Most of us have heard the fable “The boy who cried wolf”, in which a shepherd boy tricks the villagers repeatedly by raising a false alarm that a wolf is coming to attack their sheep. When the wolf actually comes, no villager comes to his help, this time believing it was a false alarm again and the wolf eats up the boy. Well, Rahul Gandhi is the quintessential “The boy who cried wolf” of Indian politics. Very often, he has raised false alarms, the most famous in recent history being the ‘suit boot ki sarkar’ jibe and the vicious ‘chowkidar chor hai’ campaign.
In the midst of global acclaim for India, in the manner in which it handled the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Rahul has been repeatedly crying wolf, going at great lengths raising unfounded concerns as as to how the virus is going to spread alarmingly after the lockdown is lifted, how there is an acute food shortage etc., and his latest cry raising baseless concerns on data security on the Aarogya Setu App. However, not many citizens seem to be falling for it, perhaps rightfully realising that it was just another attempt by Rahul to cry wolf, a pointer to his low trustworthiness.
There are other reasons too for Rahul’s low credibility. Consider Jyotiraditya Scindia’s exit from the Congress. Soon after, Scindia’s exit, the Congress’s ‘youth icon’, Rahul Gandhi, expressed helplessness and publicly wondered why Scindia did not approach him before leaving, when Rahul’s doors were always open for him. Indirectly, he put the blame of Scindia. However, Rahul also went on to clarify that he would meet him only for personal reasons and not for party matters.
Hence Scindia, who has been completely occupied fighting a lone political battle in MP for the past 15 months, should have visited Rahul, not to discuss politics but, perhaps, to play a game of ping-pong! As that seems to be Rahul’s view of what the young leaders in Congress should be pursuing….playing ping-pong, and other such exciting activities, while leaving the mundane business of governance to the old guard. Since Rahul himself has been shirking away from assuming responsibilities of governance, he perhaps feels it is too early for folks like Scindia too.
Rahul’s excuse was that since he is no longer the Congress President, hence no one should approach him for any party matters. Someone who aspires to be the PM, Rahul can abdicate titles and positions but he cannot wash away his hands from responsibilities and accountabilities. Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi), after few years initially, held no position or authority in Congress but he continued to hold sway over the party like no one else, purely based on his personal influence. Moreover, most importantly, he assumed full responsibility of the party, especially when things went wrong.
It is not at all enough to have the same surname as Bapu, but more importantly, one needs to imbibe his qualities and emulate him. If Rahul continues to display this type of ‘youthful spirit’, his ‘ping-pong spirit’, of crying wolf at a drop of a hat, shirking away from responsibilities of governance and party organisation as well as abdicating accountability while being constantly in a blame-it-on-the-others mode, it is only a matter of time when the wolf eats up the Congress party.