Rajeev’s piece in the Sunday DNA was accompanied by two more comments from analysts: Kishwar’s piece being one of them.
– by MADHU KISHWAR
I feel truly sorry to see how the Congress Party is loading Rahul Gandhi with too many unrealistic expectations. If you expect one man or one family to exercise magical powers to revive and rejuvenate a moribund organisation that has rotted out due to unbridled corruption that comes from excessive centralisation of power and lack of transparent democratic functioning, it amounts to ballooning in the cloud cuckoo land.
You need more than a genius to pull off that kind of a miracle. Unfortunately, Rahul is neither a Mohan Chand Karamdas Gandhi nor a Barack Obama. He comes across as a person trying hard to learn the political game — a game not really suited to his innate genius.
He would do much better if only he could be himself rather than be forced to act as the Divine Charioteer expected to steer the Congress to victory. He is simply not cut out to be the father figure that the Congress so desperately yearns for. Nor does he have the genius to work out a new paradigm for his party in particular or for Indian politics at large.
It is ironical that on the one hand, he is supposed to be under training — a large team of intellectuals and academics — both homebred and Harvard educated — are supposedly engaged in training him to lead India.
On the other hand, he is supposed to simultaneously play the unquestioned charismatic leader for the Party and ready to take on prime ministerial responsibilities. The two can’t work together.
Why just him? Any inexperienced young politician would crack up under such a strain. It is a great misfortune that he has been brought up to believe that he is born to rule. Everyone in the Congress Party has to work hard to dwarf himself/herself so that he can appear to be the tallest of all and can shine like no other.
I think Rahul needs a little mercy. He needs time and space to find his own pace and level. He has fallen into the trap his own family and the Congress Party laid out for him. Even today, the Congress Party has more talent than any other Party. But their supine dependence on the Nehru-Indira dynasty is draining the life blood of the Party.
They would do far better to anchor themselves in the values and vision of Mahatma Gandhi. It is like admitting that all of them collectively are good for nothing and cannot hold together without a Rahul or a Sonia.
Madhu Kishwar is a professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies