Earlier we had highlighted how Rahul Gandhi has been propped by Indian media every now and then, with the same, worn out, “coming of age” title. Well, the media can’t alone be faulted for repetition. Rahul Gandhi too is guilty of trying the same stunts over and over again.
While his visit to a Hindu temple was something new, his subsequent train travel to Punjab reeks of staleness. Not only have countless politicians done this stunt, Rahul Gandhi himself is a professional when it comes to tokenism via travelling in a train.
In 2009, Rahul Gandhi traveled to Ludhiana in the chair car of Shatabdi Express. This was to support the austerity measures of his Government back then. In fact, this train was stoned by people back then, and Rahul was lucky to escape unhurt.
Unperturbed by this attack on his train, Rahul embarked on another train journey in February 2010. Gandhi boarded a fast local at Andheri at 1 PM to Dadar, and walked across the foot-over-bridge to come to the central line to take another train to Ghatkopar.
In October 2010, Rahul Gandhi undertook an “unpublicized” train journey in the ordinary sleeper class from Gorakhpur to Mumbai, to once again meet people and know their problems.
In October 2011, Rahul again took a train journey, this time the Delhi Metro.
After forgetting about trains for almost 3 and a half years, Rahul Gandhi has boarded a train to Punjab now.
The public did not fall for this choreographed stunt on four previous occasions. Will they fall for it this time? Especially when he prefers to travel business class when he goes on his secret foreign holidays?
Will Rahul Gandhi finally come of age?
With due apologies to Bob Dylan, we ask ‘how many trains must Rahul take up, before he is called a man?’
And maybe, ‘the answer my friend, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.’