A genuinely progressive and popular alternative to the Congress’s misrule can only be based on an alternative policy platform, writes Prasenjit Bose
Given its political bankruptcy, a section of the Congress started arguing that the problem lies less with the policies of the government and their outcomes than with the personality of the prime minister. Egged on by this section, mainly comprising of sycophants and backroom intriguers, the Congress president shifted her focus from policy interventions — which was her forte during the heydays of the National Advisory Council — to securing the political career of her son.
Rahul Gandhi has several problems, but the one that stands out is his incomprehension of policies, be it related to the economic, social or foreign affairs. When it comes to the nuclear deal and strategic relations with the United States of America, he remembers Kalavati. When it comes to price rise, he talks about the Congress’s benevolence in initiating the NREGA. While reflecting on communalism and terrorism, he talks about the ISI recruiting riot victims of Muzaffarnagar. And when it comes to corruption, he is only trying to take credit in a puerile manner for enacting the lok pal law, which his own government had resisted and prevaricated on for so long, or “tearing and throwing out” the controversial ordinance on convicted MPs, which his own government had shamelessly initiated.
Far from being the youth icon that the Congress projects him to be, Rahul Gandhi seems to be totally out of sync with the aspirations of the youth. When the young women and men hit the streets of Delhi in thousands last year, protesting against the brutal gangrape of a young female student and demanding that the State take decisive steps to stop violence against women, Rahul and his youth brigade were conspicuous by their silence. In contrast, two prominent members of the Congress gang of babalogs, belonging to Haryana, were vocal in defending the feudal khap panchayats and their medieval diktats against relationships of their own choice between young men and women.