Rahul Gandhi is just a politician. The sycophants in his party are not going to admit to that. They see him as the Prime Minister in waiting. Leaders, young and old stand in tow to seek opinions from a 40-year old Rahul with just a handful of years in politics. Recently, Bill Gates was reportedly highly impressed by his ‘frankness’.
Rahul Gandhi’s speech on the floor of Lok Sabha in 2008, where he took great pains to emphasise that he was speaking as an Indian (and not a Congress-man), is just one of many similar attempts to position himself above petty politics. And there surely are many young men and women who are impressed by this quality in the young politician.
But is Rahul anything more than ‘just a politician’? Take, for instance, his recent statements in Bihar. Not only does he refuse to acknowledge any progress the state has made in the recent years, he also plays to the gallery by calling out against the Thackerays, standing amidst (possibly) cheering Biharis.
The socio-economic gains made by Bihar may have been over-enthusiastically reported and possibly not equitably shared, but there is certainly a sense that the situation there is not all hopeless. Nitish Kumar may not be the messiah, but things are definitely on the move.
As for the anti-migrant stance of the Thackerays, isn’t Congress in power in Maharashtra? What has it done to protect the vulnerable migrants who toil away to make a living? Should the President not step in and dismiss the government for being incapable of maintaining law and order in that state? (Ha!Ha!)…Okay – but shouldn’t all this be enough to shame Rahul Gandhi into admitting that his party had failed to protect Biharis in Maharashtra and therefore, avoid the issue as far as possible when touring Bihar?
Rahul’s non-partisanship is based on his projecting a self-critical image. He repeated the act in Bihar too. Sure, in a state where your party is already diminished beyond recognition, it doesn’t matter as much and in fact, people may mistake it for humility and willingness to change. But when in the same breath, he lauds his party in Andhra, is uncritical about the party in Maharashtra and is unwilling to admit to lapses in internal security, the facade cracks. All that remains, is just a politician…