– by RAJEEV GOWDA
The one characteristic that Rahul Gandhi has demonstrated from the day he entered politics is that of a plain-speaking guy. In a country where we are used to politicians speaking with forked tongues, it is surprising to come across someone who is forthright and honest.
Despite all the nuances of politics, we know that there is ultimately the larger mission of forming a secular government at the Centre. Rahul Gandhi has only stated it. He is prone to speaking frankly. A lot of people are looking for someone who is direct, upfront, straight-forward and has a lot of credibility. When politicians speak, people believe they mean the opposite of what they are saying. Rahul is not like that. He is credible. We know that when he says something, he means it. Let him be that way.
However, anytime he says something, people jump on him. Instead of commending him, he is criticised. Indeed, being forthright is a good thing. He is setting the trend for a more honest, and direct, engagement with the citizens of India.
Even when asked if he would accept the prime ministerial position he said he needs some time to be prepared, to study the country, and to take on the challenges of governing India. He likes to learn about various topics, and form considered judgement. He is measured when he speaks. But he certainly comes across as honest, balanced and refreshing.
In general, I would say that Rahul is a very measured guy. Even in informal conversations, he is absolutely measured. It’s only occasionally that he indulges in rhetorical flourish.
As far as seeing him as the Indian Obama… while Barak Obama is the ultimate outsider, Rahul Gandhi is the ultimate insider. But he could be Obama if he continues with his plain talk. Looking at it another way, Obama represents change, an end to politics the way it has been conducted all these years. In that way, Rahul could well be Obama.
I see him as a hardworking, sincere politician, with concern for India, and its future. One of his achievements that stand out in my mind is fighting for the extension of the employment guarantee scheme. He is a young man with a bright future with an opportunity to make a transformative impact.
From Sunday DNA