As the election for the President of India was being held today, news came that Rahul Gandhi has “decided” to take active interest in the affairs of the Congress Party and the government. The followers were rightly elated and went into loud applauds and the critics matched them in picking holes in it. But it is indeed somewhat reassuring that Rahul Gandhi has after all decided. It is hoped that it is his personal decision, as promised by his mother Sonia Gandhi a few days back.
One thing is certain. There is no other leader in the Congress Party, who can claim to stand taller than Rahul Gandhi. Pranab Mukherjee has been moved out of the government and made the Head of the State. I should be surprised if some other leader can turn out to be cleaner than Rahul Gandhi. In that case, the criticism of a decision is a little confounding. When such is the state of affairs that the GOP of India can’t even show a face that is capable of dimming the attributes of Rahul Gandhi, there can be no justification of any criticism. In fact, in the India of today there is no justification for any kind of criticism of social, economic or political offences. If a young girl was molested for more than 30 minutes in Guwahati in Assam and her video was being taken and the police simply refused to take action against the score of molesters, so what? Or if a General Manager of the Maruti Company was burnt alive by the trade union activists on a working dayyesterday, so what? Or if a scam of the magnitude of 1,76000 crores of rupees happened in granting spectrum licences, so what?
So if Rahul has decided to reverse this order, what is wrong in it? The Party and the government were in the hands of other leaders in the past 8 years. What did they do to these two? Made the party lose the assembly election in UP, where its reputation was at stake and where Rahul was made to carry on extensive electioneering. His personal reputation was put on the chopping block, with disastrous consequences. Had he taken this decision before launching in UP election, he would have won a comfortable majority to put up a congress government in the state. Voters can not be blamed for not voting the candidates if the Prime Minister is somebody in whom they have no confidence. P. Chidambaram had publickly acknowledged the “trust deficit” before the UP elections. Rahul should have done demonstrably actions like a Prime Minister to win back that trust and votes. The people have repeatedly rejected the Congress leaders speaking on his behalf . They will reject such leaders again, unless Rahul succeeds in establishing direct bonds of trust with them. That seems an illusion, as the moment he is seen to be acting on his own, these same leaders will do him in. They want Rahul only as a poster boy, who should outsource every function of the government to them. If Rahul tries to do things himself, they can even repeat the operations of the year 1989.
These leaders have brought nothing more than disrepute to the party and the government. Scams have taken place in umpteen creating history in India. If Rahul becomes active, these will cease to happen, at least till the next elections to the parliament in May 2014 or earlier. Like it or not, Rahul is the cleanest of all the Congress leaders comparatively today. On this count alone, he is entitled within his own party to take active interest in party and government affairs. He should decide as a leader should decide. Leaders don’t decide in piecemeal. If he remains overawed by age or reputation of the PM and his colleagues, he cannot take difficult decisions. The choice is before him: either choose or move sideways. There is no middle path. If he wants to prove that he has it in him to take decisions and run the government, he should become the Prime Minister immediately. The time for ministership is gone. It is too late for that. Now it can only be Prime Minister.
As Prime Minister Rahul can launch some good governance programmes, if he thinks he can do something genuinely. If not, he should not become a pawn in the hands of crooked politicians who will sully the reputation of Nehru, Indira or Rajiv. Politics is no child’s play. It is a serious business. Those who have the opportunity can prove their worth in no time, as the incompetent can surely expose themselves equally in no time. Act Rahul or keep silent till your time comes again.