As Rahul needs more time to mature, should India expect the leadership vacuum in the opposition to be filled anytime soon?

Congress party dethroned the sitting SAD-BJP Government in Punjab but lost miserably in UP with Rahul as the poster boy. It also failed to form Government in Manipur and Goa. Political analysts have blamed party’s way of functioning and absence of charismatic leadership for the debacle.

Party’s tally in UP came down to seven seats. Its campaigner in chief as well as VP-Rahul described Uttar Pradesh’s defeat as “little down, and not bad.”

Now, people want his name to be included in the Guinness Book of World Records because Congress has (allegedly) lost 27 elections under his leadership.

As expected, once again, several news channels organized debates about 46-year-old Rahul Gandhi’s leadership skills. The one conducted by Karan Thapar as part of his show- “To The Point” on India Today seemed interesting. Thapar was joined by Sociologist-Dipankar Gupta, RSS Ideologue-Rakesh Sinha, Senior Journalist-Kumar Ketkar, BJP’s National Executive Member-Seshadri Chari, and Congress Lok Sabha MP-Sushmita Dev. Let’s take a look at some of the excerpts from this discussion.

High command culture

Sociologist Dipankar Gupta shared his opinion about Rahul Gandhi’s comments.

According to Gupta, if somebody says he has not lost courage and spirit to fight again, the person must have the right strategy and plan to bounce back. Simply showing a brave face can prove to be an inauthentic way of boosting morale if someone keeps on losing election after election.

Gupta also pointed out that Rahul cannot say he did not take the UP election seriously because every political party contesting election needs to take them seriously. Every election is a vital episodic moment.

“The leadership image that they have put across is not convincing at all. Wherever they have a convincing leader in the state, the person seems to do well. Congress lost in Uttar Pradesh because of Gandhi(s) as in UP the party is identified because of the Gandhi family. On the other hand, in Punjab, it’s Captain Amarinder Singh. If Captain Singh would have been high command’s slave, he would have had lost as well,” said Gupta during the debate.

PM Modi promised Congress-free Bharat. He has not achieved this as of now, but he has definitely progressed towards Gandhi free Bharat as per the renowned sociologist.

Failure has become the foundation for his political life

RSS Ideologue-Rakesh Sinha’s points also made sense. He pointed out; Rahul Gandhi is an example of reverse leadership. A leader becomes mature with time, but Congress VP is becoming more and more immature after each election. Instead of remaking his party, he has become a sound bite leader. Rahul gives a sound bite to journalists, goes on foreign tours, and makes jokes on RSS, BJP, nothing else.

Senior Journalist Kumar Ketkar believes Rahul Gandhi has done almost nothing for the state of UP since becoming the Congress party’s VP. “I have covered news from UP during the last few years, and I have not seen anything happening under Rahul’s leadership,” said Ketkar.

“Whatever Congress has achieved in Punjab, Goa and Manipur is not because of Rahul Gandhi, but in spite of him,” BJP’s National Executive Member-Seshadri Chari pointed out during the debate.

What is the normal age to attain maturity?

In February this year, Delhi’s former CM-Sheila Dikshit urged the country to give more time to Congress Vice President- Rahul Gandhi in order to prove his leadership skills as he is not mature enough.

To put light on this issue, Bangalore-based renowned Psychologist, political analyst- Akshara Damle shared his opinion with this journalist. He is also the founder of Mano Samvaada.

“It is difficult to specifically tell the exact age of attaining mental maturity. However, generally mental maturity is attained by the age of 20-21.  Later on, people learn from their experiences. It’s a pity to see that a 46-year-old needs more time to get maturity,” said the young psychologist.

No one knows when this waiting period would end. Such uncertainty (leadership vacuum in the opposition) is definitely not good news for world’s largest democracy.


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