Young or Frivolous?

Rahul Gandhi never misses a chance to catch the eye of the poeple and in the Nehru-Gandhi obsessed country that we live in it isn’t a herculean task as well. The sight of Shahrukh Khan in a moustache wearing a white kurta-pyajama, chappals and glasses, he looks like a nincompoop, on the contrary Rahul Gandhi in the same ensemble (minus the dowdy moustache ofcourse) quite fits the chocolate boy image. With women of all generations going gaga over him, men taking notes from each move that he makes, opposition leaders calling a 40 year old man an Amul baby and Mayawati throwing him in jail, if not a political leader, he has become quite the hero! There is no doubt that the country needs a hero to be pulled out of the quicksand of bad politics but does Rahul fit the criteria or is he merely a cute poster boy with dimples?

Accordint to a national survey, 46 percent of people want Rahul Gandhi to become the next Prime Minister of the country and prefer him over incumbent Manmohan Singh. The majority of this 46 percent comprises of Muslims, women (of course!), farmers and labourers. I was quite blown away by the percentage of people who wanted to see Rahul straight away as the Prime Minister of our country. I am in agreement that the good hearted, dutiful and patriotic Manmohan Singh isn’t enough for our growth and the growth of our country, but his preferred replacement irked a little and I wondered if we had gone too far with our ‘everything young’ fetish. Well I didn’t have to wonder for too long because as I read on the same poll said the 53 percent opted for Narendra Modi as the next deserving Prime Ministerial candidate. I instantly rubbished the entire survey without giving it a micromilli second of a second thought. I mean giving his name for the next Chief Minister of Gujarat also sounds like a blunderous suggestion, leave alone the Prime Minister post! I thus admonish the conclusions made by this absurd national survey and try and come to a conclusion of my own through the medium of this article, you of course have the liberty to agree or disagree.

The Gandhi scion entered politics in 2004 and soon in 2009 became the star campaigner after being instrumental in the Congress landslide victory in the May elections that year. He represents the Amethi constituency in Parliament, he is the General Secretary of the Indian National Congress and the chairperson of the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) and the National Students union of India (NSUI). Given the time span of his political journey, his curriculum vitae is quite impressive, but more benefactory than self-earned. His family name has encouraged him, helped him, guided him and protected him more than just once. If it wasn’t for his great-grandfather, grand mother and father, I doubt if people would even find him cute enough. With the backing of the influence of his family, which is endemic across the nation, he has managed to create an image for himself and is constantly urging to create a space for himself as well. The supposedly shy Gandhian is being quite cacophonous of lately. He’s been moving around, crisscrossing across the nation, wearing disguises, sitting on dharnas and getting arrested.

Youth, land-acquisition, rural development and Amethi form the core of Rahul’s focus. He recently hogged the lime light by accusing the governance of the most populous state of the country, Uttar Pradesh for not giving the farmers their due in return of acquiring their land for the Yamuna Expressway. He not only sat on a dharna with the farmers to fight for their right but also told the media about the atrocities done on them as people are killed, women are raped and houses are destroyed. He was arrested by the UP police and later released on the Delhi-UP border. He though promised to return and continue their fight. His major weapon against such like causes (that he takes up) is the youth. With 70 percent of our population being young, the empowerment of the youth and youth participation in politics is imperative and extremely crucial for the growth of our ‘Young’ nation. Through the IYC Rahul is attempting to do what no politician has been able to do or shy away from on purpose. He is encouraging the youth from all over the country to become member of the organization and get elected on merit rather than through the age old hereditary system that is followed in our country. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you do, how much money you earn and how many contacts can you count on your fingertips, all that matters is that you have the will to change the face of politics in our country.

He’s fast, he’s young, he will sit with you, he will eat your food, he will drink your tea, he will be as common as the common man gets, but is he all there? A trend has been noticed in the actions and causes that he takes up. The poor farmer, the distressed dalit, the unemployed youth all will belong to a constituency or state that is not under the purview of the Congress party. His targets have been the government of Gujrat, UP, Kerala¬† and alike whose people seem extra distressed to this 41 year old man than those in Haryana, Punjab or Kashmir. The Gandhian who feels ashamed to be an Indian on witnessing the sorry plight of the poor dalit in Bhatta Parsaul, turns a blind eye to the plight of those dying in Kashmir, to the corruption scandals coming out of the box every day, to the failure of the government to satisfy the youth, the common man for whom he supposedly fights.

The fastidious Rahul who belongs to the Congress party who is no less or more than a toothless tiger, attacks the members of his opposition with the sharpest of teeth. This age old tactic to show the other party down has been used forever in the political history of this country. So if I look at it closely I don’t know what new does he bring to the table, except for being young. His brother, Varun Gandhi too is a young, but that doesn’t mean that we throw him in the running of ‘who will be the next PM. Rahul already enjoys the advantage of being a Gandhi and enjoys privileges that even our honest to God incumbent PM doesn’t, no wonder suggestions made by him are instantly, like maggie noodles, turned into bills and introduced in the Parliament. As aware, vigil and sensible people of the country we should not add to this advantage and let him prove his worth to us.

I am not leaving this Gandhi obsessed country with nothing to look forward to though. As the Gandhi turns 41, the gossipmongers seem to have taken upon themselves the responsibility to see that Rahul Gandhi gets married. And he might lack the clarity on political issues but he is very certain that his girlfriend not wife is Spanish and not Venezuelan, her name is Veronique and not Juanita and that she is an architect and not a waitress. Looks like Mayawait’s is not the only heart Rahul intends to break this year!

Himanshi Chaudhary