Sunday, February 7, 2010

Is Rahul Gandhi relevant to the context?

Rahul Gandhi tour to Mumbai has started a new chapter in Indian politics. It is clear that his 'surprise' train ride and all that followed must have all been scripted carefully. Be that as it may, it was a well-made script - no doubt about that.
Cynics will argue (they have already started, in fact) that it was nothing but a political stunt. But they won't see the fact that a stunt also has to be timed very well otherwise it can quickly turn into a disaster. One can argue that Mahatma Gandhi's charkha-spinning and fasting were also gimmicks (undoubtedly there must have been people then who thought this way) but it had the necessary impact.
Politicians of that era formed an elite class of their own. They were far removed from the realities of the population. So the rhetoric of 'Aam aadmi' of Congress is not really new. It is over hundred years old! Gandhi acquired an image that people could relate to. If it meant going for 'padyatras' and spinning a charkha in prayer meetings, then he did that very well.

Here is a description of the Congress as it was then. In the words of none other than Jawaharlal Nehru himself.
It was very much an English-knowing upper-class affair where morning coats and well-pressed trousers were greatly in evidence. Essentially it was a social gathering with no political excitement or tension.
The situation is uncannily similar today, although politicians have not remained elite really. Far from it. But they have definitely alienated themselves from the masses. Majority of college students in Mumbai couldn't care less for what most leaders say or do. But watching Rahul Gandhi walk into the local train would have touched more than just a few chords. I hasten to add that I am not immediately comparing the two Gandhis - Rahul and Mahatma. All I am saying is that the person (or team) who is writing the script for Rahul is doing a good job at making him relevant to the times.
On the other hand, Shiv Sena's scriptwriter is producing one miserable flop after the other. That's another story....


Anonymous said...

well atleast Rahul is honest and smart just like his father. If you attented the youth conferance that was pretty much visible in him.

Pushkaraj said...

@ Anonymous - I am getting weary of deleting meaningless Anon comments from the blog - there are already two for this post itself. Thanks for your comment. I am making an exception of this because it pertains to the post, though I would appreciate it if you would reveal yourself. As for the youth conference, I did not attend it. I don't fall under the category of 'youth' now, even by Government regulations!