Tale of a Lackluster Leader

Post date: Jun 14, 2011 6:12:3 AM

Wikileaks cables concerning India have started gushing the gullies of political quarters of Luyten’s Delhi, one after another, recently. Many of them are being picked up selectively by politically biased media houses as suited and preferred. Many of them have shaken up popular political beliefs. One major victim has been the youth bubble around Mr. Rahul Gandhi, the 40+ potential heir of the Congress maestro Mrs. Sonia Gandhi.

The India cable numbered 28056, published on the Hindu, a leading national newspaper of India and a partner of Julian Assange’s Wikileaks, on March 21st, reveals a confidential discussion between a US political attaché located at New Delhi and a political analyst and insider of repute Sayeed Naqvi. The summary of this discussion is how a section of Indian media, perhaps working under influence, have been creating a paper tiger out of a ‘lackluster leader’. Well, this is not mere an opinion. India has tasted its proof when a larger-than-life Rahul, ballooned by media, got busted during 2010 provincial election in one of the significant heartland states, Bihar. Rahul’s family party Congress had never got such a dampening defeat in Bihar before.

Rahul was rejected not only in Bihar, but in states of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa and where not. He failed to turn Congress’s fortune around in these states despite being projected as a newfound messiah of the people. But according to the rural electorates of these states, he has nothing more to offer than recurring slogans. Those who once hoped high have started criticizing him in some way or the other. Rahul does not have public stand on any of the major issues that are crippling the nation. He is surprisingly silent on Maoist insurgence, never-before food price inflation, widespread rot of corruption in administration, illegal money dumped in offshore tax havens like Switzerland and Lichtenstein, or be it cross-border terrorism in Kashmir and Chinese aggressions.

The cable has exposed several other confidential observations. One shocking, but not unknown to political pundits, is that Mr. Rahul Gandhi suffers from personality deficiency which might be due to his emotional misbalance. Many would recall this as the reason why initially his ‘protective’ mother Mrs. Gandhi kept him out of political reach. It was desperation to check fast ruining mass support toward the party that led her bringing him out of the sack. But according to the cable, his “personality problems” are too severe to function as a Prime Minister, if ever.

The Leak goes on opening the Pandora’s Box. An expanding sect of senior Congress leadership does not think Mr. Rahul Gandhi can ever become the Prime Minister, it reports. He is perceived to be doing more harm than good in his home constituency of Amethi. In Uttar Pradesh, the most ‘politically crucial’ province of India, Rahul Gandhi could not penetrate into peoples’ hearts. Seems his previously Wikileaked threat-perception on rightwing Hindu groups got him alienated from people all the more.

All the above might be a discussion of past. Millions of tons of water have flown through the Ganges since then. But what if we take a quick look on current 2011provincial polls in Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala? Surprising enough, in none of these states Rahul Gandhi is a buzz among masses. In the secluded southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, usually, regime shift across political rivals happen almost as natural phenomenon. In Tamil Nadu, a scam-hit Congress-DMK allied government may get replaced by rival Ms. Jayalalitha while worm-eaten communists in Kerala may be brought down by Congress this time. But, discredit or credit, nothing gets attributed to Rahul Gandhi.

In north-eastern state Assam, opposition is likely to consolidate overthrowing a Congress administration. Mr. Gandhi has negligible influence in West Bengal too where Ms. Mamata Banerjee has emerged as the transition leader dwarfing Rahul Gandhi and Congress.

Ground facts have always disproved propaganda machinery. In day to day running of national cabinet of New Delhi, Mr. Gandhi does not have any policy contribution too. It is high time, Congress stops over-relying on him as vote-earner, the same way opponent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) trivialized and tested the ‘other Gandhi’, Mr. Varun Gandhi. Also, this provides Rahul Gandhi with a need to introspect and stand out of the undue media glare. The largest party in the largest democracy of the world has to elect a democratically elected leader within and not just select a ‘Gandhi’. Governing a billion-strong democracy is much more complex and bigger than a family business.