What is wrong with Rahul Gandhi?

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 05, 2012 05:25 hrs

Recently at the massive New Delhi rally, Congress heir apparent Rahul Gandhi gave a very disturbing statement. He said that the Congress supported the BJP-led government over the Kargil issue.

Excuse me?

Am I missing something?

Did Pakistan declare war on the BJP and not the rest of India? Is the Congress party a separate entity that if India is attacked, then it has the choice to decide whether to support the country or not? There are some things which go without saying and by saying such things out into the open,

Rahul has put his very credibility on the line.

What was more disturbing was stretching it to the FDI issue: That if the Congress as the Opposition could support the BJP over Kargil, then why couldn't the BJP support the Congress over FDI? That argument is pretty lame, even by political standards.

Every time Rahul says something, it makes you shake your head in disbelief. In the same rally Rahul said that India's biggest problem is our political system. He added that it is closed to the common man. It is closed to the weak.

That's pretty rich coming from the party that is the founder of modern India. It is the Congress party which has single-handedly created the political system of India, for better or worse. It is the Congress which ruled at the Centre unbroken for the first 30 years. In a way, Rahul was criticising the past of his own party.

If he was making policy changes and coming out with solutions for that, then it might have made some sense.

But if that was not enough, then he added that even political parties are also closed to the common man. That's richer because the Congress is extremely dynastic and feudal in nature. A Nehru-Gandhi dynasty member gets first choice of becoming Prime Minister and the Cabinet has at least 10 ministers who are part of some dynasty or the other.

That way the BJP has been more open to the common man than the Congress can ever hope to be. The biggest example is Narendra Modi, a mango man turned Chief Minister in a single lifetime.

Activist Arvind Kejriwal is another mango man who is trying to get into the political system, but he has been totally rubbished by the Congress party at every stage. When Rahul's brother-in-law calls India a banana republic, one wonders whether he was in fact taking pot shots at the Congress party itself!

The rest of the speech was filled with platitudes like: To he who eats half a roti, we will now give him a stomach full of food! That's reminiscent of the failed Garibi Hatao slogan of the Congress of the 1970s.

The problem is that this is not an aberration but part of the larger trend where he seems to speak more nonsense than sense. YouTube is floating with videos of Rahul's gaffes. In one such, he says that Gujarat is bigger than the United Kingdom. While he could be forgiven for making that mistake since both are almost comparable, he adds that India is bigger than both the United States and Europe! Each individually is thrice the size of India and even a sharp schoolchild won't make that mistake.

In one occasion Rahul boasted that his family was responsible for the break-up of Pakistan. Another misleading statement for due to the internal civil war in Pakistan and the influx of refugees into the country, India was forced to intervene. The break-up of Pakistan was not the goal (it's not like we planned it in 1969-70 and then attacked in 1971), but the end result.

Recently he claimed that 7 in 10 people of Punjab's youth were into drugs. While drugs may be a big problem in the state, to imply that millions are affected is way off the mark.

It is no wonder that Janata President Subramanian Swamy makes fun of Rahul and refers to him as "Buddhu" on Twitter.

Swamy has also finally dragged in Rahul directly into allegations of impropriety when he brought the party's Rs 90 crore personal loan to light. Rahul's office first threatened to sue Swamy and the very next day dared Swamy to do the same! They don't seem to have a credible defence against the charges.

If is very difficult to understand what type of Prime Minister Rahul will be on the basis of the statements he makes, since most of them don't make any sense and are contradictory in nature.

If he does become the PM - be afraid, be very afraid!

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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger.

He blogs at