Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Hidden Joy of Mr. Rahul Gandhi

Am I the only one who thinks Rahul Gandhi looks so much more happy since the election results?

Now, I am not too much of a Gandhi-family type of politics. The politics of ensuring a family rules, whatever the impact on the country is obviously not my, or any other reasonably rational persons, cup of tea. Doling out huge subsidies to measurable vote banks and distributing out reservations galore to groups to ensure that the future pipeline of votes is maintained makes me feel as angry as the next 'aam aadmi'.

But I can't help but feel happy for Rahul Gandhi now. All through the campaign he has looked like he was being forced into something he just does not want to do. He walked into most interviews and rallies the same way we used to walk into engineering viva voce exams. We knew we were going to be screwed, but there was no away around seeing it to the end.

The judgemental focus on his performance during the campaign would have undermined his confidence even further. I don't think anyone can be thick skinned enough when almost every single word, every single gesture was. and continues to be, analysed and criticized by numerous pundits. And he certainly doesn't seem to be thick skinned at all. His expressions were too transparent and he certainly doesn't look like a person who craves or relishes power.

Of course he could have denounced this role that was being thrust upon him but AV very intelligently put it  yesterday, the Gandhi family is riding a tiger. They have to continue trying to ride it or it will bite them back and finish them. The number of scams and scheming that has gone on in the last few years - the only way to avoid a backlash is for someone to keep holding on to the reins of power. And unfortunately in true patriarchal fashion this role was thrust on the 'son of the house', whether he wanted it or not.

The way forward for Rahul Gandhi or even the other Gandhis/Vadras is not clear, but at least it has become abundantly clear that Rahul cannot be the person who plots and schemes and takes on the responsibility justifying actions he had not had any role in. And now that this is clear to everyone banking on him and running over each other to anoint him prince, he would be feeling a huge weight lifting from his shoulders. Who knows, with the pressure gone he may be able to do much more good than ever before. He may even move away from the public field and do something he is really interested in. I cannot believe that he is as talentless an imbecile as the media has been painting him. Maybe he'll write a book, maybe he'll paint, maybe he'll get into business. But whatever it is he does, at least  it will be something that is not thrust on him.

So to those who derisively ask - why was he smiling when declaring the rout that the Congress faced, I think the answer goes back to the viva voce situation. Once you come out of the room, there is relief - it's over, you've done all you could have, whatever happens now - the next exam is six months away and you can breathe...

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