Rahul Gandhi and the fear of failure

Published: July 25, 2013

The writer is a journalist in Delhi whose work has appeared in The Christian Science Monitor and The New York Times. He tweets @DilliDurAst

No Congress party members accuse Rahul Gandhi of being smart. Most people describe him as sincere, a polite way of saying he sounds immature. He can sound embarrassingly naive. By the time he leads his party into the 2014 elections, Rahul will have spent 10 years in politics — with very little to show for it. The nickname that online right-wingers have coined for him — Pappu — seems apt. However, even as a staunch critic of the Congress party, I think the world is unfair to Rahul. I think there’s something to be said about him, even at this low point in his career.

Firstly, Rahul Gandhi is at least conscious that he is a crown prince born with a silver spoon. It is not as if he does not have a dynastic sense of self-entitlement but, at least, he tries to hide it. Dynasty can breed tyrants — think of his uncle Sanjay Gandhi who thought he was king when his mother Indira imposed Emergency. The mother’s love for her son is also said to be Sonia Gandhi’s weakness but that hasn’t turned Rahul into a Sanjay. It is only luck whether a society gets a good prince or a bad prince.

The right-wing critics are right in criticising the Congress’ dynasticism in the first place, but it is not as if dynasticism is not practised in the BJP. How does the BJP explain poaching Sanjay Gandhi’s son Varun Feroze Gandhi? If the BJP is allowed to have a mother in the RSS then the Congress is also allowed to have a mother in the Gandhi family.

Rahul has till date given only one face-to-face on-record interview in 2005. He said he could have been prime minister at 25 if he wanted. The uproar over the statement led him to deny it, but Rahul was right. If he wants, he can be prime minister right now. Given that everybody agrees he is a fool, shouldn’t we be grateful to him for not exercising the option he was born into?

Rahul, instead, chose to rebuild the party in places from where it had been wiped out — particularly, the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh. Rahul chose to concentrate on improving the fundamentals instead of enjoying the fruits of power. Deserves a brownie point, no?

He did not succeed in this enterprise for two reasons. Firstly, you cannot rebuild or run a political party with modern management techniques. You can do so only by walking through the heat and dust of this land and becoming part of the lives of its people. The parties that are ruling Uttar Pradesh between them did just that. Rahul Gandhi only parachutes to a village to sleep one night. God knows who the gimmick fools.

Rahul is seen as a failure for being unable to build his party in Uttar Pradesh or even introduce inner party democracy in the Youth Congress, but to be fair both are Herculean tasks and I doubt if another Congress leader can achieve them. Rahul Gandhi deserves credit for trying despite knowing it’s nearly impossible. It would have been so much easier to be PM.

Public memory is short. People forget that in the 2009 general elections, Rahul overruled his colleagues and did not enter a pre-poll alliance with the Samajwadi Party, taking its tally of seats from UP from nine to 21 seats, surprising everyone including itself. I have attended Rahul Gandhi’s election rallies in UP and while his speeches don’t impress me, they do impress his audience. They like his spiel of being a different kind of politician, of not sounding power hungry and trying to understand them.

Rahul Gandhi’s problem is the fear of failure. In that 2005 interview, he acknowledged this fear “around him” and that he needed to lose elections to learn. And yet, he treads carefully for fear of making mistakes. This fear makes Rahul look like a reluctant politician who doesn’t put himself out there; and when he does, it backfires. He does not want to be prime minister because he likes his mother’s model of power without responsibility. Uneasy lies the head …

I asked a Congressman why the party wasn’t bringing forward the smarter sibling, Priyanka. “Then what will happen to Rahul ji?” he asked.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (58)

  • thor
    Jul 25, 2013 - 11:23PM

    Mahatma Gandhi wanted to dissolve Congress after independence, a contention refuted by Congress.
    India having attained political independence through means devised by the Indian National Congress, the Congress in its present shape and form, i.e., as a propaganda vehicle and parliamentary machine had outlived its use.
    BJP/RSS are just an antithesis to this propaganda vehicle.
    The problem with Indians is they see Mahatma in every Gandhi.

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  • thor
    Jul 25, 2013 - 11:36PM

    I asked a Congressman why the party wasn’t bringing forward the smarter sibling, Priyanka.
    Well.why not .Robert Vadra, the smartest,.. damaad.

    Recommend

  • sid
    Jul 25, 2013 - 11:40PM

    Lame excuse for dynasty politics…………Comparing RSS to gandhi family…….

    Recommend

  • thor
    Jul 25, 2013 - 11:50PM

    If the BJP is allowed to have a mother in the RSS then the Congress is also allowed to have a mother in the Gandhi family.

    RSS driven ideology V/S Nehru Family Driven sycophants.
    Perfect match.

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  • Parvez
    Jul 26, 2013 - 12:10AM

    Again as an observer I get the impression that Congress is being projected as a political party that has delivered and is headed by Rahul Gandhi. While on the other hand Modi is being trumpetted as the leader who will save the day and yeah he belongs to the BJP.

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  • sid
    Jul 26, 2013 - 1:21AM

    ET always gives one sided opinion………..All articles are targeted against BJP…….get a view from other side this is how democracy works,,,,,,,

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  • Polpot
    Jul 26, 2013 - 2:58AM

    Who is dumber?
    ++++++++++++++
    Rahul Gandhi or Bilawal Bhutto? Neck to neck competition.

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  • Raj Kafir
    Jul 26, 2013 - 7:51AM

    We ( Indians ) need a Hawkish Prime Minister. We have already seen almost two terms of a Dove Prime Minister. No More Doves, please…

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  • Gowhar Fazili
    Jul 26, 2013 - 8:14AM

    Bhagao dono saalon ko I mean (BJP+Congress). Let in some fresh air!

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  • BlackJack
    Jul 26, 2013 - 8:32AM

    Again a piece that says hardly anything, much like its subject.

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  • Jul 26, 2013 - 8:34AM

    We are all aware that BJP and specially Mr Modi are spending huge amounts on PR and Ad agencies to build up their images and discredit the present ruling alliance specially the Congress. There is nothing wrong in his as most of the advanced countries including the presidential candidate of USA do the same. I totally agree that the Congress party has failed on many fronts and there is a sentiment not to put them in power in the next elections. I also have no dispute with the claims of Mr Modi he may be right. But I have a question to all those who want to vote for BJP as rebound to the failure and corruption of the present government. Should we do so in a hurry without understanding the implications?
    RSS and its extended wings like BJP strongly believe in an ideology that supports the TWO NATION THEORY. As Mr Jinnah strongly believed in a separate Islamic state for Muslims so does the RSS & BJP believe in a Hindu Rashtra. In spite of all the jugglery of words regarding the meaning of HINDUTVA we all understand what it means. This ideology is in direct contradiction to the ideology that our forefathers preached and believed. India is a multi religious, multi culture, multi customs, multi language nation and all have the right to co- exist without the domination of any single unit. The victory of BJP came on chariot of Ram mandir. Its divisive politics has given us destruction of Babri masjid and carnage of Gujarat. The signs of policies to come are in the statements of today. “Decline of Sanskrit language is lamented. It is being loudly said that English is not the wheel of progress”. They keep propagating Muslims as an outsider and a threat to our nation-hood. Both these concepts are totally misplaced. The Muslims or the Christians of this country are not outsiders. They are as much sons of this soil as anyone else. They have lived in this country from thousands of years may not be as Muslims or Christians. What binds us is that we are sons of this same soil. Hurting each other will destroy the very fabric of this country. We must decide the basic foundations of India and what sort of nation we want to live before we rush to vote. Whether we want a climate of love to thrive, progress and peace or of hatred to win elections? We all must be deeply religious. As religion builds character and moral fiber. We must follow our own faith and practices with dignity and freedom. BUT IN CAPITAL we must understand that being religious is one thing and being communal is another. To be good Hindu you do not have to hate Muslims or Christians. Similarly being a good Muslim or Christian does not mean that you have to hate others.And this is what BJP does not believe and understand.

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  • Rakib
    Jul 26, 2013 - 9:53AM

    @thor:
    Mahatma Gandhi wanted to dissolve Congress after independence,

    So what did Mahatma recommend instead? If he felt that Congress had outlived its use as a “parliamentary machine” after Partition, he must have suggested an alternative. Or,was the suggestion as sterile as his exhortation to practice celibacy as the only family planning measure in India?

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  • thor
    Jul 26, 2013 - 10:29AM

    @VINOD:
    I think it was during Rajiv Gandhi period that Ram Mandir locks were opened.
    What do you have to say about shah bano case & the Bhindranwale episode.?
    The problem is not Communal Harmony in India, but the way it is being painted by Congress.
    Regarding Two nation Theory,well.. it has worked for India.

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  • External Hand
    Jul 26, 2013 - 11:05AM

    @ VINOD:
    Outstanding sir. I thought I was the only one swimming against the Modi tide out here. Hats off for putting my feelings word for word in writing.

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  • Lala
    Jul 26, 2013 - 11:10AM

    Like every son or daughter of a doctor will not be a doctor unless appear in exams and prove there talents, but sorry to say that in politics, born in an elite gandhi family is enough to make him to consider in a PM post with out proving himself any thing

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  • thor
    Jul 26, 2013 - 12:26PM

    @Rakib:
    I have not read the draft constitution which was finalized on January 29, 1948, a day before Gandhi’s assassination and it was released on February 2, 1948 by AICC general secretary Acharya Jugal Kishore..
    http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/jayalalithaa-mocks-congress-members/article4573889.ece#comments

    Gandhi prescribed & preached what he himself practiced & believed in, unlike the other man who drinks whiskey, eats pork & creates an Islamic state.

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  • Rakib
    Jul 26, 2013 - 12:52PM

    @thor:

    Constitution was under preparation in Constituent Assembly. What that has to do with Gandhi since he had left Congress ages ago & wasn’t a member of Assembly. A Tamil politician reads out a passage from a book quoting Gandhi. She doesn’t know what Gandhi offered as alternative. I was wondering whether you knew. You obviously don’t. Pork & whiskey? Do you think it was frankfurters & single malt? Very good choice, IMO. So what & why are you telling me all that? Are you assuming something about me?

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  • Rakib
    Jul 26, 2013 - 1:07PM

    @VINOD:
    Remarkable post Sir! Words of immense & practical wisdom indeed. They encase contemplation & experience.

    I think, next election is not the issue. RSS has patience of Job & it can make a full time job of holding patience. First, certain BJP old guard have to be neutralised. Yashwant, Shourie are gone cases; Jashwant, Advani are bit too fond of Jinnah; Sushma, Jaitly are featherweights & so on. Field should be clear for Modi. 2014 elections will only be the dry-run for the eventual take over of Delhi by RSS (with BJP as just a name) in the mid-term election that may be maneuvered upon India in 2016-17 or so. Eventually, absolute majority for Modi, who can then amend Constitution would be the goal. The Peshwas of Nagpore shan’t be denied victory in Panipat the 4th! That would help realise the dream of RSS founder Hedgewar & Guru Glowalkar, that is, final success of RSS lies in its superfluousness. If Legislature, Executive, Judiciary, Armed forces etc are all headed by RSS apparatchiks & followers of RSS ideology, it can afford to dissolve itself & a formal announcement of Hindu Rashtra may become quite unnecessary. The obvious need not be underlined then.

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  • Milind
    Jul 26, 2013 - 1:32PM

    @thor – “Well.why not .Robert Vadra, the smartest,.. damaad.”

    He’s smart enough not to be directly associated with the mango people, but reaping the benefits nevertheless.

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  • thor
    Jul 26, 2013 - 3:45PM

    @Rakib:
    The Tamil politician just not read out a passage from a book, she mocked at the whole party.
    I am not sure what Gandhi might have suggested as an alternative.
    But Is that relevant?
    Gandhi could have suggested something wise.
    The issue i was pointing out is the use of the Congress name or for that matter the Gandhi surname as an propaganda vehicle and parliamentary machine.
    Regarding Whiskey/pork, i admire your choice.& i made this point just as an analogy to your celibacy comment.
    &i am not making any assumption as that would cloud my judgment.

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  • Rajesh
    Jul 26, 2013 - 4:27PM

    If great mahadma gandhi alive, then he will kick the current fake gandhis

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  • C. Nandkishore
    Jul 26, 2013 - 5:14PM

    Modi is a liar. He lies left and right. I don’t want a liar as my PM. Yatha raja tatha praja. The world will see every Indian as a liar.

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  • Jul 26, 2013 - 6:51PM

    @External Hand: Thanks and regards. People like us must come out and say what is good for our nation.

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  • gp65
    Jul 26, 2013 - 8:41PM

    @VINOD: You may have said what you think is right for the nation. You have no basis to assume that others are not saying what they believe to be right for the country either.

    Many feel that the dynabstic rule of one family which is corrupt to the core is not good for the country. The pseudo secularism they preach is not good for the contry. The foisting of an incompetent person who has neither made any contribution in the legislature (by passing a lwa or facilitating its passage) or executive (by running any federal ministry or functio as CM) or ever held any job ever in the real world as the PM of a 1.2 billion country is not good for the country. Many also feel fear mongering on the basis of religion is not beneficial for the country

    Learn to tolerate if not respect different opinions.Recommend

  • Anand
    Jul 26, 2013 - 9:51PM

    @C. Nandkishore

    Crisp, but telling. Bravo!

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  • Anand
    Jul 26, 2013 - 9:52PM

    @VINOD

    “RSS and its extended wings like BJP strongly believe in an ideology that supports the TWO NATION THEORY. As Mr Jinnah strongly believed in a separate Islamic state for Muslims so does the RSS & BJP believe in a Hindu Rashtra.”
    Apparently you don’t have a problem with Mr Jinnah and Muslim League’s strong believe in TNT and its fruition in the form of Islamic state of Pakistan. Or, at the least, over time you have come to learn to accept it, and not uncomfortable with it. May be, because it’s a fait accompli! In that case, don’t you think, that may be given time you would be equally ill at ease with a Hindu India, should it ever happen? If the majority ever so decide in electing a party that promises them such a nation? If the aspiration of one community is honoured by giving them a country for themselves, how can it be denied to the other community? Whether these aspirations are vile or illegitimate is a separate debate and it was over on the day India was partitioned.

    “India is a multi religious, multi culture, multi customs, multi language nation and all have the right to co- exist without the domination of any single unit.”
    Just substitute ‘was’ for ‘is’ and ‘had’ for ‘have’, it would sound as true in 1947 as it is today. What’s the point?

    “The Muslims or the Christians of this country are not outsiders. They are as much sons of this soil as anyone else. They have lived in this country from thousands of years may not be as Muslims or Christians. What binds us is that we are sons of this same soil.”
    Very true. But it was true even then. This is not something that happened after partition.

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  • Raoul G.
    Jul 26, 2013 - 10:24PM

    @Rakib:
    @VINOD:
    Thank you. Please continue your stellar work, and also please emphasize on secularism like you did in the above posts. With your support, we will rule for a 100 years, if not more. I have a nephew who wants to take over. We need to show that secularism is more important than corruption or governance. I mean, what is the worth of a man’s life if he loses it. Even if he is able to get a meal once a week at least he should be thankful that he is alive.

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  • Naveen
    Jul 26, 2013 - 10:29PM

    @gp65: Please keep your US views to yourself. I will oppose you since I received TWO sets of candies from a Pakistani shopkeeper in Europe when I should have only received one. Vinod is correct. Rahul Gandhi is a descendant of the Sun God and Bharat Varsh. From his father’s side, he is related to King Bharat and from his mother’s side to Don Quixote in Spain. Don’t ask me more, ask Diggi. He knows everything.

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  • Foreign Leg
    Jul 26, 2013 - 10:41PM

    @gp65: Glad to see you back! You are like a rain shower in a parched desert! Oops! You are like a penthouse apartment on the flooded streets of Mumbai after a thunderstorm!

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  • harkol
    Jul 26, 2013 - 11:30PM

    This guy claims to be a ‘critic’ of Congress? Seriously?

    He is an apologist for congress. He talks of right wing, does he call Congress ‘left wing’ – which is what it is?

    He goes on to pile on platitudes and compares RSS to Gandhi family. Let’s consider the merits. The RSS head & its officials rise up in ranks – not as inheritence.

    Rahul isn’t a Sanjay – and we are to be thankful for that? oh great!

    Varun Gandhi? Now seriously. This guy didn’t inherit anything. Menaka herself has no voice within BJP, what can Varun ‘inherit’?? Besides, opposition is not to dynasties as much as ‘inheritence’ without merits. i.e. unworthy folks like Sonia/Rahul being thrust to power. No one complains much about Naveen Patnaik, as he isn’t an unworthy inheritor.

    A Man not accepting the responsibility of PM is praiseworthy. Let us see, he shirks responsibility so he can spend his time partying abroad, and amass wealth along with his brother-in-law without fear of open scrutiny. Not a virtue.

    Build the party? Ever since he has actively participated, Party has lost more states and vote share than before.

    Not sounding Power hungry? Seriously? Then why doesn’t he give up on power entirely and retire to his favorite European destination? G Family feels fish out of water without power – that’s why.

    Rahul’s problem isn’t fear of failure. It is ‘fear of being exposed’. If he is thrust to PM chair, he can’t hide like he does now. He needs to face officers, ministers and even press. Answer questions, take decisions – instead of just letting off some gas occasionally.

    He is an unworthy leader. May be a nice man, but then there are so many nice men in the world, we don’t read/write about them.

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  • Anand
    Jul 27, 2013 - 12:18AM

    @ET MOD

    What did you find objectionable with my post? There was no personal attack, no abusive language, but still…. If you have a problem with a line of argument, let the readers debate about it. A post made later gets through but one made earlier doesn’t. Strange!

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  • Anand
    Jul 27, 2013 - 12:24AM

    @VINOD

    “RSS and its extended wings like BJP strongly believe in an ideology that supports the TWO NATION THEORY. As Mr Jinnah strongly believed in a separate Islamic state for Muslims so does the RSS & BJP believe in a Hindu Rashtra.”
    Apparently you don’t have a problem with Mr Jinnah and Muslim League’s strong believe in TNT and its fruition in the form of Islamic state of Pakistan. Or, at the least, over time you have come to learn to accept it, and not uncomfortable with it. May be, because it’s a fait accompli! In that case, don’t you think, that may be given time you would be equally ill at ease with a Hindu India, should it ever happen? If the majority ever so decide in electing a party that promises them such a nation? If the aspiration of one community is honoured by giving them a country for themselves, how can it be denied to the other community? Whether these aspirations are vile or illegitimate is a separate debate and it was over on the day India was partitioned.

    “India is a multi religious, multi culture, multi customs, multi language nation and all have the right to co- exist without the domination of any single unit.”
    Just substitute ‘was’ for ‘is’ and ‘had’ for ‘have’, it would sound as true in 1947 as it is today. What’s the point?

    “The Muslims or the Christians of this country are not outsiders. They are as much sons of this soil as anyone else. They have lived in this country from thousands of years may not be as Muslims or Christians. What binds us is that we are sons of this same soil.”
    Very true. But it was true even then. This is not something that happened after partition.

    “Hurting each other will destroy the very fabric of this country.”
    Didn’t we heart each other during partition? Didn’t it destroy the ‘fabric of this country’ then? If it did, then what we are crying for? And if it didn’t, then why should it destroy the same now?

    Lastly; you are an enlightened soul, I mean it. I admire it and wish majority of Indians would have shared your vision. In an ideal world, good should and does triumph over evil every time. History is replete with instances when it didn’t. 1947 is a case in point. An ideology, even the noblest one can work only when members of a society can connect with it through the life they live on the ground. Again, at other times the perception of reality for an Individual may be entirely different from what the reality is on the ground, as it happens when people are sold to a propaganda that masquerades as ideology..

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  • gp65
    Jul 27, 2013 - 12:42AM

    @Foreign Leg: Thanks. Haven’t seen you in a bit either. Do keep writing.Recommend

  • Another North Indian
    Jul 27, 2013 - 1:27AM

    People like ‘Vinod’ are simply amazing human beings. If you disagree with them, then you must hate Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Animists. Why, because they said so.

    These are the people who have been running the Indian government. They have vested interests so deep in preserving the current system of exploiting social divides that they can think of no reason but hatred for disagreeing with them.

    ‘Vinod’, we could argue that you have your views because you hate India, and you hate Hindus. Perhaps ET moderators would not even publish those comments because such accusations would not be right. You should learn to give others the respect you would want from them.

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  • Dharmic
    Jul 27, 2013 - 2:58AM

    @VINOD

    Similarly being a good Muslim or Christian does not mean that you have to hate others.

    Sorry that means you havent studied Islam or Christianity. Both have an institutionalised contempt and hatred for idol worshippers and polytheists. Infact the worst crime you can do in Islam is division of divine (polytheism) and shirk (idol worship). If a muslim is a “good”, and he follows his holy scriptures, then he has no choice but to reject Hinduism and have contempt for its practioners.

    No matter what word jugglery you use, that is the bare naked truth.

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  • gp65
    Jul 27, 2013 - 4:30AM

    gp65

    @VINOD: This OpEd had hardly anything to do with RSS and everything to do with Congress and Rahul Gandhi. Why then did you go off tangent and talk about RSS which is not even a political party and has never contested elections? In any case your post is full of errors and biases unsupported by facts. Some obvious ones are:

    “RSS and its extended wings like BJP strongly believe in an ideology that supports the TWO NATION THEORY.”

    RSS is actually opposed the 2 Nation theory and believes in Akhand Bharat. This is one of the point where BJP leaders differ from RSS since they see Pakistan as a fait accompli and do not see the point in debating whether the 2 nation theory is right or wrong.
    @Rakib who seems to agree with you is very knowledgeable and could not have been unaware when he agreed with your rant.

    “The victory of BJP came on chariot of Ram mandir. Its divisive politics has given us destruction of Babri masjid and carnage of Gujarat.”

    First of all I regret the destruction of Babri structure (it was not a mosque at the time it was destroyed since no namaaz had been carried out there for decades). I also regret all communal riots.

    But the fact is that Gujrarat riot was neither the first riot in India nor the largest riot. Most communal riots in India have in fact occurred under Congress CM including post Babri riots in Mumbai, anti-Sikh riots in 1984 and Nellie massacre in Assam. To single out Gujarat riots as an example of BJP’s dvisive politics is simply dishonest. As a matter of record, the Gujarat riots in 2002 when Modi was newly elected were by no means the first communal riot in Gujarat but they were the LAST communal riot in Gujrat as Modi has ensured that no communal riots recur in his state in the last 11 years. There have been some communal incidents in the last 10 years but none in NDA ruled states. Every single one of them is in a state ruled either by UPA or an UPA ally.

    ALso did the Ram Janmabhoomi Babri masjid dispute start in 1989? No it was almost a century old when neither BJP nor RSS existed. Were the locks of Ram Lalla’s mandir opened by BJP? No. They were opened by Rajiv Gandhi.

    The assertion that BJP inserted religion in politics is also baseles. If anything it simply countered COngress who had for decades played votebank politics in the name of religion. One simple question. Who supported Bhindranwale to marginalize Akali Dal – can you please tell me?

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  • Rakib
    Jul 27, 2013 - 8:11AM

    @thor: But Is that relevant?

    It is relevant to know whether Gandhi was merely being rhetorical or was he really selling vacuum. What can Tamilnadu CM mock really now? She was young & not in politics when people of Tamilnadu mocked Congress out of State in 1965-67 after agitation against Hindi-imposition. That was end of Congress there; it never came back. My information is Gandhi never made any alternative suggestion. Nehru & Patel correctly did not pay heed to his demand for creating a vacuum. Politicians now quote Gandhi only when it suits them. They would prefer this type of Gandhian statement to be left unexamined. What surprises me is even intellectuals have lost the ability to question the conventional wisdom.

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  • Jul 27, 2013 - 9:42AM

    @gp65: Dear Sir,
    You have said “Many feel that the dynastic rule of one family which is corrupt to the core is not good for the country. The pseudo secularism they preach is not good for the country.” I fail to understand which part of my comment has given you a feeling that I support congress party or the dynastic rule Or I want Rahul Gandhi as PM. Request read me again and please point out.

    I as an Indian am deeply committed to the idea of India that traditionally respects all religions, divergent traditions, customs, believes and practices of each region, community and celebrates this UNITY IN DIVERSITY. I have strong faith that most of the Indians believe in this truth and do not desire to be judgmental on others. As every one has the right to live and co exist. What hurts is that today any word against communal hatred being blatantly flaunted as “PATRIOTISM” is taken as support for Congress. My expression is that to be religious is good but to be communal is bad for this nation.
    You have said “You have no basis to assume that others are not saying what they believe to be right for the country either.” I do not know about others but I ask you straight questions. Question is do YOU believe that to be RELIGIOUS MEANS TO BE COMMUNAL. Secondly do you believe that India become a Hindu Rastra? Answer please and keep Congress or Rahul or Modi out of this as this is not at stake. The very future of our country is at stake

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  • manish rohera
    Jul 27, 2013 - 11:06AM

    @gp65: befitting reply at least we know modi what he stands for but problem with rahul is we don’t know what he stands for at best he is a ignorant person Recommend

  • Jul 27, 2013 - 11:51AM

    @Rakib: Thanks it is honour to be appreciated by you. Rgards

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  • gp65
    Jul 27, 2013 - 11:58AM

    ETBLOGS1987

    ET Mods – This person has written directly to me. Please publish my response.

    @VINOD: I had written a long note to you which was filtered. Will try a more succint response.
    You are factually incorrect when you say that RSS believes in the 2 Nation theory. In fact they oppose it and believe in Akhand Bharat. It is one of the points where BJP leaders do not agree with RSS leadership because BJP leadership believes that Pakistan is a fait accompli and debating 2 nation theory serves no purpose.

    Seondly Gujarat riots under Modi were by no means either the first or the biggest riots in the country. Much bigger riots that occurred under Congress watch were Nelie massacre, anti Sikh riots f 1984, Mumbai riots of 1993 and many more. In fact in the last 11 years only UPA and allied states have had communal incidents. No NDA state including Modi ruled Gujarat has had communal riots. So I disagree with your assessment that communal riots are a result of BJP ‘s divisive policies.

    I also disagree that BJP was the forst one that inserted religion in politics. Congress practice of vote bank politics greatly predates the 1989 rath yatra by BJP. Support fro Bhindranwale, Shah Bano case, opening locks on Ram Lalla temple are all examples of COngres inserting religion in politics.

    I als believe that you can be a proud Hindu and very secular (i.e. respect other people’s right to their respective faith) simultanrously.

    One last thing, I am a woman not a man.

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  • Anand
    Jul 27, 2013 - 12:05PM

    @VINOD

    “RSS and its extended wings like BJP strongly believe in an ideology that supports the TWO NATION THEORY. As Mr Jinnah strongly believed in a separate Islamic state for Muslims so does the RSS & BJP believe in a Hindu Rashtra.”
    Apparently you don’t have a problem with Mr Jinnah and Muslim League’s strong believe in TNT and its fruition in the form of Islamic state of Pakistan. Or, at the least, over time you have come to learn to accept it, and not uncomfortable with it. May be, because it’s a fait accompli! In that case, don’t you think, that may be given time you would be equally ill at ease with a Hindu India, should it ever happen? If the majority ever so decide in electing a party that promises them such a nation? If the aspiration of one community is honoured by giving them a country for themselves, how can it be denied to the other community? Whether these aspirations are vile or illegitimate is a separate debate and it was over on the day India was partitioned.

    “India is a multi religious, multi culture, multi customs, multi language nation and all have the right to co- exist without the domination of any single unit.”
    Just substitute ‘was’ for ‘is’ and ‘had’ for ‘have’, it would sound as true in 1947 as it is today. What’s the point?

    “The Muslims or the Christians of this country are not outsiders. They are as much sons of this soil as anyone else. They have lived in this country from thousands of years may not be as Muslims or Christians. What binds us is that we are sons of this same soil.”
    Very true. But it was true even then. This is not something that happened after partition.

    “Hurting each other will destroy the very fabric of this country.”
    Didn’t we heart each other during partition? Didn’t it destroy the ‘fabric of this country’ then? If it did, then what we are crying for? And if it didn’t, then why should it destroy the same now?

    Lastly; you are an enlightened soul, I mean it. I admire it and wish majority of Indians would have shared your vision. In an ideal world, good should and does triumph over evil every time. History is replete with instances when it didn’t. 1947 is a case in point. An ideology, even the noblest one can work only when members of a society can connect with it through the life they live on the ground. Again, at other times the perception of reality for an Individual may be entirely different from what the reality is on the ground, as it happens when people are sold to a propaganda that masquerades as ideology..

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  • thor
    Jul 27, 2013 - 12:07PM

    @Rakib:
    I am not sure why you felt that suggestion was rhetorical.
    & why do you think it would have left a vacuum.
    He was not asking congress man to stop participating in politics in India.

    & Tamil Nadu still does have congress party. It has a handful members.
    About mocking congress, Tamil Nadu was the starting point, lately most states have mocked Congress out of their State.

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  • Jul 27, 2013 - 2:18PM

    @Anand
    Thanks for your response. You say “Apparently you don’t have a problem with Mr Jinnah and Muslim League’s” I agree I have no problem with Pakistan or any other country let them follow and practice their own ideology. My problem is with the the idea that we in reaction to Pakistan should model our country in an inferno of hate and communal ism. That we forget our history and culture of tolerance and co existence and become intolerant.And YES I will be very uncomfortable with a “Hindu India” Because till date India is the only country in the world that has nurtured every religion and culture that landed on our soil. Look at the hatred around being spread and practiced in the name of religion and culture; shall we join this band wagon of hatred and destruction??

    You ask “Didn’t we heart each other during partition? Didn’t it destroy the ‘fabric of this country’ then? If it did, then what we are crying for? And if it didn’t, then why should it destroy the same now?
    Answer is yes it did damage the fabric of this country but could not destroy it. Now let us rebuild this fabric and make a future on the fundamentals that have been so unique to this country and its people.
    You finally say “An ideology, even the noblest one can work only when members of a society can connect with it through the life they live on the ground.” I can not agree with you more. You are right. We all as a child are taught by our parents to live up to ideals. Every individual and every nation has an ideal and a dream and our dream is UNITY IN DIVERSITY and SERV DHARM SAMBHAV and let us work to achieve. For India there is only way that is to make a country of tolerance, peace and harmony. No one should play with it. Thanks again. I speak as I am witness to partition and its aftermath. No more travelling on that road again. God bless

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  • Rakib
    Jul 27, 2013 - 10:17PM

    RSS is actually opposed the 2 Nation theory and believes in Akhand Bharat. (@gp65)

    RSS believed in 2-Nation not amounting to Partition. By a curious paradox RSS believed both in Akhand Bharat & in its version of 2-Nation Theory without physical separation of provinces & people.. In RSS scheme of things Hindus (& allied) were a Nation both in geographic & in religion-cultural sense & distinct from “other”-nations. When Savarkar of Hindu Mahasabha coined the word “Hindutva” & defined it in 1929, MA Jinnah had not even thought seriously about 2-nation though he had just prepared his 14-Points as a rejoinder to Nehru Report of Congress. However, that kind of talk was already on in Muslim circles since days of Sir Syed of Aligarh & then during apogee of Sir Iqbal’s glory. Nobody was seriously mentioning Partition though ghost of Lord Curzon lurked.

    Briefly, Savarkar-Golwalkar theory meant India belonged to only those whose Motherland & Holy-land BOTH are within India. It meant India was NOT for those that prayed facing Mecca or went to pilgrimage there & to Jerusalem/Bethlehem etc even if India was their land of birth.. Such people can never be loyal to India. Only Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist & Jains had their holy lands & home lands within the geographic entity called Akhand Bharat. That did not mean Muslims & Christians could not live in India,but they would be declared as second class citizens, as separate “nation” & as subordinates to Hindu Nation. (May be later they would have had to wear the Yellow Star, like Jews of Germany. Remember we are talking of era influenced by Nietzsche & Mazzini.)……(Second part will follow, if permitted)

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  • Vishal Kaul
    Jul 27, 2013 - 10:50PM

    Where is sarv dharm sambhav gone when our Kashmiri Hindu community force to leave Kashmir by Muslim terrorist by the support of Pakistan none of any secular parties leader and Indian Muslim groups condemned and mourn for our community. They never come our refugee camps for any help and not a word of sampathy for our community plight and misery. Only RSS and BJP members support and help us by many ways they also protest for our miserable conditions not any your secular parties and Muslim groups because we are not a big vote bank. RSS not help only Hindus they also help Muslim of valley who are victims of Pakistan sponsored terrorism without any religious difference RSS help earth quake victims of Kashmir mainly Muslims help also
    If you study and go these places you find RSS is a biggest organization who help all Indians in there difficult time without any religious parochial thought . We kashmiri Hindus also part of India but you never mourn for us Gujarat riots have so minor incidence over the plight of our community. Our Kashmiri Hindus 500000 population live in exile since1989 3000 to 4000 peoples of our Hindu minority also killed by terrorists its not a carnage only Muslims are victims of communalism who are responsible for 58 jar sawaks killing by burn them alive who responsible for murder of 750 Hindus in Gujarat riots
    Only Hindus have not responsible for India religious peace Muslims and other minority have also big role in this peace but blame on any communal incidence to RSS is trend in India and you also do that like another so called secularist. So think deeply and write than.@VINOD:

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  • Vishal Kaul
    Jul 27, 2013 - 11:01PM

    Where is sarv dharm sambhav gone when our Kashmiri Hindu community force to leave Kashmir by Muslim terrorist by the support of Pakistan none of any secular parties leader and Indian Muslim groups condemned and mourn for our community. They never come our refugee camps for any help and not a word of sampathy for our community plight and misery. Only RSS and BJP members support and help us by many ways they also protest for our miserable conditions not any your secular parties and Muslim groups because we are not a big vote bank. RSS not help only Hindus they also help Muslim of valley who are victims of Pakistan sponsored terrorism without any religious difference RSS help earth quake victims of Kashmir mainly Muslims help also
    If you study and go these places you find RSS is a biggest organization who help all Indians in there difficult time without any religious parochial thought . We kashmiri Hindus also part of India but you never mourn for us Gujarat riots have so minor incidence over the plight of our community. Our Kashmiri Hindus 500000 population live in exile since1989 3000 to 4000 peoples of our Hindu minority also killed by terrorists its not a carnage only Muslims are victims of communalism who are responsible for 58 jar sawaks killing by burn them alive who responsible for murder of 750 Hindus in Gujarat riots
    Only Hindus have not responsible for India religious peace Muslims and other minority have also big role in this peace but blame on any communal incidence to RSS is trend in India and you also do that like another so called secularist. So think deeply and write than.@VINOD:Recommend

  • Rakib
    Jul 27, 2013 - 11:20PM

    II

    Nothing brings out the original nature of RSS better than some infamous words of Guru Golwalkar the second chief (Sarsanghchalak) of RSS during some momentous years between 1940-70, from his booklet “We, or Our Nation defined”. I have chosen not to reproduce the quote.

    To be fair, BJP has never endorsed this. SP Mukherjee the founder of Jan Sangh had little to do with RSS though co-founder Balraj Madhok tended to curry favour initially.. BJP under influence of Vajpayee & Advani & few notable others too had distanced itself from such extreme ideology, whatever may be their private beliefs. In practice & in its programmes & in policy while in ruling NDA it has not brought in the “second class” citizenship to Muslims/Christians though certain attempts at lower levels have been there. Deendayal Upadhyay & his Integral Humanism became more fashionable. That did not mean Muslims & Christians became apples of the eye but BJP’s hatred was not publicly visible. If Advani broke Babri Mosque (not just a structure!) he also enthusiastically participated when few days later his favourite niece got converted to Islam to marry a Muslim! And Vajpayee participated in many a fast-breaking get together in the month of Ramzan. Modi of course is no hypocrite..he would fling away the stylish muslin, Lucknawi skull cap if offered to him by a sycophantic Muslim..

    Anyway it all ended & the mask was off in the last meet of BJP at Goa when Advani skipped it. RSS take over of BJP is complete. Now Modi rules BJP & he is a different kettle of barracuda. RSS wanted it & got it. This is the closest it has come to in 80+ years to a seat of power. Without RSS Cadre Modi can’t win either. Modi is dyed-in-Saffron Swayamsevak cum Pracharak (Volunteer cum Demagogue) of RSS. He will not, can not change., It is in his DNA, in his very being, where RSS is central & BJP incidental..

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  • Jul 28, 2013 - 1:26PM

    Dear Rakib,
    My heartiest appreciation to you for expressing so clearly the history the belief and ideology presently guiding BJP. I feel that they are treding a dangerous path leading to sure destrution of every ideal this country… India has stood for. I pray the people in rebound to the miss deeds and chaos of Congress do not fall in this historic trap. At this moment let us carefuly look for alternatives leading to an India we all have been trying to build where every citizen can practice his faith, traditions and customs with dignity, freedom and without fear.

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  • Rakib
    Jul 28, 2013 - 7:21PM

    @VINOD:
    Thank you Sir. When I read this:-”I speak as I am witness to partition and its aftermath. No more travelling on that road again.” it did not come as a surprise. Only the one who knows what pain is & how it is caused can foresee & forewarn of a possible recurrence.. Yes, all democratic efforts must be made to see it doesn’t happen.

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  • Jul 29, 2013 - 9:59AM

    @gp65: dear Madam, I am delighted to meet a lady of your caliber and expression on this board. You are worth saluting and to be proud of. I feel sad, in a way, that today you stand for some thing, a philosophy of life, that is directly opposite to our ethos and culture uniquely nurtured on the soil of India only. How? I do not know, you are convinced that a person who encourages communal feeling for power and stands for divisive politics can build a peaceful India? Just because he is decisive and flaunts his progress you have ignored that how autocratic he is. Instead of replying your other points like RSS does not stand for two nation theory I request you to read comments of Mr Rakib. His comments explain it well. Madam, You have not yet answered my two questions. Regards.

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  • gp65
    Aug 9, 2013 - 8:49AM

    @VINOD: “I feel sad, in a way, that today you stand for some thing, a philosophy of life, that is directly opposite to our ethos and culture uniquely nurtured on the soil of India only. How? I do not know, you are convinced that a person who encourages communal feeling for power and stands for divisive politics can build a peaceful India?”

    It is not clear how you concluded that I support someone who encourages communal feeling for power and stands for divisive politics. That is your assessment of Modi and my assessment differs. I have no basis to conclude that he has encouraged communal feeling, none of his policies have any communal approach to them and none of his speeches have anything communal. One riot 11 years back after which Gujarat was riot free is hardly the evidence that supports it since that riot was neither the first or the largest riot in India.

    I feel that the mainstream party that is using religion for gaining votes by fear mongering is Congress. I can point to several quotes from its leaders and policy actions starting from Manmohan Singh’s statement that minorities have first claim on nation’s resource which is inherently a communal statement. They have an equal claim not the first claim. Similarly the formation of Sachar commission to look into issues of a community on a religious basis instead of a secular commission to look into the problems of all problems that maybe disadvantaged based on any transparent criteria, the promise by Salman Khurshid during UP elections to have reservations for Muslims, the irresponsible statement related to Hindu terrorism by the home minister for which he was forced to apologize are just some examples of Congress’ communal politics. On this basis it appears that you are the one who are supporting a communal party because you are going by self certified assertions to determine who is communal and who is secular instead of studying actual statements and policies to make that determination.

    I am quite familiar with @Rakib’s views. I respect him and his knowledge but do not necessarily agree with some of his opinions listed here. I have had several fact based discussions with him. Recommend

  • Anand
    Aug 9, 2013 - 11:32AM

    @VINOD

    You seem to me an idealist. Nothing wrong with that. Many a great men and women of past and present are idealist revered by millions across the globe. This world has never suffered from a shortage of idealists, even at times of famine. You are married to an idea/cause, (definitely noble by itself) but can’t admit that the marriage is not working and the strains it is suffering from are there for all to see. So instead of answering pointed questions you keep repeating the same secular homilies, and every repeat makes your believe stronger.
    I guess that’s why you were kind enough to respond to me an @gp65, but not to @Vishal Kaul, who directed his post specifically at you. Of course you have a right to choose to whom you would respond.

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  • Aug 9, 2013 - 5:49PM

    @gp65: Dear Madam (gp65), My assessment is based on what the world knows about Mr. Modi. My assessment is based on the fact that he began his career in politics as a PRACHRAK of Sanhg and still is committed to them. An organisation whose philosophy is well known and I am sure you must be also aware of. However, on what facts your assumption is based is very mysterious.
    Please be assured that my loyalties are only with our beloved country, its traditions of tolerance for all and also freedom for all to practice their religion, faith, customs and traditions without fear and with dignity. This can be only achieved with our traditional way of thinking and practice of “SARVA DHARMA SAMBHAV and not by domination of a community over other or by misplaced belief that one community by birth is more patriotic than other. Please also go deep on the basic principles on which our founding fathers laid the idea of reservations. It is only one of the ways to ensure that all organs of the society join the main stream. Your casting aspersions on Sacchar Commission is nothing new, Thank God he is not a Muslim. Instead of coming forward to get the report implemented I wonder why do you misinterpret the intentions. Can you disregard the facts brought out there in?
    In this age to dream of a HINDU RASHTRA is totally misplaced and is contrary to our heritage and culture. It is diametrically opposite to the grain of this nation and is a path of self destruction. Thanks for your courtesy of a civil debate rather than using abusive language so common in Modi supporters.

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  • Aug 10, 2013 - 10:42AM

    @Anand: Dear Anand, Thanks for response. You have said “You seem to me an idealist. …. You are married to an idea/cause, (definitely noble by itself) but can’t admit that the marriage is not working and the strains it is suffering from are there for all to see. So instead of answering pointed questions you keep repeating the same secular homilies, and every repeat makes your believe stronger.”
    Yes I am an idealist but I am not married to an idea that is based on hypothesis. Luckily I was born at a time when I have seen this ideal in practice. The ideal began to crumble in thirties when the hatred was implanted with a purpose. If this marriage, that you think is not working, is allowed to fail I wonder if you realize what will be the implications. I do not know how old were you when the Khalistan movement was in full bloom. It was just a glimpse of what can happen if the ideal of co- existence with equality and dignity, as laid down in our constitution, is not adhered to in letter and spirit.The fire of communalism and desire to make a Hindu Rashtra is a time bomb that will turn this country in ruins. A country where our children will die. Dear Sir, please ponder what I am saying. It is not a pipe dream it is the very foundation of our nation. I really feel sad that such intelligent people like you and gp65 are to day getting committed to some thing that is not good for our country. Please do not think that support to my Ideals means by any chance support to congress. Certainly not. I do not belong there. I belong to a country that is unique in the world as people of all religions came here in search of peace, were welcomed and flourished. We have lived to gather from centuries and we have to save all the marriages. Regards.

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  • thor
    Aug 10, 2013 - 11:31PM

    @VINOD:
    Sorry to barge in sir..
    I think you are being cynical.
    The foundation of our country is strong enough.
    I have said it before,use of the Congress name or for that matter the Gandhi surname as an propaganda vehicle and parliamentary machine is wrong.
    The use of Religion in politics is wrong too.
    Muslims of India might have other ideas but BJP did come to power in center in 1998.
    It did not create a situation of partition.
    The same Congress came to power in Punjab after 1984.
    People of this country are beyond this propaganda of religious division spread by political masters.
    India has faced invaders,Britishers & it has thrived.These are circles of life & time.
    If India is destined to be a superpower, it will become one.
    If it is destined to be balkanized, no one can help it.
    My feeling is, stop analyzing, stop propagating, stop visualizing about India.
    It is beyond any theory, ideology, person or history.

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  • Aug 11, 2013 - 12:16PM

    @thor: You have said “I think you are being cynical.The foundation of our country is strong enough.”
    Dear Thor, i sincerely pray to God that you are proved right. I will be a very very happy person… dead or alive. I am very happy on your faith that “People of this country are beyond this propaganda of religious division spread by political masters.” I sincerely wish that you and people like you are finally proven right. After being a witness to the madness of 40′s some where inside, a doubt lurks and gets kicked up when I see the meaning less and point less demolition of Babri Masjid. A created controversy that was never there. I get tense when I see educated people in the name of some culture bla bla bla bla drag girls from a bar and beat them, go and burn art galleries, burn books, force people to agree with them, refusing to let people celebrate Valentine day , give speeches completely loaded with insults and threats. I get unnerved when I see politicians going berserk and behaving like kings, beating police officers in Assembly gallery, killing honest officers, refusing to respect supreme court orders of permitting bar girls to dance, refusing to let their criminal friends, who have been pronounced guilty of heinous crimes and sentenced, go out of parliament. Political parties and politicians ganging up to refuse to accept implementation of RTI. And to rule and misguide people use every dirty trick including religion. Dear friend then my faith becomes weak and I write to warn all and every one. BUT IN CAPITAL LETTERS I WISH I AM PROVEN WRONG AND “People of this country are beyond this propaganda of religious division spread by political masters.”

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  • thor
    Aug 11, 2013 - 8:43PM

    @VINOD:
    The whole world is turning extreme day by day.India is no exception.
    It could be because of the chain of events occurring around the world since last couple of decades. But Science & reasoning too is slowly making headway over ignorance & falsehood.
    Just take the case of London with Muslim fanatics & EDL. Whats the population of England? Compare that to India with a population of a 1.3 billion.
    Now talking of madness of 40′s.
    It was bound to happen.The situation was like that of monkey given responsibility of dividing bread between two dogs, & the monkey is also in a hurry to get rid of the situation it is in.
    On demolition of Babri Masjid.
    Well,A created controversy that was always there & since it is in the state UP, which is a huge state, which is poor & where most people are extreme on the line of religion & caste, this will remain an issue. I do not think outside UP anyone cares much on this issue.If someway UP is divided, things will get different.
    Rest of your comments are on Right wing goons & corruption.
    Its a worldwide phenomenon.India does not have the political motivation to fight them. Its the people who needs to get proactive & assert themselves on both these issues.

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