Rahul Gandhi remains puzzled! He speaks to be labelled as a firebrand, but in politics where one is judged on the contents of the speech, he misfires completely
Congress President Rahul Gandhi in a panel at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), in London
Having failed to convince and inspire confidence among the voters to win elections in the past four years, Rahul Gandhi (RG) is going around foreign countries spewing venom at the BJP-RSS combine in front of foreign think tanks like International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), London, and interacting with Parliamentary group and Indian Diaspora thereby defaming and downgrading India’s brand image as a nation on the move.
His latest diatribes, more aptly, vituperative attacks in front of foreign audience on their soil, reflect his paranoia. One, he alleges lack of Vision for Modern India. He has also alleged that Narendra Modi-led BJP under the guidance of RSS is bent upon “changing the idea and nature of India”. Two, Rahul Gandhi also claimed “Congress unites Indians; while BJP-RSS divides them through attempts to impose a very rigid, hate-filled angry ideology and attributes lynchings to them. What is worse is Mr Gandhi’s comparison of RSS with the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab world with the intent to “capture and destroy” institutions, systematically attack the weak - minorities, lower caste groups and farmers. Finally, highlighting Modi, the Prime Minister, as “unpatriotic” as per media reports!
Rahul Gandhi out smarts Donald Trump’s “gas-lighting”, that is, deliberately repeating misinformation to the extent that the public starts doubting verifiable facts and disbelieving in realities
Array of Dullness
On the economic front, RG’s venom-filled speeches include: linking job crisis to promotion of terrorism (ISIS and others); and demonising demonetisation as the brainchild of the RSS and the GST (promising single GST slab). Quite absurdly, Mr Gandhi compared the capability of China creating 50,000 jobs per 24 hours (15 lakh per month) created with the dismal rate of 450 jobs every 24 hours in the formal sector in India.
Next, on the foreign policy front, he faulted “episodic foreign policy approach based on “hugs.” He blames the BJP for the Chinese remaining in Doklam. At the same time, RG stated that India's role should be to strike a new balance between the US and China — much like Europe's role – and also Africa. On Pakistan, RG stated “institutions in Pakistan do not lend at present to talks”. At the same time, Sidhu, Congress Party Minister, on his return from Pakistan advocates strongly resumption of peace talks.
Finally, on the media front, RG expressed “concerns around freedom of speech and expression.” If it is true, quite a few spokespersons and partisan media anchors would have been behind bars. RG must not forget the numbers behind ‘bars’ during Emergency.
In sum, RG out smarts Donald Trump’s "gas-lighting", that is, deliberately repeating misinformation to the extent that the public starts doubting verifiable facts and disbelieving in realities. His sustained outbursts repeatedly highlighting xenophobic conspiracy theories on all fronts are highly immature. RG and his coterie of sycophants must carry out introspection on the issues being highlighted on foreign tours denigrating “India Brand Image” in front of international and Indian Diaspora.
Questions for Introspection
Some of the questions to introspect for RG and the Congress Party are simple. First, who is responsible for the division of society along communal and caste lines? Second, who is responsible for the unemployment crisis? Third, who is responsible for the unresolved India-China border dispute? Fourth, who is responsible for the “impossibility of finding a solution with Pakistan? Finally, why spread “paranoia over freedom of speech and expression real?”
The answer to the first question, that is, the social and communal polarisation, is simple. RGs claim that his thoughts emanate from those of Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh guru, is certainly the most heinous fraud without ability to recite a single line of “Gurbani”. RG and the Congress Party must admit that “minority appeasement vote-bank politics” are the root cause for the Hindu backlash. Before staking claims to ‘high moral ground that he is against violence of all types”, RG must not forget the slaughter of innocent Sikhs in 1984.
Similarly, the answer to the second question is simple. Rapid demographic transitions with the rapid growth rates of Muslims, responsible for the 1947 partition, is responsible for foreclosing job opportunities for the Hindus. Importantly, drawing comparison with China reflects intellectual bankruptcy to the core. There should be no unemployment in China with 15 lakh jobs created per month (1.8 crore per year) with ‘zero population” growth rate.
In contrast, jobs cannot be created every day in ‘formal sector’ to exploit the “Youth Dividend” with nearly 10 lakh entering India’s workforce each MONTH. Experts are projecting 28 crore to flood by 2050. In particular, with raw materials already looted and scooted out of the country by power wielders and cronies, there is hardly any scope for industrial development and growth. Yet another contributory factor is the poor quality of education and skill development in the past.
RG citing the example of the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to caution that excluding a large number of people from the development process could lead to creation of insurgent groups anywhere in the world is quite paradoxical. Having ruled modern India for nearly 60 years out of 71 years, surely, the Congress Party must own the responsibility and accountability for excluding a large number of people from the development processes and resulting in the creation of almost 170 militant outfits, mostly Islamist radical groups.
After all, the slogan “Garibi Hatao” was coined by his grandmother, Indira Gandhi in 1969. Followed the slogan side “Congress Ka Haath Aam Admi Ke Sath” (Congress is with the common man) in 2004. And in 2009, followed another slogan ‘Aam Aadmi Ke Badthe Kadam, Har Kadam Par Bharat Buland’ (common man marches ahead, every step elevates India). Since the Aam Admi, particularly the poor felt betrayed, they rejected the Congress Party.
(The writer is a defence and strategic affairs expert)