In one-horse race, Rahul baba is a two-trick pony

One common lament against the “future former prime minister of India” (as opposed to the “former future prime minister of India“) is that Rahul Gandhi‘s views on the pressing issues of the day—mining, Maoism, price rise, land acquisition, etc—are not known, except to himself and (probably) his mother’s inner voice.

Yesterday’s rally in Orissa, 48 hours after environment minister Jairam Ramesh rejected Vedanta’s bauxite mining project in the Niyamgiri hills, is remarkable for two reasons. One is the magisterial phraseology that provides proof, full and final, that UPA ministers are there to do his bidding, although there are 204 Congress MPs besides him.

“Two years ago you had come to me saying the Niyamgiri hill is your god. I told you I would be your sipahi (soldier) in Delhi. I am happy that I have helped you in whatever way I could. What is important is that your voice was heard without violence,” he told the party-sponsored rally.

Implicit in the choice of words is the imprint of an arch feudal, who otherwise bemoans the easy ride he has got in politics. The tone is one of, “I can get it done if I want to; they will do what I tell them to do.” Implicit also is the entitlement to power without the responsibility.

The other reason Rahul Gandhi’s speech is remarkable is because it provides proof, full and final, that while he may belong to the Nehru-Gandhi clan, the literary flourish of his great-grandfather so eludes him that all he can do, it seems, is to weave the same us-versus-them fiction about India again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

“There are two Indias—ameeron ki Hindustan (India of the rich) whose voices reach everywhere , and garibon ka Hindustan (India of the poor) whose voices are seldom heard,” he roared in the two-dimensional monotone that always draws applause from the cheap stands.

Remarkable concern for the downtrodden, you might say for one born with a silver spoon, spinning around in SUVs, and spending late nights at Smoke House Grill.

Remarkable till you realise this is exactly what he had said in July in Kanker, Chhatisgarh:

“There are two parts of India. One part is the part you see in urban areas, growing very fast. There is another part of India, a forgotten part of India, and tribals, Adivas and Dalits are part of it.”

Which is exactly what he had said in Ranchi in October last year:

“Two Indias have been created. One India is yours and my India, the India of basic amenities and opportunity… the other is of poverty-stricken villages where opportunities are very rare.”

Which is exactly what he had said in Calcutta in April last year:

“It angers me when I think that there are people who have more money than anyone else in the world. And there are people who don’t have food.”

Which is exactly what he had said in the budget debate in Parliament in 2008-09:

“There are two distinct voices among India’s people today. The louder of these voices comes from an India that is empowered… the other voice is yet to be empowered. The two Indias are fundamentally inseparable.”

Which is exactly what he will say in god knows where, oblivious of the role his father, grand-mother and great-grandfather may have played in creating and perpetuating the India versus Bharat myth.

At which point, someone should gently tap the not-so-young man on his shoulder and remind him of what Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once said. That everything you say about India—including the existence of two Indias in India—is true.

And so is its opposite.

Cartoon: courtesy Keshav/ The Hindu

Also read: ‘Politics is about solving problems, not evading them’

After Manmohan who? Chidu, Diggy or Rahul?

‘Most opaque politicians in the democratic world’

Jesus, Mozart, Alexander and apun ka Rahul

A functioning anarchy? Or a feudal democracy?

Rahul Gandhi‘s ascension: a foregone conclusion?

One question I’m dying to ask Rahul Gandhi—Part I

One question I’m dying to ask Rahul Gandhi—Part II

Only question anyone should ask Rahul Gandhi

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23 Responses to “In one-horse race, Rahul baba is a two-trick pony”

  1. karihaida Says:

    Rahul baba is from the Dubya school of leadership … will make a fine PM no doubt. Mind you Dubya was damn good at politicking …

  2. Sudhir Says:

    1. Just goes to show that he is more clever than folks give him credit for.

    2. What he says repeatedly is true, isn’t it? If your point is that there is no India-Bharat dichotomy, say it.

  3. Complex Says:

    Rahul Baba is like an astrologer.

    The astrologer guesses 100 times and gets it right once. But, the foolish people remember only the successful guess and think he is great.

    Rahul Baba takes one problem out of 100, gets it solved, and takes credit for it. Nobody remembers the other 99 problems. You can solve the problem of environment degradation by stopping all projects, but development will suffer. You can give freebies to poor(which go to the pockets of rich like in NREGA),you can give humongous increase in salaries to central govt people, but fiscal deficit will suffer.

    One of my friends used to joke when there was a power cut. “I will fire an arrow and when it strikes, power will coome back”. And when the power would come back, he would say, “See, I told you”. Rahul Baba is doing the same, but people are not realizing that the emperor(or should I say the prince) is wearing no clothes.

  4. Faldo Says:

    From garibi hatao, to ‘banana’ republic to India Bharat. Some progress is’nt it?

  5. Raghavendra Says:

    Rahul as PM of India is the worst nightmare which can come true. Its a fast track to becoming banana republic if not already a one.

  6. Narayana Says:

    Sterlite copper had a very shady past. It is like Satyam of mining. Rampant corruption. unscrupulous practices, environmental damage.. you name it.. Sterlite aka Vedanta has done it..

    Probably they changed the name to vedanta to hide their past.

    If I were to chose among the two.. I will chose Rahul any day over Aggarwal of sterlite.

  7. Prashant Krishnamurthy Says:

    Surely, “In two-horse race, Rahul baba is a one-trick pony” would be more accurate? That said, a repetitive message on the mountainous poverty and inequity that afflicts our country is any day more welcome than the putrid hate, bile and venom peddled by those who get all hung up about “saffron terror”.

  8. vikram j Kulkarni Says:

    If possible make T. N. Seshan our next PM. He will make sure that no money is wasted like it has been in the case of CWG 2010.

    Indians should be allowed to vote for PM directly. Then we will have better Democracy. Its 60+ years now and we need some changes in constitution itself.

    1. We need one national language and it should be english. Since people from all walks of life prefer to learn english… it should be made national language. This way we will crush all Language fights. You like you native tongue… great learn it too and even use it at you beloved home.
    2. We should have right to vote for PM. PM should be educated enough to understand india and its problem. If possible… he should be trained MBA.
    3. Police should be autonomous body. MPs should have no control on it.

  9. Prabhu Says:

    Who is responsible for this clear divide between these two India? …. Its again his family. Whats his say on this?
    All these english media forcibly making a leader out of him and projecting him as future prime minister, which he never deserves and is not fit in any way.
    He is just an amature and needs a long… long..long…way to go.
    Its a shame on media for projecting him so and forcibly putting him on people of India, which had a prime ministers of LalBahaddur Shastry, Atal Ji, Morarji Desai, Nehru’s calibre.

  10. Vinay Says:

    vikram j Kulkarni :

    I agree with your three points in general, but I find this very funny:

    “If possible… he should be trained MBA”

    I encourage you to read this blog post:

    Most Indians place too much emphasis on degrees and percentages, and the linked blog post is a great critique of that flawed thought process.

  11. Sanghamitra Says:

    At the age of 39 Rahul baba has no significant achievement except his family legacy and Gandhi surname.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that Rahul baba has mastered the art of taking credit of someones work, surrogate achievements to be precise.

    He is definitely promoting youth in politics but who children of old congress cronies Pilots’ in Rajasthan, Jatin Prasad in UP, Scindia in MP, Krishna Byregowda, Priyanka Kharg and most recently Ajay Singh in Karnataka except a handfull of people like Meenakshi Natarajan in MP still he is roaming around India inviting youth to politics… What a hypocrite… Poor students and stupid state governments spending crores on his security…

  12. karihaida Says:

    @Vikram J Kulkarni,
    I second you. Preferably the long pony tailed MBA should be from “Count your chickens before they hatch” university …

  13. Anshuman Patel Says:

    Not many people have accused Rahul baba of exemplary intelligence and rightly so. He has flashed his dimpled smile so far and those flashes of brilliance, if any, are muted. I won’t go to the uncharitable lengths of some to totally declaim him of any such quality. It’s just that so far it is not seen and like God not being seen is not good enough to doubt its existence:)

    Ofc his thoughts are not original. Pretty much everyone knows about the existence of two (infact many more) Bharats or an India-Bharat dichotomy. It’s not news and it’s not as if he has come up with new solution to Fermat’s Last theorem.

    He has just latched onto a current theme and so much the better instead of constantly digging into the past and thereby keep digging our graves.

    So what’s the point here? That what he says is wrong? Deceitful? Or is it just that he repeats himself ad infinitum? Is that a problem in a country used to several oft repeated slogans and themes? Give him a break. He is a politician after all and like most in his tribe he plays games. Did we take him to be an angel or a sadhu? Then the trouble is with us. Let’s just hope that our man atleast chases the right problems and comes up with some decent solutions (not necessarily of his own when he has many ‘think-tanks; at his disposal when last heard).


    Thanks for that link. I second your views on this ‘age’ old problem!


    What’s with ‘Atal-ji’? Why the others ie Lal Bahaddur Shastry and Nehru go without that venerable ‘Ji’? Ok..I agree you can’t apply ‘Ji’ to Morarji as it would be one too many ‘ji’s but what’s with the selective ‘Ji’?

  14. Sanjeev Shenoy Says:

    Better than being a one-trick pony like our oh-so-educated PM Manmohan Singh who has nothing to show in his long tenure except passing of nuclear agreement with US which if everything goes right will result in 6% electrification of India by 2020 through nuclear energy. A mighty lofty ambition for someone occupying the post of India’s premier, no?

    And what has his cadre-in-chief, the sharp and savvy Home Minister P Chidambaram contributed to solving the maoist problem except hare-brained ideas like letting IAF bomb jungles of Dantewada?

    The only minister is his cabinet who appears to be doing his job sincerely, overlooking easy temptations, happens to be Jairam Ramesh who also coincidentally happens to be occupying his chair courtesy Rahul baba..

    And finally tell me, did we need a feudal lord like Rahul G to remind us that the archaic Land Acquisition Act is feudal in nature and needs urgent amendment to prevent its frequent abuse by govts and big industry? Our so-called meritocratic PM and his team of talented technocrats were only too happy to use this act in their blind pursuit of quick growth.

    So whatever may be the motivations of this heir apparent, lets give him some credit for not overlooking the other India and using his influence to bring about much-needed policy changes.

  15. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Internet khakhi cheddis,

    Currently the RSS has nothing in its stables besides hate spewing backward thinking ugly old men and mining bosses who can switch loyalties anytime. That will not be enough.

    Rahul Gandhi is on his way to becoming an unstoppable force electorally. He is making the right noises, backing it up with action and is projecting an image which the youth of the nation want.

    Call him what you may on the forums, but he is well on his way to becoming another nightmare for a saffron government in the foreseeable future.

  16. karihaida Says:

    that IS the nightmare for all cheddis and non cheddis alike … Think of Sarah Palin with a male anatomy.

  17. Doddi Buddi Says:

    I have to agree with ‘X’ Guy. Rahul Baba will be the next PM! But then again things may change in Indian politics. I only hope Rahul G reads more books and uses his time wisely.

  18. Madhav / Harshad Says:

    Yes Rahul is the young Gun and can be next PM. but what about Narendra Modi?

  19. Anonymous Guy Says:


    What makes you think so? And anyway Sarah Palin is better than one of our set of BJP leaders like Advani, Modi, Yeddi no?


    About books, I think he would have read enough. Thing is when the time comes, will he let the courtiers surrounding him make him go blind with power.

  20. Anonymous Guy Says:


    Besides, if RG’s winning elections were the nightmare of non-cheddis too, nobody would vote for RG right? In which case there is no question of any nightmare.

    Ergo, only a nightmare for cheddis.

    Were you HOPING that all non-cheddis will think like cheddis? That might explain the momentary lapse in your reasoning.

    Sorry couldn’t resist with this vaadha…

  21. karihaida Says:

    Non cheddi: He is so fair…. tat dimple is so cute ………… Oh god what the feck did i do
    Why do you think people smoke even though they know its bad for their health ?

    Sarah Palin better than Yeddi ??? You do know that Yeddi is genetically predisposed not have good hooters, don’t you ;)

  22. Anonymous Guy Says:


    We can go on with this :)

    ‘Why do you think smoke …’

    Your analogy does not seem to apply here.

    Smoking is a choice between screwing your health or not doing it. You are definitely free to stop smoking if you have nightmares about it.

    Rahul coming to power vs. cheddis coming to power is not such a choice. Being a cheddi or non-cheddis voter you dont really have a choice by definition.

    For non-cheddis Advani/Modi/Yeddi will be a nightmare, while for cheddis Rahul will be.

    As I said before, maybe you are thinking (hoping?) Rahul is a nightmare for non-cheddis too. He might become after one he comes to power, but it definitely IS NOT the nightmare for cheddis and non-cheddis alike as you assert.

    So we agree Sarah Palin is better than Advani/Modi/Yeddi on most counts? Except perhaps in hating minorities, whipping up religious/race/caste hysteria rather than solving some real problems etc.

  23. karihaida Says:

    Cheddis are having nightmares about what is going to happen during Rahul baba’s raj, while non cheddis will experience the nightmares during the RAJ.
    I sure hope that the non cheddis also start having nightmares about the upcoming sham …

    Ofcourse Sarah Palin is better. You need to be a special kind of weirdo to jerk off to Yeddi :)

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