It has worn thin. In the beginning, it was somewhat convincing, like a new movie song that we soon forget, thanks to the propaganda background music given by the media ecosystem that now calls itself “fearlessly independent, speaking truth to power”. Like when he tore up the ordnance passed by his own cabinet. Yes, it was drama, but you do get away with it once or twice. After all, politics is a theatre. Every time he stood up to speak the very experienced “launch crew”, ever ready to launch him, cheered wildly. But even they grew tired as the lick to reward ratio grew progressively worse. Cleopatra had a face that launched a thousand boats, and Rahul Gandhi has a career that has seen a thousand launches and “coming of age” ceremonies.
Of course, even back then people knew about his lack of dedication and frivolous attention to detail. If an occasional holiday is a pastime for the rest of us, visits to India to outrage over random topics was his pastime. They knew how often he used to attend Parliament or make sensible speeches. The disastrous Arnab interview merely confirmed what everyone knew. There was no need for any manufactured WhatsApp jokes. Genuine, unedited clips would do and indeed did a perfect job. Any number of Raghuram Rajans and Kaushik Basus applying coat after coat of intellectual paint just drops off like water off a duck’s back.
Had he condescended to serve as a minister under Manmohan Singh who he supposedly respects, it would have been different. As one journalist put it, he thought he was too good for any job other than that of PM.
Coming back to his angry young man drama, he is not young anymore. Akhilesh Yadav, far more mature and smarter, is three years younger and Arvind Kejriwal is only slightly older. Neither of them tries to pass themselves off as a youth leader any longer.
As if that were not enough, everyone knows why he is angry. Not because of this or that going wrong in the country, but because the PM chair, which he thinks is his family property by birth is occupied by a commoner. And seems to slip away further into the distance each passing day. His repeated statements of “not interested in power” sound hollow because he has no power. Even I could say that I am not interested in becoming the Prime Minister. And not too keen on dating Kim Kardashian. Try saying that when power is within reach and Kim is on the phone asking, “your place or mine”.
Moreover, a truly “angry young man” doesn’t disappear every other month to Europe for a holiday.
These supposedly pro-Dalit statements such as the one he made recently at some book event, are an even bigger farce and a cruel joke. While his family servants go around promoting him as a janeudari Pandit, his shedding crocodile tears for Dalits, even inciting them to violence, was largely seen by SM observers as a farce.
I am afraid Dr Ranganathan and others who outrage over his call for violence, however right, are simply playing into his hands, giving his fake anger more publicity than it deserves. Exactly what he wants. It allows him or his media shared services centres to paint himself as a pro-Dalit leader and abuse them for questioning him. While nothing can be further from the truth. His fascist dynasty that went to Doon schools and London for studies had more than enough chances to improve Dalit lives and make one of India’s PMs. They obviously didn’t bother. Everyone knows how Sitaram Kesari was treated, for losing just once. And how the la Famiglia treats itself despite loss after loss. Another trick is to offer a chair to Dalits like an unwanted gift when it’s that of an opposition leader with hardly enough numbers to make a difference. Dalits are not fooled by that.
Mayawati, who regardless of her failures in recent elections, is one of our biggest Dalit leaders, tore off that mask with effortless ease. Her statement should receive wide publicity as it has been downplayed by the corrupt durbari media. His arrogant statement about “offering” the CM chair to her, as if it was in his pocket to offer as a tip, is nothing short of insulting. Didi or Dalits don’t need charity. Furthermore, it is immature and foolish to reveal backroom conversations.
But then that ridiculous statement narrowly lost out the top prize to his even more weird statement about an alleged conversation with a “senior” BJP leader about Lord Ram. It seems lifted straight off an article by alleged journalist Swati Chaturvedi (of 14 lakhs necklace purchased perfectly legitimately fame) who rarely writes without conveniently quoting anonymous BJP leaders “admitting” or revealing something embarrassing or the other! Thankfully the intellectual leap from Rahul to Swati is not a huge one by any means and there is no risk of injury.
It is another matter that his party, despite spending money like water, ended up with hardly 2% of the votes because UP women voters saw through the farce of “ladki hoon”. Women’s empowerment, after all, is not bringing yet another rich, powerful dynast with a six-pack of excess baggage (aka damaad), to power. It is about making a difference in the lives of ordinary women, something Modi understands far better. And the women knew. Other than family retainers in media who go gaga over “has her grandmother’s nose”, hardly anyone that has respect for hard work and meritocracy bothered.
If he is not angry, he is spreading FUD. Since sycophants declared him an oracle on COVID, he has started believing that to be true. Of course, none of them ever asked how come states ruled by him suffered most and why they didn’t heed his warnings. All they wanted was their lifafas. Now he is predicting that India will go the Sri Lanka way with a serious and angry face. Until the other day, SL was a model state for liberals. This sort of kindergarten utterances makes even his most loyal media coolies scratch their heads and roll their eyes. But then their job is to clean up after him.
One wonders who advises the prince regent to wear this “angry” mask-like a permanent fixture. Even covid masks are becoming optional! Likely some JNU loony left Stalinist that couldn’t find jobs elsewhere. They are doing a fantastic job. Modi should reward them quietly.