silver ladle as well. As a possible future PM, he’s kind of outgrown the proverbial silver spoon !!!