Is Rahul Gandhi in terror radar? That is what the Indian media has been reporting since last fortnight, prompting journalists like me to question the ID of Rahul Gandhi – Who is he? What terror threat is he facing?
Indian media, which seems fanatical about Rahul Gandhi, has been hysterically quoting police that a plot by Islamic militants to kidnap the 37-year-old scion of India’s famed Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty had been foiled. It says the photogenic parliamentarian was to be abducted by the militants to bargain for release of scores of their imprisoned comrades. Thus, Rahul Gandhi, who is among India’s most closely guarded politicians, was again in news, just days after becoming general secretary of the oldest political outfit – Congress party, whose president Sonia Gandhi is his mother.
The bespectacled pink-lipped Rahul is incessantly shown in the Indian media as the one emerging from the dust beneath a helicopter’s slowing blades or the one being greeted with shameless flattery: “Desh ka pradhan mantri kaisa ho, Rahul Gandhi jaisa ho (Rahul Gandhi would make an ideal Indian prime minister).”
Oh God ! Rahul – despite his youth and inexperience – is being projected as the future prime minister of a country of over a billion people ! Does he deserve such rock-star receptions? What has he done till date to prove his testimonial other than lamenting the lack of roads, water and electricity in India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh !
Ironically, this state hosts two VVIP parliamentary constituencies of Amethi and Rai Bareili, belonging to Rahul and his mother Sonia. Rahul Gandhi played a major role in his Congress’ party campaigning in elections in Uttar Pradesh earlier this year, but the party failed to reverse its declining fortunes there. That was the time when the heir apparent of ruling Congress party had got a chance to shine as India’s next political star. But he flopped miserably. How could rhetoric like “nobody has done anything more for the poor than my grandmother Indira Gandhi” bring him rave reviews. Still media was reporting Rahul. It is still making him the news.
True, a member of the Gandhi family has been in charge of India for 40 of the 60 years since India’s independence. But does that give Rahul the right to rule?
Election in most debated state Gujarat is at hand. Polls are also due in National Capital Delhi, central state Madhya Pradesh and desert state of Rajasthan. Unless Rahul Gandhi wins over millions of voters in these states, doubts will remain over credentials of the young aspiring politician.
As a parliamentarian, Rahul has visited a foreign nation Afghanistan. But would an Indian scribe ask him if he has ever visited Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan or even addressed a public meeting in the national capital Delhi !!!
Would Rahul then even speak to the Indian press? I am told he only sticks to his script and shies away from even the briefest interviews. “I have not been given permission to talk to the press,” the prestigious Guardian newspaper quoted him as saying in the middle of 2007. “It is an order.”
Then why Rahul is being touted by media as a potential future prime minister of India? Only because Gandhi name is considered a political magic ! I would like to better remember him as great-great-grandson of eminent leader of Indian freedom movement Motilal Nehru, great grandson of first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, grandson of first woman prime minister Indira Gandhi, son of yet another prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. That’s all.