Vision and Mission of Rahul Gandhi – Updated

Politically Incorrect

Background

One of the things that serious political commentators in India have done over the years is to continuously question Rahul Gandhi for not having a vision for India. This healthy criticism of Rahul Gandhi acquires a mocking tone when the voices are from the right of center political forces and some times even derisive when they are from BJP inclined commentators. Those on social media, like Twitter, take special fun in mocking Rahul Gandhi ( I myself plead guilty to this charge).

However, lately I have been reading a profile of Rahul Gandhi and realized that most of this criticism is bunk. Rahul Gandhi, over the years, through his public pronouncements, has not only laid out a stunning vision for India but has also enunciated specific ideas to solve our most pressing problems.

Below, I am going to produce some of the most important pronouncements of Rahul Gandhi on various policy issues facing India. Looked holistically, they offer a comprehensive vision into the mind of Rahul…

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Rahul “The One” Gandhi and his “boozing with confidence” fans.

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” !

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Updates: This piece was first published in Niti Central on 12th December, 2012.

Rahul ‘The One’ leaves his legion of fans ‘boozing with confidence’

Vision and Mission of Rahul Gandhi – Updated

Background

One of the things that serious political commentators in India have done over the years is to continuously question Rahul Gandhi for not having a vision for India. This healthy criticism of Rahul Gandhi acquires a mocking tone when the voices are from the right of center political forces and some times even derisive when they are from BJP inclined commentators. Those on social media, like Twitter, take special fun in mocking Rahul Gandhi ( I myself plead guilty to this charge).

However, lately I have been reading a profile of Rahul Gandhi and realized that most of this criticism is bunk. Rahul Gandhi, over the years, through his public pronouncements, has not only laid out a stunning vision for India but has also enunciated specific ideas to solve our most pressing problems.

Below, I am going to produce some of the most important pronouncements of Rahul Gandhi on various policy issues facing India. Looked holistically, they offer a comprehensive vision into the mind of Rahul Gandhi and how he might govern India should he become Prime Minster.  The quotes, taken from his public pronouncements, are verbatim without any editorializing or contextualizing, so as to not, in any way, prejudice the reader. Each quote is also followed by a link to a very authentic source from where it has been taken so that they are verifiable and not disputed by his critics.

Rahul Gandhi and his Mission

  • How to solve terrorism: “I am confident that this country can take on terrorism. Defeating it is no problem. If we empower those people in villages, we can sit back, relax and we will destroy terrorism in 15 minutes”. ( link )
  • Idea of India“China is referred to as the ‘dragon’ and India as an ‘elephant’. But we are not an elephant, we are a ‘beehive’. ( link )
  • On legacy of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty: “You know that when any member of my family had decided to do anything, he does it. Be it the freedom struggle, the division of Pakistan or taking India into the 21st Century.” ( link )
  • On the most serious terrorist threat to India : “more than Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) , the bigger threat (to India) may be the growth of radicalized Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community”  ( link )
  • World Geography: Gujarat is bigger than United Kingdom and India is bigger than Europe and US put together. “ ( link ; timer mark : 5:05 to 5:40)
  • Philosophical view of politics: “Politics is everywhere. It’s in your shirts, it’s in your pants”. ( link )
  • On UP economic situation: “For how long, will you beg in Maharashtra or work as labourers in Punjab?” ( link )
  • On Punjab social situation: “10 out of 7…..err…..7 out out 10 youth in Punjab are drug addicts” ( link  )
  • FDI in Retail: “What does FDI mean? Very simple. Giving money to farmer”  ( link )
  • Definition of poverty: “I have asked bureaucrats, define poverty. A rural woman defined it to me: poverty has 1 cure: self- confidence” ( link )
  • India’s Freedom Struggle: “In Jhansi, I see Rani ki Jhansi. She is a hero.” ( link )

Rahul Gandhi’s Grand Vision for India : 

“Last century (20th century) was dominated by Saudi Arabia. India is the Saudi Arabia of the 21st century.” ( link , link )

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Rahul Gandhi – The leader India awaits 

It is quite clear from the above, that Rahul Gandhi has policy formulations on specific issues, such as ways to solve the vexatious problem of terrorism. In fact his solution is so brilliant that we just have to “sit back and relax” as terrorism self destructs itself in 15 minutes flat-out. Not only this, Rahul Gandhi has a philosophical explanation of what constitutes good politics and understands it in granular detail including and up to the level of our shirts and pants (and away from shallow concepts like public service in cause of the nation etc).

Rahul Gandhi also has a unique understanding of India history and correctly establishes that his family, and his family alone, achieved freedom for India by defeating the mighty British empire. It is this insider perspective to India’s freedom struggle that also enables him to see Lakshmibai as “Rani ki Jhansi” and not by the dubious title bestowed on her by colonial historians as “Jhasni ki Rani”.

Rahul Gandhi’s Idea of India – “India is a beehive” – is very well thought, neat, simple and away from the highfalutin seen in OpEd pages. It is not only perfect for 21st century India but also carries forward the vision of India’s greatest Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. Just as in a beehive there are worker bees and queen bees, so too in this Idea of India there are princes and then there are workers – workers who are ready to sweep the floor or shoot to kill on just a nod.

But more than the above, Rahul Gandhi has a Grand Vision of India. This vision is derived from  history and promises a dream future. Debunking the carefully constructed propaganda that 20th century belonged to USA, he rightly credits Saudi Arabia for being the undisputed leader of mankind in 20th century. And thus his vision – India should be the Saudi Arabia of 21st century. What could be more grand than that?

Finally, I hope that this post dismantles, once and for all, the canard spread that we do not know what Rahul Gandhi stands for. It is time the BJP inspired forces looked within and stopped their calumny. While clearly they cannot match the breadth of Rahul Gandhi’s vision, the least they can do is learn some decency and humility from the man himself.

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PS: It is obvious that this is not a comprehensive listing of Rahul Gandhi’s life and times. The post will be updated as and when the great man speaks next.