Monday, 28 March 2011

The Dynasty Dying Nasty?- Rahul belies his critics

This is a link to an article in the Hindu about an American diplomat's unfavourable assessment of Rahul Gandhi- based on scuttlebutt provided by the infamous Nachiketas Kapur.

Apart from the canard that Rahul, albeit only 'with the aid of his foreign friends' well-wishers and members of the International Sperm Donor community  had managed to rape some Congress Worker's daughter- a libel the unsporting Allahabad High Court has punished with a large fine- this Wikileak is the only positive reinforcer of Rahul's image I know off to date.

 Opining that Rahul is ‘out of touch,' Kapoor noted that he has ‘no close friends or advisors,' and that his own staff keeps him ‘at arm's length' as he is ‘arrogant and rude and doesn't accept guidance from anyone.' Kapoor exclaimed that Rahul ‘has no future, no talent for politics and will never be PM, as he has done nothing for the past three years.'

Is it just me, or is anyone else warming to Rahul? That he has 'no close friends', in that snake-pit, and 'accepts no guidance' from those reptiles, is the soundest recommendation for high office that I know off.

I suppose his Mother's strategy is to make him the Congress supremo once, by pendulum politics, they are out of power- replaced perhaps by a fragile coalition.  Rahul then finds an atrocity- like the Bhagalpur blindings that put his Grandmother back on the path to power- to focus on and launches a sort Midlothian campaign. Since Rahul has kept his powder dry with respect to the Left, and since a shake out in India is inevitable over the next few years, Big business, which Mrs. Gandhi had humbled and reduced to a cypher, will have no option but to rally to Rahul, showering largesse upon him on a scale previously unimaginable.  Commercial TV stations will have to jump on the bandwagon to keep their sponsors- but also their youth demographic- on side.
The result- Rahul wins the sort of landslide his father did in his incarnation as 'Mr. Clean'. But, if Rahul can gain a majority at the centre and if the corruption inevitable under coalition government is seen to be curbed then Rahul really will be- as in Bahaguna's slogan 'Indira is India'- the  incarnation of the Rashtra- his position unassailable.
In many senses, it was Indira's lurch to the Right in the 80's which wrong-footed the Nehru-Gandhi brand. Vajpayee and Advani, actually quite secular in their thinking, could not stand by impotently watching the  vastrapaharanam of  Congress stealing their clothes. But, Babri- which defined the politics of the Nineties- was a historical cul de sac except in so far as it provided a way of navigating around the great road-block of Mandal for the Sangh Parivar- which, all credit to them, they successfully managed. 

Now, the real issue facing the country is how to devolve power, achieve subsidiarity, and make welfarism sustainable by curbing grass-roots corruption. It may be that Rahul, the only dynast who was born knowing he'd be P.M, will want to 'reign rather than rule'- or at least delegate effectively and make the Prime Minister's office something other than a moral Procrustean bed. 

If that is so, if Rahul is the first person to have devoted his entire life to considering how to make the P.M's office both effective and free of taint, then, the odd thing is, when he finally ascends to that high eminence, even his critics will feel a great sense of relief.
 Whether anyone can rule India effectively is, of course, another question.

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