Rahul Gandhi is on an extended 10 day America visit, where he has been speaking to audiences, mostly of NRIs, but also others.
I have heard him on several youtube videos, some of which are given below :
The sum and substance of his speech was in one single phrase ” Nafrat ke bazaar mein mohabbat ki dukaan ”.
Rahul also often criticised and ridiculed PM Modi and the BJP
Now I am no supporter of Modi and the BJP, and have often criticised them for polarising Indian society and increasing communalism for vote banks
I have repeatedly said that unity and communal amity is absolutely essential if India is to progress
So I too agree that instead of nafrat ka bazaar we should have mohabbat ki dukaan.
But having said that, what else do we find in Rahul Gandhi’s speeches ? I am afraid I find nothing but empty platitudes and homilies.
India’s basic problems are our massive poverty, record and rising unemployment, appalling level of child malnutrition ( every second child in India is malnourised, according to Global Hunger Index, and we have slipped from position number 101 to 107 out of the 121 countries surveyed, behind neighbouring countries )
Proper healthcare and good education are almost absent for our masses.
Has Rahul Gandhi any solution to these mammoth problems ? I found nothing in his speeches to show that he has.
The 2024 parliamentary elections are approaching, and let us assume the Congress with some allies win and form coalition government. What will happen then ? There will no doubt be a scramble for lucrative portfolios, but will it create even a dent in the massive problems mentioned above ? Not at all.
I have repeatedly said that the test of every political system and every political activity is one, and only one : does it raise the standard of living of the people ? Does it give them better lives ? From that viewpoint, I am afraid Rahul Gandhi, who is being visualised by some as a kind of Moses who will lead the Indian people out of their captivity, has really nothing to offer. There is really nothing in his head. Even his talk of spreading mohabbat sounds hollow when we recollect that in the 2017 Gujarat elections he visited almost every temple, his followers called him a ‘janeudhari shivabhakt’ ( with no refutation from him ), and he went to Mansarovar, all to placate Hindu votes.
Indians love to follow a Pied Piper of Hamelin. When Indira Gandhi gave the slogan ‘Gharibi hatao’, they voted for her en masse. When Anna Hazare called for end of corruption they flocked to him. When Modi proclaimed ‘Vikas’ they did the same. And now when Rahul Gandhi talks of mohabbat they cheer.
When will Indians realise that the solutions to their problems lie outside the system of parliamentary democracy, for parliamentary democracy in India largely runs on the basis of caste and communal vote banks ( the Karnataka election results was only due to a shift in the caste combination, not a sudden love for secularism as some people imagine ) ? Casteism and communalism are feudal forces which have to be destroyed if India is to progress, but parliamentary democracy further entrenches them.
So we will have to create an alternative system under which we get modern minded leaders determined to rapidly industrialise and modernise the country ( like Mustafa Kemal in Turkey in the 1920s, or the Japanese leaders who came to power after the Meiji Restoration of 1868 ), for that alone can abolish poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, and the other curses which plague our nation. To achieve that goal we have to use our creativity and find out the real solutions. Thinking of short cuts like making Rahul Gandhi as our leader is an inane idea which will only result in jumping from the frying pan into the fire.