Saturday, May 23, 2009


When your icon tastes success, however small and for whatever reason, after five long years, it is very difficult to control your emotions. All the frustration that had remained bottled up for so long gushes out uncontrollably from every orifice, transformed into perfumed words of praise. Ah what a relief! Thank you Rahul, you say following a deep breath, we thought this day would never come.

11 additional seats and a 6% rise in vote share in UP has sent the geysers shooting. And this is only the beginning. If it was Quick Gun Murugan Vir Sanghvi who beat every one to the discovery of the genius that lay carefully concealed in Rahul baba for 39 long years, thanks to that solitary "brilliant" move, it is now his good friend Barkha Dutt who is uncovering the "big winner" in him for pushing to travel solo "in the badlands Uttar Pradesh" and for "winning the Hindi heartland" for his party! With an 18% vote share? Did he not go solo in 2007 too? And has the Congress not done as well, even better, in many other states, about which no one is talking?

The contribution of the Prime Minister to the victory of the Congress is not only being ignored, he is even being belittled by sections of the media. What else can you say when a headline says: "When Gandhis let PM take centrestage", at his swearing in ceremony? Dr Manmohan Singh, after being sworn in PM for the second time, this time on the people's vote, must still be shown as subservient to the Gandhis and not allowed to bask for a moment in even his share of the shine of victory.

News has also just come in Rahul baba has once again refused to join the cabinet, as expected. When he had first refused the PM's offer last year, a leading Congress-leaning editor had justified it by saying that as a minister Rahul would have got "hidden behind" files and lost contact with the people! Some, in fact had gone to the extent of saying that he was not hankering for power and was making a sacrifice for the party. This time too, the reason given is that he wants to concentrate on building the organisation. But this time, the pretences are off. Barkha Dutt makes no bones about what is coming next when she says that he has taken the right decision because "it's the more grounded way to climb to the top". Decipher that!

To me it was always clear that Rahul Gandhi would never join Dr Manmohan's government for two reasons. First and most important is that unspoken arrogance that does not permit him to serve under someone who is his family's appointee/employee, and is there solely to keep the top chair safe for him. The last and only time a Gandhi did that in the government was four decades ago. The second is that while it is very difficult to quantify organisational failure and pin blame on him if things don’t go right, as a minister he will be in full public glare and his performance will be under a microscope. That is an unacceptable risk, because unlike when you are the PM, blame for poor performance cannot be passed on by you as a minister, and that too an all-powerful one like him, to another politician or bureaucrat. And considering some unbelievable statements that he has made that betray a very superficial understanding and average intellect, you can be sure that he will be found wanting, with nowhere to hide.

A caption on CNN-IBN said it all this morning: "Rahul revamping cabinet". He is not going to be there but his lieutenants - "Rahul Sena" - consisting of young second generation politicians like Sachin Pilot, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jitendra Prasada etc are being inducted. "Rahul's stamp is bound to remain with the way the government and the party function" said a news reader on the channel. The ever grateful Veerappa Moily, now a minister after being gagged following Rahul Gandhi's famous interview, has also publicly said on the very first day after joining Dt Manmohan Singh's cabinet that Rahul will lead the Congress as PM for the next elections.

Baba raga is getting louder with each passing day. It is, in fact, already beginning to sound like a symphony being played by an orchestra whose conductor has miraculously reappeared after a long time. Enjoy the music. And ignore the well suppressed jarring notes in the background, at least for now. There is little else that you can do!
Readers may also like to read:
1. Singh is the people's king
2. The Manmohan victory: time we got a President
3. Rahul: from dud to genius in two hours!
4. I love Rahul Gandhi - because nepotism rules :D MUST READ