To understand the concept of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and why he invokes such adulation among his followers, one has to understand the concept of Thomas A Anderson. ’Neo’ to his close friends and ‘The One’ to his worshiping fans, Mr Anderson successfully decoded the complex world of The Matrix and explained it to his followers in simple terms. To the legion of Rahul Gandhi’s fans, he is The One – a divined entity who helps them navigate the complex world of contemporary India.
While it is beyond the scope of any one article to be able to fully explain the concept of Rahul Gandhi, consider just one example of how The One demystifies complex phenomenon for his fans. The definition of politics has animated thinkers and philosophers from the time of Aristotle — is it a term merely dealing with the art of running governments or also includes the entire gamut of activities involving the cause of the nation? Contrast this with how Rahul Gandhi looks at the definition of politics. While addressing his Youth Congress activists in Kolkata, The One explained it thus : “Politics is everywhere. It’s in your shirts, it’s in your pants”. The impact of such granular simplification of a complex phenomenon is immeasurable. The awakened Youth Congress workers, armed with such detailed knowledge, then fan out in all parts of the country and each tries to become a ‘Mini-One’ (a miniaturized version of ‘The One’) at their own individual levels.
The social media has been abuzz lately that the Congress has been trying to rope in many of its Youth Congress workers away from the task of nation-building to work in more full-time capacity on social media platforms. Opponents of the Congress have coined hash-tags such as #TwitterNREGA to signify this effort. One such effort seems to have materialized in the form of the website Congressparivar.com . While it is not possible to ascertain whether this website is a genuine Youth Congress effort or not, but it does certainly uses the electoral symbol of the Congress in addition to pictures of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, apart from a galaxy of other Congress leaders. But this is not all. The awakened Youth Congress worker, ‘The Mini-One’ who is perhaps managing this website, without bothering for the complexities of understanding who is part of the Congress parivar and who is not, and whether a few would ever agree to be seen near anything Congress, put up pictures of anyone he or she could lay his or her hands on. The result is something as below:
From Indian film stars to international film stars, from Tennis players to even porn stars, everyone whose picture could be found on the web, was simply put up as a member of the Congress Parivar. Simple and neat. Why bother about complex problems like seeking permission of individuals before using their name? Kavita Kiran, a noted poet and writer, whose picture has also been put as part of the Congress Parivar montage, has protested, against what she calls an unethical and illegal act, on her Facebook wall. But what hope does Kavita have when she is up against the power of The One?
While the Congress Parivar website maybe be dismissed as a hoax by some, another effort by the awakened Youth Congress members, The National Congress Brigade , is certainly a genuine website. The president of this brigade has received a commendation letter from Haryana Chief Minister for his efforts and it is proudly displayed on the website. While RGYB in the website address, www.rgyb.in, may or may not stand for Rahul Gandhi Youth Brigade, the inspiration of Rahul Gandhi is certainly there on every page of the website.
The president of the brigade, an awakened ‘Mini-One‘ certainly, arouses his fellow compatriots in the following words (this is a verbatim quotation and the grammar and usage of words is house style of the RGYB website) :
“We, thinking that now time has arrived to stand up together & fight till webuild up ‘HAMARE SAPNO KA BHARAT’. We inspiring from Sh. Rahul Gandhi havestarted membership campaign to join
“THE NATIONAL CONGRESS BRIGADE”
Why we have chosen INDIAN YOUTH & Rahul Gandhi as our icon!!!!
INDIA is one of the world’s youngest democracies with more than 60 per cent of its population between the age group of 18 and 45 years. With majority ofpopulation in its younger years, India is boozing with confidence and zeal andin coming years is ready to leave an impact on the world politics.”
Is it not the empowerment that The One gives to his cadre that enables them to think in such lucid and simple terms? Who cares about the safety of women in Delhi and Haryana when India is “boozing with confidence”? It is also not as if these Min-Ones’ are completely blind to reality. They can be remarkably candid about ‘The One’. In the words of the president of the brigade, “Sometimes he sounded like a new entrant but all this also comes with freshness.”
But then again, was Neo also not a new entrant and fresh in The Matrix? Yet his fans believed in him because they trusted the judgment of Morpheus and his ability to train Neo. The Youth Congress Brigade trusts their own Morpheus, Digivijay Singh, to train Rahul Gandhi well. The One is slated to campaign in Gujarat in the coming days. The Youth Congress believers are hoping for a miracle. If it does not happen (as it did not happen in Bihar and UP), they will return to “boozing with confidence” !
Updates: This piece was first published in Niti Central on 12th December, 2012.
Rahul ‘The One’ leaves his legion of fans ‘boozing with confidence’