Rahul Gandhi rants on China and defence, but never fails to miss a class

While driving the Congress party to dust, Rahul is leading by example on how not to lead it.

Abhijit Majumder July 07, 2020 11:56:55 IST
Rahul Gandhi rants on China and defence, but never fails to miss a class

In our schools, there is usually a boy with rich and powerful parents who doesn’t attend classes, skips his homework, picks on those who work hard, and gets away with all that because he was born that way.

Congress dynast Rahul Gandhi works pretty hard to live up to that trope.

It has recently come to light that he has not attended a single meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence since its formation last year.

The committee has met 11 times since September, with the last meeting happening on 12 March. The Lok Sabha website shows Rahul, a member of the committee, did not deign to attend even one of these meetings.

The departmentally related standing committee (DRSC) has 31 members, 21 from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha. It looks into bills related to the defence ministry and other defence-related issues.

But this rather determined absence has not stopped Rahul from launching uninformed and politically suicidal attacks on the government during the military and diplomatic face-off with China. He asked on Twitter, for instance, “why were our soldiers sent unarmed to martyrdom”.

Poor homework and reckless bluster is an explosive cocktail. Rahul could have avoided setting it off upon himself if he genuinely took interest in defence matters and studied about his own previous Congress governments signing contracts with China restricting the use of arms on border patrol to avoid escalation.

The BJP was quick to pretend sadness on his self-goal.

But Rahul Gandhi is no one-trick pony. He has been permanent in both class and form when it comes to playing bunking work.

Data collated by non-profit PRS Legislative Research shows that between 1 June, 2014, and 13 February, 2019, Rahul’s attendance in Parliament was only 52 percent when the national average among other MPs was 80 percent. Even his ailing mother Sonia Gandhi did better with 60 percent. He participated in just 14 parliamentary debates while an MP on an average participated in 67.

Rahul did not raise a single question in Parliament in these five years. The national average was 293 questions per MP. He also brought no private member Bills.

He spent only Rs 19.6 crore of the Rs 25 crore available to him under the MPLADS scheme for his constituency. Amethi thanked him with a spectacular 55,120-vote defeat at the hands of BJP’s Smriti Irani in the 2019 general elections.

While driving the Congress party to dust, Rahul is leading by example on how not to lead it. He is ceding further nationalistic space for the Congress with his baroque, ill-timed outbursts during a national security crisis and his infantile obsession with Narendra Modi. He exemplifies what young India seems to abhor: a dynastic brat who doesn’t value merit, work hard, or do his homework, but will not settle for anything but the top prize. In short, the perfect stereotype of entitlement over merit.

Views are personal.

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