Traditionally Untraditional Face of Rahul Gandhi

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The growing mountain of corruption in the country is nothing but an outcome of the political system. Big or small it’s now a widespread plague and no matter what level of disaster it has brought to every man.

No exaggeration that corruption is now a common practice and deeply rooted in our system. Be it coal blocks deals or 2G Spectrum or Adarsh, the polity of the country and sensibility of the common man have taken a bow and are now ready for change. These changing moods of the common people have got a role to play as it has already surfaced in the national capital city, Delhi.

What preparation is on or in the process for the young leader Rahul? Will he be able to stand up to the soaring expectations of the public or not: would be revealed after a few months. What speculations can be made on the chances of his success is going to be a tough equation in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha general elections for the Congress persona Rahul Gandhi, the son of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi. A Doon School alumnus and an M. Phil degree holder in Development Studies from Trinity College, Cambridge.

Being from the first political family of India, he joins the national politics in 2003. Reluctantly though, he starts appearing regularly at his mother’s side at public events and Congress meetings.

It's natural as it has always been, his entry into mainstream politics soared millions of Indian hearts as they were immediately reminded of their beloved leader Rajiv Gandhi on the assumption that Rahul will be able to gather the young votes and give Congress a new lease of life that it desperately needed. In his initial interviews, he voiced his concerns about “divisive” politics and talked about unifying the country at all costs.

The wheel moves on. Rahul gets appointed as the General Secretary of All India Congress Committee and later the vice president. He takes charge of the Indian Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India (NSUI). New or not, the young political face and the legacy of the Congress take his storming tour around the close vicinity of NCR; he becomes the attraction for the sizable rural population.

The inflow of strong criticism from the opposition is nevertheless no exception on the issue of land acquisition policy. He holds up the banner in favor of the farmers and strongly advocates for making law for the acquirement of land and its implementation on the floor of the House. His popularity graph in the year 2012 and score of interactive sessions with the industrialists’ community, he talks of the several developmental schemes to attract the attention of Indian youths. His economic plan on the basis of capitalizing on job creation through manufacturing did not fetch much of the good will of the Indian youth.

In line with the government policy on the issue of employment the focus on building up large investment and manufacturing zones, the industrial corridors could not pave ways for the unemployed youth and level the ground for world- class infrastructure to the manufacturing sectors and create jobs for millions of people. However, his high toned voice for the cause of Indian youth did not stop.

Nevertheless, he gained the deeper sense of his party’s stand on the issue of economic reform. His declaration at a recent rally that business and industrialization go hand and hand and these two sectors will bridge the gap between the rich and the poor brings a dramatic increase in members from a few hundred thousand to several millions. His participation in an interactive session with students of Jawaharlal Nehru University was quizzed by the students on issues ranging from hierarchical politics in India, to his visits to Dalit houses, economic growth in the country and education reforms.

The entrance of a new climate of politics into the Indian democracy can’t be an inevitable phenomenon in terms of the changing mood of the people of the country. The emergence of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) from a place like the national capital Delhi and later the formation of AAP government of Delhi is a proof in itself that issue based politics can’t remain unaddressed and remain any more in the state of cold hibernation.

Simplicity is and has always been in the veins of our great leaders and social reformers of India. The simplicity of the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is nothing new. There is always somebody for the revival of our valued based and principled politics in the country. Our tradition has always been like this.

If for a while, we take into account the traditional flow of issues of Congress party, Rahul epitomizes the continuation of special features of feudal politics. This second most important person in the Congress Party after Mrs. Sonia Gandhi with chances of being the future Prime Minister still prefers to play a subdued role, maintaining the silence on major controversial issues. He is apparently preoccupied with building the party again from the grass root level.

It is otherwise, presumed that someone like him would have been expected to be far more forthcoming about his views if only to let the people know more about their future leader. Instead, Rahul has been much like an apparent heir who is restraining himself from throwing his weight around lest the voters get frightened. The young entrant is seemingly intent on building a favorable image of himself before he takes charge. He is also intent on restoring the lost Congress esteem before he actually comes to power.

The nation would be curious to know Rahul’s intention on the important issues such as caste in census, women’s bill, the ‘development-first’ route for containing the Maoist threat, preference for ‘socialists’ in the National Advisory Council, but the 44 year old has maintained a deafening silence.

The reason of this reticence of young Gandhi is not very clear, but speculations are that this might have come either from the family’s past experiences or it may be a tactical decision on Rahul’s part to demonstrate his reserve. Though he belongs to a powerful political party, one cannot ignore the fact that power cannot be inherited in every case as it may not pass from the parent to the offspring. He appears to be traditionally untraditional in some of the special cases of political tactology, but it is clear as of now that the 2014 is no more going to be a traditional one for the Congress.

Madani Mohiuddin Ahmad, King Saud University, Riyadh, KSA. email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Phone: 00966-542514538 (KSA), 0091- 9873503721 (New Delhi, India).


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