Rahulism: Rahul Gandhi is a king of idiots and has never failed to tickle our funny bones with his idiotic speeches and comments. For example, He attacked BJP for not supporting FDI. He says Congress had supported the BJP lead government during the Kargil war !! hoo..was that a favour done to BJP by the Congress?? Was Kargil an attack by pakistan on BJP ?? And how on earth some one can compare FDI to Kargil intrusion !! Hope some one from the Congress party tells Rahul that Kargil war happened because pakistan attacked India.The whole Country was behind the Indian government at that time in our fight to push out the pakistani forces from our land. He needs an urgent MRI to find out the reason for his poor brain development. At long last, Gandhi scion and the likely Congress prime ministerial candidate Rahul Gandhi has become conspicuously active on India’s political scene. With four of India’s major states set to go to polls later this year, Rahul faces once again a litmus test for his leadership. That is , after he failed to deliver the goods in Uttar Pradesh last year where he led a spirited campaign for close to a year to put Congress back in the electoral reckoning. However, the challenge for Rahul now is now even bigger. He doesn’t only have to see that Congress fares well in the polls but also that he matches the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s overarching persona and also present his own vision of India. Or re-invent, so to say, the existing vision of Congress. But going by the speeches, he has made so far, Rahul has hardly measured up. His speeches, albeit good-intentional, have been undermined by his focus on his family and the pedigree. This has rendered his secular versus communal debate simplistic. Rahul has invoked his grandmother, father and mother and their individual sacrifices to press his point home. They have become reference points to his secular vision for India and which doesn’t seem to add up. For it reduces Rahul’s secularism into an all-in-the-family affair. As against him, Modi astride on his riots baggage – simultaneously concealing and flaunting it – is presenting a majoritarian narrative of India inflected with a Gujarat-inspired development model. This is why while on the one hand he will champion his economic success in Gujarat and seek to replicate it at the national level he wouldn’t wear a skullcap offered by a Muslim molvi during his much-hyped and supposedly expiatory Sadhbavana campaign. The blend of ideology and development agendas is expected to make party agreeable to the liberal and conservative constituencies across the country. And in this Modi has been a phenomenal success. But much of his success has been the result of the absence of a credible ideological challenge from Congress. There was, however, a brief flash-in-the-span moment when Bihar Chief Minister Nitesh Kumar invoked secular narrative to confront Modi with his first serious political challenge. Nitish almost set himself up as a serious proponent of secular ideology in India’s secular-communal binary, thereby taking the place that in popular imagination belonged to Congress. But while Nitish has since paled into insignificance, Congress, with all its pan-India profile is far from filling in the space. And this is a tragedy. For ten years that Modi has been in the ascendant in Gujarat, Congress despite its claim to being India’s pre-eminent secular party has never posed an ideological challenge to Modi. Neither in Gujarat where the party failed to stop Modi’s juggernaut nor now when Modi has acquired a national profile and now is setting his sights on the prime ministership of the country. Now that Rahul has plunged into the fray, he is struggling to connect and make an impact. Besides, his secular vision for the country is vague and uninspiring. His assertion that Pakistan was in touch with the Muslim victims of Muzaffarnagar riots was like charging them of more wrong rather than assuring them of redressal and justice. Rahul has so far either been reluctant or has failed to straddle the Hindu-Muslim divide. What India needs is a leader who re-invigorates secularism-communalism debate and highlights the pitfalls of Modi’s idea of India. India needs a leader who also redefines and re-invents the concept of secularism, not as a vote-bank identity as is the case now but as a live, everyday creed and ethic that also informs India’s institutions. The secularism that Rahul is iterating continues to be steeped in electoral calculations. And this is why he is not convincing unlike Modi.
* Throwing a spotlight on some Rahulism
Being in the public light for a major part of waking moments is a not an easy job for the politicians. Every word every gesture has to be measured and deliberated. But even the seasoned ones lose it once in a while. As Rahul Gandhi the Congress vice-president is finding out. Though not in the same class as a Dan Quayle the erstwhile American vice-president or President George Bush; Rahul is, nevertheless frenetically pushing the envelope.
CII summit, New Delhi (April 2013) There is a tendency to look at India as a country. If you go back 1,000 or 2,000 years, India is actually energy. It is a force. It came from Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati. As this energy goes abroad, you are our people who will tell everyone what this energy is all about. It’s this energy that’s driving us. Interaction with professionals, Ahmedabad (Feb 2009) Gujarat is bigger than the United Kingdom, to give you an idea. In fact, India is bigger than Europe and the United States put together.
Speech on nuke deal in Parliament (March 2009) I spoke about two poor families – one of them was called Mrs Kala. Mrs Kala said she had diversified her income sources and used that to bring up her nine children. Nuclear energy acts as Kala’s main crop. The problem is the way our nuclear industry is positioned. Our scientists are tied because they do not have fuel, investment and technology. I’m proud to say Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has recognised the problem as well as the potential solution. Interaction with media, Kolkata (Sept 2013) Politics is everywhere. It’s in your shirt, your pants. Politics is everywhere. That is the problem with youngsters these days. This is a fundamental problem and we are trying to solve this problem.
A reaction to Anna Hazare’s agitation at Ram Lila Maidan, New Delhi (Aug 2011) The real question is can we take up the battle against corruption? There are no simple solutions. It requires a firm political will. Annaji has expressed the same sentiments. The question before us is whether we are prepared to take corruption head on. Lokpal Bill cannot be a substitute to fighting corruption. Chairing a talk on future of the Internet, JNU campus, New Delhi Jan 2013) Stop asking politicians what they would do. Start asking yourself what you would do. That’s how the country will move forward.
A meeting with students of LN Mishra university, Darbhanga, Bihar (Aug 2011) If the country has to change, Gujarat has to change – a comment that sparked an uproar and resulted in his exiting the meeting midway. His correction: ‘Galti se Gujarat bol diya Bihar ke bajaaye’ (By mistake I said Gujarat instead of Bihar). Indian Institute of Information Technology convocation, Amethi (Nov 2011) I would like to talk about the big picture. Here’s the big picture. When we started 60 years ago, we were not connected. No roads, no schools and no healthcare. Villages were not speaking to each other. The energy of India, which lies within people, was not talking to each other. We’ve been able to connect Indians. We started out as a poor nation where everybody was poor.
CII summit, New Delhi (April 2013) There are people doing yoga in New York and dancing around, that’s Indian power. You go to a night club somewhere in Spain and there’s Amitabh Bachchan on the screen there, dancing around. That’s the power of India. That’s the power of Indian people. Congress workshop on social media, New Delhi If India is a computer, Congress is its default program. Congress comes natural to India’s ethos. Here, anger and aggression are not appreciated.
CII summit, New Delhi (April 2013) Optimism for me is like India. It is bursting with dreams and fearless ideas, brave ideas. Millions and millions of youngsters are struggling every day with optimism. CII summit, New Delhi (April 2013) We have to provide the roads on which our dreams are paved. And these roads can’t have potholes. They can’t break down in six months. They have to be big roads because they are going to carry strong people, strong forces
A reaction just after the Mumbai attacks (July 2011) It is difficult to prevent every single terror attack. If the US can’t prevent terror attacks, how can we? The war is taking place. Not in the US, but on them. The war has moved. They are losing people in Afghanistan. We can stop 99 per cent of attacks, but one per cent may get through. Chairing a talk by Internet founder Vint Cerf, JNU, New Delhi (Jan 2013) Every situation that Indian person finds himself in is extremely complex. We have to deal with the red lights. As young leaders here have to deal with senior with senior leaders, suddenly someone disrupts your entire life. Everything happens, sort of, according to your karma, it’s all random.
CII summit, New Delhi (April 2013) We need to empower everybody, not one person, not almost everybody, but everybody. CII summit, New Delhi (April 2013) I went to University in 1991. I remember nobody thought of India. I remember conversations where people would laugh and say, ‘Do you have elephants on the road?’ Nobody is saying that today. A huge part of it is because of you people.
During a talk in Allahabad on ‘Culture, Deepening Democracy and Most Marginalised Communities’ (Aug 2013) Poverty is a state of mind. It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty.
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