Irrespective of what predictions are being made about the UP elections, Ms Sonia Gandhi emerges as the greatest achiever of the best results of her political SIP in UP. She, as also the Congress, know it very well that UP is lost forever. And who wants UP for the Congress? With every leader being as assertive as the late stalwarts in whose names their children are contesting or running political parties or the ones who have caused permanent disability to the social texture of the state and can change parties as comfortably as their caps, the Congress can’t accommodate them. These people are welcome to come under the umbrella of the Congress but cannot be tolerated to be the Umbrella for the Congress. The Congress has been orphaned after Rajiv’s assassination and has been waiting with baited breath to cultivate in-house leadership. Sonia, though she played her role well, needed a substitute. Rahul could have fulfilled that vacuum, only if he opted to learn the ropes. Indian politics is no cake walk- not even for a Nehru born!( It is best described in the words of Tulsidas: Lanka nikar nishaachar vaasaa, ihan kahaan sajjan kar vaasaa?). Nothing could give Rahul a better training in real politics than the UP electioneering. That he has done. He will not be dependent on others for decisions. He would be practical. He will have his own senaa(army) to take on internal insurgency as well as outside assaults. The boy comes out adult: nobody would consider him the Babalog anymore! Any mean achievement? Even in ancient India, the princes were made to go through such training. Following up the British tradition, Rahul might also do a short term in active military duty. But, his training at another level needs to be continued. He has been in the company of ground level leaders, for whom even criminal activities are a way of real politics. He will now need the mentoring by superior leadership that can upgrade his level, understanding and ethical value systems, for India is too complex a country, too vast and it goes beyond UP. His rhetoric, idiom, language and body language need immediate correction. There is still no guarantee of 100% success, but he would carve out a big territory for himself in the political arena on his own which he can call his own following, not inheritance from the dynasty.
The challenges before the new leadership by the next decade will be different from the present ones. The credits and discredits to the elder generation will be buried with them. Their offspring, like Rahul, belong to the knowledge society. They have never seen real poverty, backwardness, disadvantage or disease. They have lived in luxury as Rahul. They have new ideas. They have new ways of doing things. While they may exploit for long the name or fame of their forefathers, ultimately they will have to live on their own prowess. Competition among peers will be more than an uninitiated leader can stand. Adulthood itself means being on your own!