On Thursday, on the second anniversary of Rahul Gandhi's rout in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections — and many before and after that — the Congress ignored its own track record of failures and instead issued a report card on two years of Narendra Modi government. (Don't worry about the grades, that's beside the point. And, frankly, my dear, nobody gives a damn about what Subramanian Swamy says about Raghuram Rajan and the Congress says about Modi sarkar!)
In the '60s thriller Waqt, the inimitable Raj Kumar delivered a dialogue that has become immortal. So, let's rephrase it here and give a solemn advice to the Congress: Jaani, those who flunk every exam do not issue report cards to others.
Since 2013, the Congress has not won any election of significance. In state after state, its governments have been mercilessly rooted out by voters, primarily for their incompetence and corruption. All across the country, rebellion is brewing against the party leadership, forcing insecure sycophants to make legislators sign loyalty bonds.
Its future president hasn't shown any sign of winning an election, making a memorable speech or donating a single bright idea to the country's political discourse. His seniors do not trust him, contemporaries do not respect him and the minions do not fear him. For a large population of the country, Rahul Gandhi matters because he somehow ends up giving bright ideas for ROFL jokes or hilarious memes. Even after huffing and puffing in the electoral ring for almost a decade, he hasn't acquired the political muscle to match even an Arvind Kejriwal or a Mamata Banerjee. At this rate, the 56-inch chest required for the fight with the PM looks several electoral years away.
It would be wrong to assume that the Congress doesn't issue report cards to its own. After every election, it organises chintan shivirs (some quip they should be renamed chita (funeral) shivirs), forms committees, invites feedback and generally makes the kind of noise a hen would if delivering a donkey.
But, like Jai's coin in Sholay, whichever way you flip the election results, they always end up being a score of distinction for the dynasty. (Exception: Victory in municipality elections earns Rahul A+.)
After every loss, the clamour for promoting Rahul gets louder. When the Congress lost UP, he became the VP; when it lost Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Chhattisgarh, he became the party's PM candidate. At this rate, if the Congress loses the next election, Rahul might become a candidate for taking on Donald Trump in 2020!
Some mothers are indeed lucky. Their Rahuls are always declared passed with distinction.
Published Date: May 26, 2016 19:14 PM | Updated Date: May 26, 2016 19:14 PM