Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rahul Gandhi's Mahatma Gandhi reverie

Sketches his idealist idea of leadership

New Delhi: Political pundits have seen Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and imminent future leader of the party as reluctant, ill-prepared and with his head in books. He almost confirmed the prejudices of his critics when he stood up to talk on the final day of the two-day national convention of the elected office-bearers of the Indian Youth Congress here on Tuesday.

Speaking in English – he told the delegates that he spoke in Hindi on Monday and that he would speak in English for the benefit of the non-Hindi speaking members – he started off on a dreamy note when he said that Mahatma Gandhi was no more a man but an idea. “Gandhiji is no longer a man. He has become an idea.” And he said that the Mahatma never sought to control the Congress, but he had transformed the party in such a way that it would serve the country. Perhaps not since his great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru did anyone from the family pay such a heartfelt and sincere tribute to the Father of the Nation.

Rahul Gandhi also said of the Mahatma that he (Mahatma Gandhi) had always created “mutiny within himself”

Are these clear hints that these are also the inner impulse of Rahul Gandhi himself, a man who is being pestered, nudged and pressured to take over as working president of the party or join the government? He had been resisting and evading. He would say that it is not necessary to hold a post either in government or party to serve.

In his Mahatma reverie, Rahul went on to sat that a leader is not one who speaks what his adudience wants to hear but a leader is one who speaks his mind even if it goes against that of teh audience but which she believes in herself.

He was using the politically correct feminine pronoun of 'she' insitead of 'he' as talked of the idea leader. “She is the one who does not lead others but leads herself,” he said.

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