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Home Opinions In defence of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra, and no, this is not satire

In defence of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra, and no, this is not satire

Rahul Gandhi's incompetence has been known. However, it is the same ecosystem that orchestrated or at least attempted to orchestrate a charade of his brilliance for years and continue to do so. So what is changing?

John Kay once said that ‘the people who own the country ought to govern it’. In India, for the longest time, it was the Congress party that owned the country, not the people. The election of Narendra Damodardas Modi bought a tectonic shift in not just the political scene of the country, but also how the people saw themselves. From being treated as chattel, to be used and abused as the first family saw fit, to an empowered majority that chooses to write its own fate.

The defeat of Congress was a jolt that the ecosystem did not expect. When one rules a country for decades, one does not expect for their ‘right’ to be snatched away by the very subjects they assumed to have systematically oppressed for so many years. They genuinely believed that they had perhaps rewired the Indian populace.

They altered history, they fed the people selective information for decades by ensuring that only their minstrels have the right to public books that are taught to children in schools, they launched Soviet style propaganda to demonise the majority population, the Hindus, they got into secret deals with enemies that the people had no idea about and stole trillions from the people because they assumed that the scared ‘praja’ had no agency left to speak up.

When the Congress fell, much of what was fed to the Lutyens intellectual hitmen for hire, their ecosystem, crumbled. The hands that fed them no longer wielded the power that made it possible for them to be fed. They assumed that the Congress would never be dethroned and their gravy train would never stop. They never expected one Narendra Damodardas Modi to shake the very foundation of the political system of the country and expose the rot that was covered up with the collective Omertà.

After 6 years of defending the Congress and blaming the people for not selecting their Knights in shining armour, the ecosystem has now lost its patience, it would seem. At least momentarily. But even in their ire, the dishonesty is rather staggering.

The Wire published an article where they demanded that the ‘Gandhis must vacate the Congress space’. Interestingly, while the headline read Gandhis, the article was focused on the acute shortcomings of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

At the very outset, it was evident that the author’s rant did not stem from genuine introspection of what is wrong with the Congress model of governance, but rather, intense hate for PM Modi that is making him lash out at Rahul and Priyanka – much like a jilter lover.

Rahul Gandhi is not the problem, he is as incompetent as his predecessors, it is the weakening of the ecosystem that is pinching the left

After spending 6 years trying to orchestrate the “coming of age of Rahul Gandhi”, there are sections within the Left ecosystem that are visibly frustrated with him. They are frustrated because Congress not only lost to PM Modi and the BJP In 2014 and 2019, but despite all their antics, there seems to be no way that the Congress can come back to power in 2024. To be fair, that is not Rahul Gandhi’s fault alone. In 2014 when Congress lost to PM Modi, it was not him who was the president of the Congress party, but Sonia Gandhi. Right now as well, it is Sonia who is the president.

Rahul’s incompetence has been known. However, it is the same ecosystem that orchestrated or at least attempted to orchestrate a charade of his brilliance for years and continue to do so. So what is changing? Obviously they knew that Rahul Gandhi was a dud and yet, they pinned their hopes on him for 6 long years.

Essentially, the ecosystem has no problem with the exemplary incompetence of the Congress party or the family leaders. What they do have a problem with is that now, that incompetence is being exposed and challenged. What bothers them is now that exemplary and historic incompetence is for all to see, and that one leader brought about a revolution that dethroned them rather promptly. What bothers them is that because they have been dethroned, the ecosystem does not know who else can sustain them, financially or otherwise.

If Congress still had the resources and the power to sustain the ecosystem, Rahul Gandhi would have still been the Prince Charming who would rescue them. With the ecosystem losing its edge and its unbridled power, that seems to have changed or at least, is showing signs of changing.

The Wire article on Rahul Gandhi, its main contentions and why it is important to talk about it

The Wire article is written by Harish Khare. While his bio introduces himself as just a journalist, there is more to this than meets the eye. He served as the Media Adviser to the Indian Prime Minister’s Office from June 2009 to January 2012 and post that, has worked as Resident Editor and chief of bureau with The Hindu in New Delhi, India.

Being the person who was close to Manmohan Singh and obviously, close to Super PM Sonia Gandhi, that he is the one lashing out at Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi in a publication like The Wire that has served as Rahul Gandhi and Congress’ attack dog, is of significance and must be analysed threadbare.

Essentially, the author in The Wire article makes the following assertions:

  1. Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, whom he calls the ‘bhai-behn-cartel (BBC)’, has foisted a fratricidal internal war in Congress by blaming the ‘senior leaders’. The author further says, “the longer the brother-and-sister duo continue to scuffle within, the much-needed process of democratic recovery and regrouping gets postponed further and further”.
  2. The main reason for the outburst published in The Wire seems to be the order for Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to vacate the government bungalow allotted to them, which they were not entitled to. While blaming Rahul and Priyanka of being reckless and entitled, the author cites an example where he essentially says that the mighty Gandhis have got their priorities all wrong and conflates the concepts of giving to the party as opposed to giving back to the nation they are meant to serve.
  3. The third contention of the author seems to be that the brother-sister duo doesn’t seem to put in an effort to understand why millions and million prefer PM Modi over Gandhi’s Congress. “In particular, the Congress has to unsentimentally comprehend why Modi is able to run away with the deshbhakti ball and (to use American football terminology) get to score a touch-down at his choosing while the Gandhis prove very poor defensive linebackers. Nor has the bhai-behn cartel offered the country any moral reason to shift its allegiance and affection away from Narendra Modi”, the article on The Wire states.
  4. The Wire says, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have ‘convinced themselves that the ‘old guard’ are a stumbling block in their righteous struggle against Modi’.
  5. His other contention seems to be that Rahul Gandhi refuses to be the Party President and then, on the other hand, refuses to let the reigns go to some non-dynast member either.

The raging hypocrisy and sheer inanity of the assertions are rather stupefying. Let’s examine these assertions one by one.

Internal feuds: The making of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra?

The author, who happens to be a veteran journalist no less, makes it sound as if the internal feuds in Congress are the fresh making of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The truth is, that the Congress party has never really been a united house. There are thousands of incidents, from the time of Nehru to Indira Gandhi and even Sonia Gandhi where internal feuds were really the norm.

K Natwar Singh had himself written an article where he had categorically narrated how Sonia Gandhi did not want him to be the External Affairs Minister because she was being pressured from several quarters, including the Americans. Thereafter, she had accused Natwar of being involved in defence deals rather out of the blue while in a meeting with the Afghanistan President.

It is no secret how Sonia Gandhi hounded and humiliated Maneka Gandhi after the death of Sanjay Gandhi. To a point where she was not allowed to eat at the same table and evidently, this was done because Sonia Gandhi did not want Maneka to get a share of the property. This is not an assertion from thin air but a tale narrated by Maneka Gandhi herself.

Further, who doesn’t remember how PV Narsimha Rao was treated? With his dead body being torn apart by dogs? Or who doesn’t remember how Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi tore up ordinances signed by Manmohan Singh as the PM, publicly during a press conference? Who has not heard of the feuds between Indira Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi? Or how Congress leaders have been treated like dirt by every member of the Nehru-Gandhi clan? Or who doesn’t remember how Nehru actually became the prime minister and who was sidelined?

In such a scenario, blaming Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for being the first to create internal feud is ridiculous. Congress has never been sans internal feuds and there is a good reason for it – for anyone dynasty to hold power within the party, internal feuds are a necessary evil that keeps even half-capable people at check.

In fact, this article in The Wire itself seems to be the product of the internal feud between the Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra clan and the Sonia Gandhi faction. That can be evidenced from the fact that all the blame in this article, even for their stand during Galwan stand-off has been shifted to Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi has not even been mentioned once.

The only thing that Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi can be faulted for, perhaps, is that their lack of intelligence is why they are not being able to control the narrative even for their own party, despite several pens for hire willing to build their image up. The problem here is the urge to market a bad product. Not that it has never been done before.

Giving to the party confused with giving to the nation

While the author rues that Rahul Gandhi has been unable to understand why millions and millions of people support PM Modi and not Gandhi’s Congress, the author tragically writes an entire paragraph that makes no sense at all except to say that the current generations seems to have lost their street credo. Even more tragically, the rant seems to confuse giving to the political party with giving to the nation, for the nation’s benefit.

Excerpt from The Wire article

In this paragraph, the author says that Motilal Nehru gave his palatial bungalow to Mahatma Gandhi’s Congress and thus, firmly lodged itself in the national imagination. On the other hand, the current Congress uses tasteless language to defend itself after Priyanka being dislodged from her illegal government accommodation.

The author really has no right to blame Rahul Gandhi or even Priyanka Gandhi Vadra because he seems to belong to the exact, degenerated mindset that the Gandhi family, including Rahul and Priyanka belong to. The author here conflates giving a bungalow to the party as a great service to the nation. That is not much different from the entitlement that every scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family feels.

A service to the party, is a service to the nation per them. A service to the Gandhi family is an ode to the over 1 billion people of India. A victory for the Gandhis is a victory of the people of India. This is exactly what Rahul believes but he is not the first. Evert leader of Congress has exactly the same mindset. And thus, for the author to blame Rahul and Priyanka for being exactly like their parents or grandparents seems a little harsh.

The tantrum – Why does Modi manage to run with the ‘deshbhakti’ plank

Well, maybe because he genuinely is one? The issue with Congress has always been tweaking its core ideology per the political winds that might shape elections. During the Indira Gandhi regime, they wanted to protect cows. During the Sonia Gandhi regime, they wanted to bring in the Communal Violence Bill that would reduce every Hindu into a perpetrator, facts be damned, and shield every Muslim as victim, facts be damned, during a communal riot. During the Rahul Gandhi reign, they allied with Islamists and Naxals. Not that it was new. Sonia Gandhi too shared the political bed with Islamists and Naxals, heck, Sonia Gandhi even accepted money from China and Soros linked foundations during her regime.

Prime Minister Modi manages to run with the ‘deshbhakti’ plank because the BJP, in face of loss or victory has remained rather steadfast in their political ideology and vision for the nation. Congress on the other hand are like political mistresses who change their ideology much like one would change clothes.

However, to blame Rahul or Priyanka Gandhi for their intellectual or ideological debauchery is rather unfair. It is akin to blaming them for running a family business just how their father or mother or grandparents ran it. And that is what Congress is, really. A family business.

The issue here is that the ecosystem does not seem to have the strength to question Sonia Gandhi or even the Congress party for its history that has often compromised national security. What they care about is lashing out at Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka because that is easier to do compared to looking inwards.

Old guard not a stumbling block, new guard is? So says The Wire

The Wire says, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra have ‘convinced themselves that the ‘old guard’ are a stumbling block in their righteous struggle against Modi’. This, per the author is a massive error in judgement.

While at this point, this would seem like a planted article by the Sonia gang to subjugate the Rahul gang, the dishonestly emanating from this piece is still staggering. Currently, it is Sonia Gandhi who is the President of the Party. When Congress lost to Narendra Modi in 2014, it was Sonia Gandhi. Interestingly, the article does not mention Sonia Gandhi even once, other than in the featured image of the article.

Rahul Gandhi is completely useless. So is Priyanka Gandhi. However, the old guard has no halo around their heads either. In 2014, it was the old guard along with rants from the new guard that cost Congress its power. Today, during the China stand-off, the party is headed by Sonia Gandhi, though the party is equally enamoured with Rahul Gandhi. Neither of them managed to form one sentence that actually made sense if even translated into a sentiment that favoured the interests of the nation.

Painting Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi as imbeciles and the old guard as Knights is unfair. Both the factions are equally mentally decelerated, it would seem.

Besides, what Congress and its playthings probably don’t understand is that the Congress is not newly incompetent now. They were always incompetent. They remained in power because earlier, there was no leader with the brute courage of conviction like that of PM Modi. All it took, was one leader to shake their entire foundation. And if the foundation, build over decades, can be shaken in one election, then it is certainly a foundation that ought to be demolished with dynamite.

Interestingly, while whining about the incompetence of Rahul Gandhi, the author also rues that Rahul is unwilling to accept responsibility of becoming the President of the Party. After an entire article of bashing the poor man who is simply following his DNA, the author wonders why he does not want to become the President.

Perhaps the author would do well to remember that in this regard too, he is only following his mamma. Sonia Gandhi refused to become the Prime Minister when she could, however, ensured that she was the ‘Super PM’ while Manmohan Singh rightly got the heat for his incompetence. Rahul Gandhi is exactly the same. He would want to ruin the nation from the shadows while someone else, who is merely a puppet, takes the fall for it.

This critique of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is unfair. Unfair not because it is wrong, per se. But because everything that Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are doing wrong, has always been wrong with the Congress. Vested interests have been too scared to call it out because it was always the Congress that fed them.

The reason these voices are becoming sparsely audible today is not because the Congress has deteriorated, it is because the ecosystem is biting the very hands that fed them, because the hands no longer wield the power anymore to sustain a massively expensive and parasitic ecosystem. Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi are imbeciles. They are selfish and clueless and wildly anti-India since their personal interests reign supreme. But, so was every other Congress leader. So was every other scion of the Nehru-Gandhi clan.

It is not the incompetence of the Congress party or its latest fools that angers the ecosystem, it is the fact that the people have seen through the facade finally and the gravy train has stopped.

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Nupur J Sharma
Editor, OpIndia.com since October 2017

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