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Rahul Gandhi’s resignation is a sign of better India

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So, Mr. Rahul Gandhi is no longer the President of Indian National Congress. His much awaited coronation in 2017 had witnessed unprecedented accolades and praises from most of the prominent media persons (I hate to call them journalists). Just like, a ‘Rahul coming of age’ moment was celebrated when he publicly mocked then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over an ordinance in 2013. Though it was not the only moment of embarrassment for the ill-fated Prime Minister and it certainly was not the only moment of “Rahul coming of age’.

Such moments emerged and passed. Congress continued to witness electoral defeats and mockery. Yet, the delusion of a ‘Gandhi Leadership’ continued. All the sheep continued to look at ‘Gandhis’ as their holy shepherds. But, all these hopes and prayers have been shattered with this resignation. ‘A sheer jolt to Indian Democracy’- as they would like to see it. It is these pseudo-liberals, pretentious zholawallas and Hindu haters who have been saddened to witness the failure of their crowned King.

But, in a way, this moment is undoubtedly historic for Indian Democracy. I do not know whether this is just another moment of ‘Rahul coming of age’ as someone would still depict Rahul’s resignation as a sagacious act of selflessness! However, in my limited view, this terrific moment is certainly a great sign of “Indian Democracy coming of age’.

I still remember meeting Rahul Gandhi. We were a bunch of students visiting Delhi for a “study tour’’ in 2011. We reached at 9 am sharp at his residence as we had been granted an appointment. After security procedures, we entered the veranda. We waited almost for 2 hours to see even a glimpse of this people’s representative. Around 11 am, he surfaced from the neatly cladded interior. There was already a crowd waiting for him. They had come before us. Most of them were simple looking commoners, visibly astounded to be in the presence of royalty. Men and women, some in their 60s and 70s touched Rahul’s feet and begged for his blessings. Most of us were quite shocked to see it. Of course, we were just students and were not used to see the culture of ‘Maibap Sarkar’.

Finally, he came and our conversation begun. I still recall his first few words. “Let me set down rules of the game. You are students of media. You must be used to ask questions. But, let me ask you few questions,’’ he said. He started talking about journalism as corrupt institution. Then he delved into the debate of system and corruption. “There are two boys in my constituency. They are very talented cricket players. But they would not get a chance to play in Indian Cricket Team due to this corrupt system. People from small villages and rural parts would never get a chance,’’ he said. To which, one of our friends pointed out – “There are number of players in the current team who come from a very modest background. Players like Munaf Patel or Mahendra Singh Dhoni have come from sub-urban or entirely rural background. And there are number of them. They do not represent big, cosmopolitan cities like Mumbai or Kolkata’’. He seemed little disturbed to know this. In fact, the show had just begun. Most of his opinions and statements were countered with evidences. He appeared little anxious.

Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a question came as a salvo. “Apart from your surname, what do you think, what you are?,’ one of my friends asked. I still can feel the lethal silence this question caused. Few anxious moments passed. Then Rahul muttered, “I think I am a simple guy trying to develop myself in a struggle against the system’’. From what I could see, he seemed very fond of using the word ‘system’! Most of us had a same question after this fateful meeting. “Rahul Gandhi is a sitting MoP. He also represents the party in power. He talks about the privileged, elites of the system and how they become an impediment for the progress of a poor. Does he know that he is the system, he talks about? How can he blame others (people or institutions) if he is not ready to take up the challenge even when he is in power? Does he even understand that he is the problem, he talks about’’. More than 9 years have passed. Problem till persists. Rahul is blaming others for his sheer ineptitude. In fact, problem has grown manifold. Not just the ‘system’, Rahul is practically blaming entire country for the debacle.

This resignation is as useless as the rationale provided for it. Even the statement published on his twitter account had very ordinary contradictions. For example; in the fourth paragraph of statement, Rahul opines that it would not be correct for him to select next president of the party. Yet, in the very next paragraph, he says the way forward to select new president would be to entrust a group of people. The group of people he has empowered to work. A simple meaning of empowering someone is to authorize someone for a particular task. Needless to say, that a person empowers must be the person of higher authority!

Now, if Rahul empowers someone who is empowered to select the next president of Congress; what’s the point him resigning from that very post in the first place? This is practically a joke. He feels that it is not correct to nominate the president directly, but to empower the group who would technically elect the president seems fine. It seems that he still lives in his ideal, hunky dory state of mind where no one would ask such basic questions. India witnessed such super structure of authority without a shade of authority in the last decade of UPA rule. Rahul is trying to implement the same. Fortunately, India has changed to tolerate such nonsense.

It is absolutely vital to consider another fact. Congress faced a series of electoral defeats in the last decade. This is unprecedented for Congress as it is for BJP. Congress was never reduced to such rubble since its inception. BJP on the other hand, never rose to such prominence in the last 5 decades. What happened then? Do we get an honest analysis from Congress leaders regarding the situation? No. We generally get ill-founded accusations, blatant indictments and personal attacks. Consider the case of the so called EVM hacking. Prominent leaders of Congress including Rahul Gandhi accused central government of EVM hacking in the elections.

As Election Commission clarified that EVMs cannot be hacked, integrity of the institution was questioned. As Supreme Court of India firmly supported the EVMs; even the motives of the judiciary were questioned. Congress leader Kapil Sibbal accused that the Supreme Court was misled by the Election Commission. Appealing in the Supreme Court, asking to adjudicate is just fine. But to question integrity of judiciary once the verdict is declared against you is plainly childish. Democracy doesn’t get threatened if your false accusations are turned down by the highest arbitrary authority in the country. Entire political journey of Rahul Gandhi is marked with such incompetent, childish attitude.

Consider another case of “Chowkidar hi chor hain’’. Whole country witnessed him and his party using this slogan to target the ruling party. And he had to tender unconditional apology to the Supreme Court for his ‘unintentional, non-willful and inadvertent’ linking of the SC order with his baseless jibe. Examples of such situations where Rahul had to eat his words can just go on. His casual approach to everything is hurting Congress to core. No has disgraced Congress more than Rahul Gandhi. Not Modi, not Amit Shah and certainly not RSS. Do we get an honest introspection from Congress leaders regarding this? It is vital for not only Congress; but for the entire country that this party must go through genuine contemplation to get the things right.

Problem with Rahul Gandhi is not that he makes mistakes. Problem is much deeper. Problem is his sheer incompetence to comprehend the complex nature of our country and our problems. Problem is he thinks that he can lead India with such maladroit nature. And it is a shame that no one in his own party has guts to tell him that. In fact, total surrender of your own wisdom at the feet of a Gandhi is the basic and foremost condition to be a member in this party. ‘King can do no wrong’ seems to be the motto of this party since independence. You must avoid to become a ‘Arif Mohammad Khan’ at every cost! It worked well till the party owned the monopoly of information. It is certainly not going to work now. We surely know that Nehru was great, Indira Gandhi was great. And we must know – Rahul Gandhi too would have been great in the absence of social media!

It sounds really funny when Gandhis talk about democracy and importance of the voice of dissent. Rahul has accused that entire state machinery was directed against Congress. He must explore a little history of his own grandmother, great grandfather and virtually all political ancestors. He would find plenty of wisdom there about how the state machinery and institutions can be blatantly exploited to earn and maintain power. It feels useless even to cite examples of such violations continued over generations. They are abundant and omnipresent.

This resignation is historic as it is a sign of change. Not in the party; but the way this nation thinks now. While the party still seems delusional or whatever it is; this nation has certainly entered a new era. An era of performance. An era where you would be judged and valued irrespective of your social, political, economic background. An era where your family legacy would not matter and at the same time, your humble social background also would not matter.

We surely are ushering in the age where everyone who thinks that he deserves to excel in his respective field can get the opportunity. Ground has really started to turn into a leveled playfield. There is a silent awakening of underprivileged, downtrodden sections of our society who have nothing but sheer talent to start their journeys. They do not have family legacy, they do not have shortcuts waiting for them, and they certainly do not have the entire ecosystem waiting for them to takeover. In fact, they have to struggle against every odd. But at least, things have started to change for the better.

There is a corollary of this new situation. It means that success in future would be hard earned gradually. Things would not be just accepted on their face values. Surely, someone would still have a head start; but the race would still be on for number of underprivileged contestants or Kamdars! System would gradually throw away the non performing legacy holders or proclaimed heirs.

Hence, Rahul Gandhi must look around. Today’s superstars are Ranvir Singhs, not Kumar Gauravs, cricket sensations are MS Dhonis, not Rohan Gavaskars and needless to say, this has affected the Indian politics to a great degree. Thus, Rahul must forget RSS, BJP or even Savarkar. He must only concentrate on what he can offer as a political persona just like the current Prime Minister has successfully accomplished. If he has to find relevance in this new India; he must stop blame games and must ready to adapt and learn in a real sense.

In that casual meeting 9 years ago, I heard him using the word ‘system’ habitually. I hope he knows that system he intended to change has indeed changed. And it is not surprising at all that he now feels threatened by this change…

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