Rahul Gandhi's new video exposes his own family’s obsessive image-building, failures on China

Instead of constructive criticism of a responsible Opposition, the Congress party has sided with and fanned the most radical elements

Abhijit Majumder July 24, 2020 22:11:07 IST
Rahul Gandhi's new video exposes his own family’s obsessive image-building, failures on China

Creatures, especially those at the upper rungs of the evolutionary ladder, are known to experience fear or foreboding without fully understanding the nature of the danger. A dog’s dread, ape’s anxiety or an elephant’s unease is a subject of study. Humans, of course, are top of the chain in that department as well.

When Congress dynast Rahul Gandhi attacks Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being focused on building his own image, he is not wrong. The prime minister takes self-publicity to high art. He is keenly aware about where the camera is, which events to attend, whom to click selfies with, which work to claim credit for, when to speak to get maximum amplification, and how to dwarf rivals and his own colleagues.

Rahul senses danger from this. He projects it as the prime minister's hubris. But he doesn’t seem to fully understand why Modi does it.

The prime minister is acutely aware that as an outsider to power, he is up against a brand built over nine decades, spending lakhs of crores, squatting on the nation’s most visible properties, public places, schemes and courses.

An RTI query in 2013 had revealed that more than 450 schemes, buildings, projects, institutions were named after just three members of the Nehru-Gandhi family – Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. A massive national park is named after Sanjay Gandhi, who was neither a wildlife expert nor an environmentalist. Nehru had gone ahead and awarded himself the Bharat Ratna while he was the prime minister.

Modi needed to build his personal brand bigger than the Nehru-Gandhis in just a couple of years. He has done it ruthlessly, with single-minded focus and without naming schemes and parks after himself. Rahul should introspect why the family brand has got so devalued over the years.

In the two-minute video titled ‘Dealing with China’, the Congress president-again-in-waiting continued his rant with a string of homilies.

“Psychologically you have to deal with the Chinese from a position of strength,” He says. “But if they sense weakness then you had it.”

What does he mean by “position of strength”?

Is it what great grandfather showed while comprehensively losing the 1962 war?

Or, almost giving up on an Indian state during the war by saying with tragic flourish, “My heart goes out to the people of Assam”?

Or, championing for China’s permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council while they whipped us on ground?

Or, making compromise after compromise by ceding territory, not building roads and infrastructure along the border, or agreeing to unarmed patrolling?

Or, signing on behalf of his Congress party an agreement with the brutal, dictatorial Chinese Communist Party, the contents of which he is still to make public?

After the 1967 war win with the combative Indira as the prime minister, it's under the NDA government that India for the first time took the Chinese bully by the horns. First at Doklam, and now at Galwan. One of the main reasons of the Ladakh flare-up was because China is angry at India building infrastructure along the border.

Rahul then goes on to propose a grand vision.

“The first thing is you are not gonna take on China without a vision. And by that I don't mean a national vision. I mean an international vision,” he says. “India has to have a global vision. India now has to become an idea. And it has to become a global idea. So that’s the thing that’s gonna protect India, is actually thinking big.”

What kind of vision?

He doesn’t explain, he never has. If he had, his party might have got more seats.

And that “India has to become an idea” is straight out of his illustrious inanities like “poverty is just a state of mind”.

“We are not thinking long-term; because we are not thinking big and because we are disturbing our internal balance,” he says. “We are fighting amongst each other. Just look at the politics. All day long; all day long; Indian is fighting Indian.”

What is this long-term thinking India needs?

What “big” thinking is he suggesting?

Again, no answers.

As for Indians fighting Indians, the Congress has been the biggest agent of chaos and destabilising factor in our democracy. Instead of constructive criticism of a responsible Opposition, the party has sided with and fanned the most radical elements.

Rahul Gandhi must know that the nation’s silent, hardworking and law-abiding majority will not take attacks on its rights and beliefs lying down.
More he talks, the more he exposes his lack of vision, ideas, and inability to think maturely even after turning 50. The object of his obsession, Modi, must be smiling.

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