The virtue of Indian democracy is that every individual has been promised a right to express his views regardless of the way it is being manifested. Even though the Indian constitution gives you the freedom to express, write, speak, it is subjected to certain restrictions. The art of creative writing is a part of these liberal rights, also a much better-form of civilised dissent and criticism contrary to ‘Break India’ slogans.
When some of our liberals give credence to chanting anti-slogans and mainstreams it to be part freedom of speech, then why not a book which put forwards a criticism against Rahul Gandhi in an ‘out-of-the-box’ idea.
Shivam Chaudhary, author of the book “Why to vote for Rahul Gandhi?” carried out research on Congress President Rahul Gandhi to help his readers make an informed decision. The book, which has nothing but blank pages, has since then gone viral.
Yes, the book is filled with empty pages to show Rahul Gandhi’s contribution as an MP. And this book has already sold 2,700 copies.
Originally from Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, Chaudhary works as an analyst in an MNC in Gurugram. He also runs an NGO named People’s Empowerment and Development Society in rural parts of western Uttar Pradesh which majorly works in varied fields like child education, rural sanitation, microfinance and environmental awareness. A regular contributor to various newspapers and magazines, he also teaches at various educational institutes.
When we asked the author Shivam Chaudhary on the rationale behind such a unique satire, he said, “After the 2014 general election, I came across a lot of work on Prime Minister Narendra Modi but there wasn’t much about Rahul Gandhi in public domain apart from few books praising him and his much-debated speeches. This secrecy was orchestrated by a certain section of media especially till 2011-12 to avoid any dent in his image. So, I did detailed research on Rahul Gandhi from 2004, as he was a Member of Parliament.
“To avoid any no-nonsense work on him, I went through his speeches, parliamentary records, his idea and vision for India. But to my surprise, I failed to find any credible work done by him on the ground.” Chaudhary says this as one of the reasons which prompted him to express his protest with such a book.
While analysing Rahul Gandhi’s track record at Parliament corresponding to former Gorakhpur MP and current Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who belong to same age group and has similar political experience as Rahul Gandhi, Shivam Chaudhary explained that while Yogi Adityanath had participated in 57 debates, Rahul Gandhi had only participated in 13 debates in the 16th Lok Sabha.
“Rahul Gandhi has not asked any question in 5 years whereas Yogi Adityanath had asked 306 questions covering varied issues. While Yogi Adityanath was involved in introducing three private bills, Rahul Gandhi has moved zero private member bill. Here, we must keep in mind that Yogi Adityanath was a member MP only till Sep 2017 while Rahul Gandhi will be completing his entire tenure,” Shivam shared some interesting facts.
“In the last 44 elections which congress contested under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership directly or indirectly, the party has lost 33 of them which is a 25% success rate. If this was the record of any other politician of any other party, his political career would have been ended. Since he is a product of nepotism, he has survived. So, as a citizen, I find it my duty to put his correct records and narrative on different issues such as foreign policy, employment, reservation and value system of his family etc in front of everyone. Unfortunately, the book which came out of this research is blank like his work and leadership,” said Shivam.
In the day and age of social media, the book by Shivam was surprisingly an instant success, he says. “Because of its unique style of conveying the message to the audience, most of the readers have admitted that they have never come across such an innovative way of writing,” he said.
Speaking on the criticism the book received, Chaudhary said, “This is not a publicity stunt but a different style of criticism. When NDTV left their screen blank, it is their freedom of expression and way of criticising Government. I would say it is mine and is ‘silent writing of a writer’. It was my way of criticizing an elected representative of people.”
Chaudhary has also been questioned whether his book has political backing. “Number of readers after reading this book have asked me the very same question. The answer to all of them is no, I don’t have any political membership or links. I haven’t even given any missed call to any party. Although many politicians asked me to sponsor this book for mass publication, I rejected the offer because I don’t want this book to be a part of any party’s political campaign but a helping tool for voters to decide their vote in 2019 general election.”
The author Shivam Chaudhary belongs to Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. Apart from being an analyst in an MNC in Gurugram, he also runs an NGO called Shivam Chaudhary is also a regular contributor to various newspapers and magazines and delivers guest lectures in various educational institutions. He is currently working on two books, one on the history of Gandhi family, their contributions and blunders and the other would be a collection of stories of 10 greatest wars ever fought in the Indian subcontinent.