(Published in The Huffington Post India : http://www.huffingtonpost.in/shaira-mohan/ )
I read somewhere recently that while Rahul Gandhi, the Congress Vice President and MP of Amethi is on a mysterious sabbatical, the Amethi constituency has put up posters offering a reward for ‘the missing Rahul Gandhi’ and even used Bollywood song lyrics to question his return.
My amusement is fuelled each time I read such comical anecdotes surrounding the infamous and elusive Mr. Gandhi. Who says he does not deliver? I say he delivers complete entertainment.
So why has RG become the verbal punching bag for many including his own Congress party members? Here’s another beauty I read on FirstPost served to them by an AICC member choosing to be anonymous. ‘Woh permanent hi chutti par kyon nahi chale jate hume bhi unse chutti mile (Why doesn’t he go on permanent leave, we too will be relieved of him).
But shame on us for being such fervent haters .
So what if the INC suffered its worst electoral result in history in the 2014 General Elections under the leadership of Gandhi securing only 44 seats as opposed to the 209 seats won by them in the previous elections of 2009?
So what if Mr. Gandhi – the Cambridge graduate – made a very strong, ‘educated’ comment about poverty being just a ‘state of mind’ and it does not mean a lack of food or money?
So what if he happened to doze off during an ongoing Parliament session? It was just a nap, okay?
So what if a day before the 2014 elections result, Gandhi was spotted in a mall in New Delhi enjoying himself with friends instead of doing what his adversaries were hard at work doing – rallying with their parties. It’s just the biggest Indian election right? What’s the big deal, guys?
So what if the Vice President of the Congress party – the top candidate being considered for the chief post of the party currently held by his mother has decided to make a grand DISappearance just ahead of the Budget Session for months, apparently to clear his head and reflect on the what-has-beens and what-has-to-be? (I wonder how much head clearing can occur in fun party places like Bangkok or Goa or wherever Mr. Gandhi is supposedly attaining his zen.)
Here is a man who has been given one too many last chances in political history to make a difference – to BE the difference for the Congress but seems to have driven the proverbial axe into his own foot almost every time. Here is a man who has the chance yet again to take the helm of the work started and built up by his own forefathers and to carry the legacy forward – to fulfill the dreams his mother, Ms. Sonia Gandhi seems to have of seeing her son in the same strong and fortuitous position of leadership that his father was in once. But most importantly, to prove to his people, his supporters and also his many many critics that it’s not all over yet for the Congress. That he can perhaps STILL salvage the situation and prove to be the knight in shining armor and save face – both his own and the Congress’s.
Being an NRI, I was unable to vote in the Lok Sabha Elections of 2014 but if I did vote, it would certainly have NOT been for the Congress. And the election result itself is enough proof of where the people of India stand today as far as the Congress and the Gandhi leadership is concerned. (Lets not kid ourselves here – ‘Singh’ was clearly never ‘King’ as you and I are both very well aware.)
So, Mr. Gandhi, lets hope that on your long leave of absence ahead of the upcoming AICC polls, you really do decide to clear your head, rejuvenate and come back with the intent to prove a whole bunch of haters wrong, to show that there still can be a light at the end of what is seemingly a very dark tunnel for the Congress and with the resolve to fix, rebuild and earn back the confidence and trust of the people which has currently been replaced by cynicism, mockery and ridicule. You are ‘Cancerous to the Congress’, they say.
And please, no senseless comments or naps in meetings, okay? SO not professional. It’s time to pull yourself together and do your job. To really put your money where your mouth is. (NOT on long vacations when your party needs you the most, for starters!)
Because until that happens, those votes sure aren’t going to come your way. If nothing changes when you come back Rahul, you and your party may as well move back to wherever you are coming from because in the current political landscape of India, others are eating the cake at a party you may not get invited to. Again.
Because until then, you are just an entertainer that we like to watch and laugh at with popcorn and coke. You might as well be a comedian in a David Dhawan movie.