Even the most loyal supporter of BJP will concede that Rahul Gandhi plays a huge role in PM Modi’s electoral victories. Without Rahul baba’s stupidity on constant display, his laziness, his sense of entitlement, the BJP would have to work significantly harder for votes. No matter how unhappy people get, you go ask them if they would rather have Rahul Gandhi in charge. The answer would be a resounding NO.
Because Rahul is not qualified, for pretty much anything. At some level, it is not even his fault. Here is an individual of very low intellect, who was told from an early age that he doesn’t need to work hard. That’s why he has grown up to be the total train wreck that he is.
Rahul Gandhi’s presence makes PM Modi’s life easier. No doubt. But to be fair, it is more of a team effort. The Congress has in its orbit a bunch of highly unlikeable individuals, whose net effect is to repel votes from the party.
Who are these people? Some are loudmouths, who understand only how to be nasty and spew venom. Others are retired bureaucrats for instance, with shiny pedigrees, an imperial education on their resume, outdated British accents and so on. Over the years the Congress gave them (and usually their dads and mums and uncles and aunts before them) high sounding titles and access to the most privileged social circles. These people can only respond to the rise of Modi with nasty personal comments, or elitist and classist jibes about his humble background. But India has changed. Their royal insignia, their haughty manner and high society air impress nobody. Instead, they put people off. Every time they speak, they bolster the PM’s personal image as a man of the masses, and a karma yogi that everyone can look up to.
The Prime Minister has another group of force multipliers, who are to be found in the ranks of the NGO classes. The loosely hanging jholas of the latter have already become a meme, as much as their unkempt beards or their activism in general. These are the people who move from one think tank to another, wading through five-star circles, churning out one report after another on “democracy index,” “press freedom index,” “communalism,” “human rights,” or any combination thereof. They make familiar noises on Kashmir, Naxalites, environmentalism and so on. If there is a position that is anti-national (and more importantly, deeply unpopular), you can count on these people to pick it up and run with it. Earlier this year, when the Prime Minister coined the term andolan jeevi, it took him half a second to conjure the image he wanted in the mind of every person.
For a long time now, these people have been turning voters away from Congress. Most of them are not even officially members of Congress. But because Congress is the only national-level alternative to BJP, people tend to assume that they are loosely associated with the Congress anyway. Most of these activist types have acquired a ‘national’ profile, by having too many media friends. The things they say tend to rub off on Congress.
It works both ways, really. Rahul Gandhi is not capable of producing his own ideas on how to position Congress politically. So he ends up outsourcing the task to the NGO activist classes. In turn, these activists have dragged Congress towards their own priorities, which are either deeply unpopular or irrelevant to common people. As a result, the Congress party itself ends up repelling votes. Because the jester is running the court.
There are many examples of this. Look no further than the current session of parliament. The Congress could have gone to town on a number of issues such as inflation, petrol prices, pandemic management and so on. But a handful of media liberals hijacked the entire attention of the Congress party over what came to be known as the “Pegasus issue.” Nobody knows for sure what the issue is, nor why they should care. As Congress ranted on something called “Pegasus,” the government was able to pass bills on real issues such as insurance, taxation, deposit guarantees, tribunals, and even reservation. The government looked like it had serious work to do, the opposition did not.
As with questioning the Balakot strikes, or demanding “proof” of the earlier surgical strikes, bad ideas began with the activist class, not the Congress itself. These people suffer from compulsive hatred against Modi. And because Modi is PM, they project their hatred on the nation itself. Only yesterday, one such individual was mocking ISRO for the failure of the cryogenic engine onboard the GSLV. The reason? This individual could only remember how much he hates Modi. They cannot help themselves. Again, as the big national alternative to BJP, Congress ends up bearing the blame for these non-members.
This is where the TMC could provide surprise relief for Congress. Most of these non-members are fed up with Rahul Gandhi and how ineffective he is. They see Mamata Banerjee’s political savvy, they like her obsessive anti-Modi venom and her brutal style. The TMC is now becoming a magnet for these people.
On one hand, the TMC would do almost anything for a ‘national’ profile. And these obsessive-compulsive Modi-haters can provide some illusion of that. By going with TMC, the andolan jeevi types can also put some distance between themselves and Rahul Gandhi’s ineptness. It’s a match made in heaven. In other words, the TMC is beginning to absorb those toxic elements which have only cost the Congress party votes. This gives Rahul Gandhi an opportunity to let real politicians determine the fate of the Congress party, instead of unpopular, unelectable activists that everyone hates. The BJP better be careful.