In bid to emulate Indira, Rahul can only be a bad copy

Rahul Gandhi’s proclamation of Indira Gandhi as his “role model” – and that he can be tough, unlike his mother, Sonia Gandhi – only exposes his vulnerabilities

ajay

Ajay Singh | May 24, 2013


Unlike his grandmother, Rahul Gandhi has found himself under the guidance of a motley group of leaders known more for their low cunning than their earthy intellect.
Unlike his grandmother, Rahul Gandhi has found himself under the guidance of a motley group of leaders known more for their low cunning than their earthy intellect.

Ram Manohar Lohia was far from being apt when he described Indira Gandhi as “gungi gudia (dumb doll)”.

The loquacious socialist leader obviously always proved to be more than a match even for her father Jawaharlal Nehru when it comes to wordy duels. He had seen Indira Gandhi growing into a politician whose intellect was not even a pale shadow of her father’s perspicacity.  But Lohia must have rued his comment subsequently.

Indira Gandhi not only marginalised her arch political rivals, like Moraraji Desai and K Kamraj, but also displayed uncharacteristic aggression in doing away with the privy purse, nationalising banks and claiming a virtual monopoly over socialist agenda. Unlike Lohia, history judges Indira Gandhi as a woman with nerves of steel, with a streak of authoritarianism that nurtured a culture of political bucaneerism  represented by her son Sanjay Gandhi.

Indira Gandhi’s political legacy is worth recalling in the context of her grandson Rahul Gandhi describing her as his role model. Perhaps the Gandhi family scion is oblivious of the history of his own family.  Like him, Indira Gandhi was not a reluctant politician. Even when Nehru was the prime minister, she held the post of the Congress president in 1959. She enjoyed every bit of politics, power and its majesty, though her father was somewhat circumspect to push her to become a career politician.

She displayed utter ruthlessness in power games even when Lal Bahadur Shastri was the prime minister and roped in leaders like Kamraj to marginalise her stalwart rivals. Kamraj later got marginalized himself. Her transformation from a “dumb doll” to “Durga (deity of power)” hardly took three years.

But what about Rahul Gandhi? He is self-admittedly a reluctant politician. He is in public life for nearly a decade but yet needs to put across a message of his toughness to the party cadres. He is constantly being pushed into politics and power, which he conscientiously shuns and finds himself comfortable with a group of select academics. His interactions with people and his forays in rural areas are often described as the process of learning social realities and understanding ground situation.

He singularly betrays timidity and lack of foresight while dealing with corruption and mis-governance.

By all indications, the comparison between Indira Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi is odious. Despite her follies, Indira Gandhi was the understudy of her father, Nehru, whose intellect and greatness was never doubted even by his rivals.

On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi has found himself under the guidance of a motley group of leaders known more for their low cunning than their earthy intellect. In such a scenario, his proclamation of Indira Gandhi as his “role model” – and that he can be tough, unlike his mother, Sonia Gandhi – only exposes his vulnerabilities. His attempt to emulate his role model is bound to end up as a farce, which the country can ill-afford in a situation of credibility and leadership crises.

Comments

 

Other News

Maharshtra braces to face Cyclone Nisarga

 Even as Mumbai fights challenges posed by COVID-19 on multiple fronts and as the  coronavirus cases continue to rise daily, the city now faces a double whammy with the cyclone ‘Nisarga’ slated to make the landfall in Maharashtra Wednesday. A state-wide alert has been issued for Mumba

Harnessing the demographic capital: how effective are skilling programmes?

Probing data concerning increased job creation and the decline in unemployment has been holding the attention of economists and been subject of discussions in several think tanks in the preceding months. The NITI Aayog reports that 3.53 million new jobs were created between September 2017 and February 2018

It`s time to Unlock now, with economic focus

With Lockdown 4 ending Sunday, the home ministry has issued new guidelines to fight COVID-19 and for phased re-opening of areas outside the Containment Zones. The guidelines, issued based on extensive consultations held with states and UTs, will be effective from June 1 till June 30. The first phase of reo

Small kitchen gardens turn saviours for Gujarat tribal families

When the whole world is fighting COVID-19, food and nutrition security has become a major issue. The pandemic has aggravated the existing food crisis in India, especially in rural and tribal regions. There has been less availability of fresh foods in most parts of the country, and the tribal community has

India will set example of post-Covid-19 economic revival: Modi

India is determined to “set an example” for the rest of the word in the post-pandemic economic revival, prime minister Narendra Modi has said, underling the need to become self-reliant. “There is also a widespread debate on how the economies of various countries, including

3,543 ‘Shramik Special’ trains transport 48 lakh people in 26 days

Close to 48 lakh migrant labourers have been able to reach home from the cities they were working in, as the Indian Railways have run a total of 3,543 “Sharmik Special” trains from May 1. Following the home ministry order regarding the movement by special trains of migrant worker



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter