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Rahul bhaiyya, kindly stop being hypocritical

Author: A Surya Prakash
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: February 5, 2013
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/item/53349-rahul-bhaiyya-kindly-stop-being-hypocritical.html

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi informed a Congress gathering that his mother had told him about power being poison. Yet he has happily consumed it and his family remains addicted to it for generations

 While leaders of the Congress, who continue to remain in the grip of sycophancy, are showering praises on Rahul Gandhi for his laboured peroration at Jaipur after his appointment as vice-president of the party a couple of weeks ago, people who have not suspended their ability to dispassionately view events and political developments are disappointed and shocked.

 They are disappointed because all that Mr Gandhi did that day was to skirt critical issues and merely deliver homilies. Shocked, because they have never heard a more hypocritical and dishonest acceptance speech from a politician who is still quite new to the world of politics. Let us examine some of his assertions:

 Early on in his speech, Mr Gandhi made an endearing reference to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said that Mr Singh spearheaded a revolution in 1991that unleashed entrepreneurship and changed the country forever. He is outright dishonest when he gives credit to Mr Singh for opening up the economy and liberating it from the stifling grip of the licence-permit raj in the 1991-96 phase. The man who did this was PV Narasimha Rao who, as Prime Minister, had the courage to debunk Jawaharlal Nehru’s and Indira Gandhi’s socialist policies, which had crushed the entrepreneurial spirit of Indians. Rao hired Mr Singh, basically a backroom bureaucrat, to do the job. Despite several situations when his political opponents threatened to bring down his Government because of the economic liberalisation policy pursued by it, Rao shielded Mr Singh and retained him as Union Finance Minister for a full five years. Neither Indira Gandhi nor Rajiv Gandhi had the decency or the confidence to respect the intellectual and political strengths of their Ministers. As a result, they resorted to frequent Cabinet reshuffles to unsettle members of the Union Cabinet.

 The average tenure of a Minister in key ministries like Defence, External Affairs and Human Resource Development in the Rajiv Gandhi Government was a shocking four to six months. Narasimha Rao as Prime Minister betrayed no such insecurity and retained Ministers without disturbing them. Mr Singh was one of them. That is why Rao was able to turn around the economy and give the country much needed political stability and hope. Yet, Mr Rahul Gandhi makes no mention of Narasimha Rao and gives the entire credit to Mr Singh. This is an absolutely dishonest inference and part of the cunning and persistent effort by the Nehru-Gandhi family to deny Rao credit for bringing about an economic miracle in India.

 But, what is truly extraordinary is that after ignoring the phenomenal contribution of Rao, Mr Gandhi claims that people are not given their due in this country! He told his party leaders who had assembled at Jaipur that “We do not praise our colleagues or look at their strengths. And all of us, every single one of us does it. We won’t praise other people. We will ask them, ‘Bhaiyya, what is your weakness?’ We only look at ways to neutralise them.”

 This is exactly what the Nehru-Gandhis have done in respect of all high achievers among our national leaders. Every major national scheme is named after just three members of the Nehru-Gandhi family. This family has never acknowledged the great contributions of many national leaders. In fact, it has systematically tried to run down BR Ambedkar, a great visionary, social reformer and constitutionalist and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the man who stitched India together by forging a nation out of 563 princely States. Such is the family’s obsession with itself that even the University Grants Commission scholarships for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students are not named after Mahatma Gandhi or BR Ambedkar, but Rajiv Gandhi.

 In recent times, the family has never had the grace to acknowledge the extraordinary work of former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, who gave India economic muscle and in a matter of five years, placed it in the league of the fastest developing nations. It was Rao who opened up the economy and triggered unprecedented growth in Information Technology, Telecommunication and many other sectors. The family has never acknowledged any of this. Yet, Mr Gandhi has the gumption to lecture others on how in India, the achievements of others are never acknowledged!

 Here is a gem of a quote from his speech, which is another example of the hypocrisy that this man is seeped in. He says “……no matter which political party you look at, why do a handful of people control the entire political space? Power is grossly centralised in our country. We only empower people at the top of a system. We don’t believe in empowering people all the way to the bottom”. Isn’t this extraordinary, coming from a man like Mr Gandhi on the day he is catapulted to the top of the heap in his party simply because of his lineage? His family is at the apex of the Congress and ever scion of this family is presumed to be adequately endowed with qualities of leadership. This is feudalism in practice in circa 2013 and it is this single qualification that made the greenhorn Mr Gandhi the party’s vice-president. Can anyone be more hypocritical can this? Is this not absolute humbug when it comes from a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family?

 During his speech, Mr Gandhi tried to give an emotional touch to his utterances and claimed that he mother told him early that morning that power is like poison. If that be so, we need to ask Mr Gandhi, “Bhaiyya, why are you consuming it and why is your family addicted to it?”

 Probably the only honest statement he made is that the system promotes mediocrity. Obviously, he presumes that he is not in that category, but surely, many of those who heard his speech that day felt that at least in this matter, he was being honest. Here is another dose of truthfulness: He says, “People who are corrupt stand up and talk about eradicating corruption”. How true. Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Congress, who ensured that Ottavio Quattrochchi got away with the loot of US$7.3 million from Bofors and even saw to it that the corruption case against him was withdrawn, has also started lecturing us on corruption. She referred to it in Jaipur and said the people were disgusted with the state of affairs. All that one can say after hearing Mr Rahul Gandhi is: “Bhaiyya, when will you become a little more honest in your assessments and when will your family acknowledge the great work done by others?”

(The accompanying visual is of Rahul Gandhi at AICC headquarters in New Delhi. PTI photo by Subhav Shukla)
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