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Electoral defeats are temporary shocks, Rahul Gandhi has been steadfast in his core values

By Shibangi Sinha Roy
Updated on :
Source: India Today


It was anybody’s guess while analysing the Congress result in the recently concluded 5 state elections that Congress’s success will have many fathers but in case of failure, all blame would be on Rahul Gandhi alone. As the leader, Rahul Gandhi has accepted the blame for the defeats on his shoulders, while giving the credit for the victory to the workers and state leaders. An article on Rahul Gandhi will elicit jibes, sneers and name-calling, however that will not deter me from expressing my views on the many unfair criticisms on him.

Rahul Gandhi’s birth comes with the legacy and the baggage of belonging to a family that has made a significant contribution to in the growth and development of the country. The Congress party and the Gandhi family has been a beacon of hope for many. They have stood for the idea of India and have time and again sacrificed their lives for the same. That’s why those who believe in this idea of India have a firm belief in the Gandhi family. Carrying forward the vision of the party and the values and legacy of the family, Rahul Gandhi is caught in the quagmire of accepting responsibility of the shortcomings of the past while nurturing and developing the core values/principles of the Congress party.

Rahul Gandhi chose to serve the organisation instead of serving in government. However, it is pertinent to remember that till 2013, he was only one of the General Secretaries in-charge of frontals in the organisation. His day-to-day involvement in the organisation has only increased in the last year and a half, yet, apparently, he is the one to be blamed for all the ills of the party, especially in the last 10 years. The critics are unfair to him to the extent that they will criticise the Congress party for not effectively handling criminalisation of politics in the past, yet they castigate him for tearing off the Ordinance, and again will not credit him with the outcome of the same – a decriminalising of politics.

The barometer of judging leadership qualities today seems unfortunately limited to election win-loss percentage or oratory skills. And in this cacophony, Rahul Gandhi’s endeavour for a paradigm shift in Indian politics gets overlooked. An impartial and fair reading of Rahul Gandhi’s leadership reveals a high degree of consistency in his thoughts and commitment for the values. He has been focusing on addressing the 4 Ds – Development, Disparities, Discrimination and Diversity. Through his deep-rooted commitment to the Nehruvian idea of India with its four pillars – Democracy, Secularism, Pluralism and Social Justice, unlike any other present-day politician, Rahul Gandhi is striving to change the narrative of Indian politics. He stands for giving voice to the marginalised and the voiceless, and assimilating them into the decision-making processes. He is trying hard to change the status-quoist approach – a clear departure from the prevailing patronising, mai-baap approach. This tectonic shift against the status quo is what makes various stakeholders uncomfortable.

Rahul Gandhi has remained steadfastly committed to the idea of empowering the marginalised, be it in 2007 or in 2017. Throughout his political life from Niyamgiri to Bhatta Parsaul, Barmer to Faridabad and from Hyderabad to Una, he has championed the cause of the marginalised. His struggle for kisaan rights has ensured that the current government could not bring about draconian changes in land acquisition and equally his fight for jawans on the issue of OROP is forcing the government to fulfill the promises it made in this context. He raised the slogan of Jai Bhim in his Ambedkar Jayanti speech at Nagpur last year and talks of “annihilating caste” based on Ambedkar’s vision. Rahul Gandhi genuinely believes in inclusive politics, and therefore, for him, the idea of empowering communities is not in terms of binaries, of ‘either/or’ such as dalits or Brahmins, Yadavs or Bhumiyars. Thus, Rahul Gandhi has consistently been lending a powerful voice to the disadvantaged and is genuinely endeavouring to change the political narrative and for him it is not just striving for equality but also stressing on why such equality is desperately needed.

For Rahul, the idea of Bharat Mata ki Jai is a realisation of the aspirations of ALL the people of the country, irrespective of caste, class, gender or community. It is a desire to have diversity in the decision-making processes of the country, to voice the needs of every section of society, rather than to maintain the existing ‘exclusionary and top-down’ approach. He has pushed his vision within the organization by reforming it on the lines of his vision. Addressing the issue of diversity within the organisation, Rahul Gandhi has not only democratised the youth and student wings of the party and made them criminal-free, but significantly, has also reserved posts for the deprived sections of society to ensure that they are adequately represented at all levels. He has also ensured that the CWC, the highest decision-making body of the Congress, passed a resolution to reserve 50% of the posts for the deprived sections. And yet today we see that those who once laughed at his acts as ‘Dalit Tourism’, are now following him and visiting Dalit homes, dining with them, in their attempt to connect with this segment of the society.

Rahul Gandhi’s long-term vision for the country has twin objectives – the decentralisation of governance and true empowerment of grassroots level systems like Panchayati Raj. To truly empower the marginalised sections of our society – Dalits, Tribals, OBCs and Women – and ultimately create a whole new generation of collective, inclusive leadership is Rahul Gandhi’s ultimate goal, however much one criticises him. However, Rahul Gandhi has realised the gaps much like what Noam Chomsky says of liberals in the US not walking the talk.

Electoral defeats are temporary shocks. What matters is being steadfast to your core values and principles. An honest critic would accept that in his ideas Rahul Gandhi has shown no deviation. He subscribes to and upholds the ideas that define India and are under threat from deceptive packaging of dangerous and decisive ideas. Deception would be clear to the people of India before long. And the Congress party is neither out nor down and under the leadership of Shri Rahul Gandhi, it is there at the front with the people, to fight back deception and win. On dealing with criticism Mahatma Gandhi once said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Rahul Gandhi knows that he is on the right path and he would know that ultimately he WILL win.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NEWSD and NEWSD does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.



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