The New York Times, reporting on Modi’s win in India –
What scion? Rahul Gandhi is a mediocre politician at best, and a terrible orator on most days. His gaffes at the mic and in front of the media are legendary. Videos of him screwing up basic general knowledge, though certainly well edited by the BJP and its paid media houses, shed light at how utterly incapable he is as a leader.
I’m as liberal as they come, and to me, it is a joke that the media pits Modi’s wins as the rise of nationalism vs the liberal left. It is not. It is a backlash against Congress, one of the most corrupt political parties in the world. In many ways, Modi’s victories are not just the BJP and Amit Shah’s doing. The ‘blame’ lies also on Congress’ own shoulders. Here are the reasons –
- The first mistake Congress has made is corruption. Decades of corruption scandals, unchecked fraud, unjailed politicians and business leaders, and unending investigations, have led the commoner to believe less and less in the party’s ability to lead us into the next century. In that backdrop, any leader who shows a spine would seem to be a better option, let alone someone with media savvy and a track record for economic growth.
- The next mistake is complacency. What change has Congress brought in itself, that voters would look to them with hope? The biggest joke is the idea of the politician working for the people (I don’t even want to address the ‘servant of the people’ idea), because that’s not what dynastic politics is about – it’s about serving oneself and one’s own future generations. At every step, Congress has done well for its own coffers, but less and less for the people. That is not to say that there has not been economic growth under Congress, but has been been due to, or despite? The current political climate in India is a response to that question.
- The most important mistake that Congress has made is that it is not a political party of India. It is the Gandhis’ political party in India. It is a personal club that every Gandhi automatically has entry into. This is wrong. If Congress wants to become relevant again at the national stage, it needs to come out of the shadow of its current leaders and let new voices be heard. The definition of letting the youth take reins is not the let the next Gandhi in line become your new lynchpin.
I’ve called before for the removal of Mark Zuckerberg as CEO of Facebook. Regardless of who has been responsible of the many, many security and privacy blunders by Facebook over the years, the person most responsible for them, the one who set company culture, who oversaw the main aspects of how Facebook makes money, is Zuckerberg. Letting him go will let Facebook focus on what is important – building a platform people want to come to. Right now, Facebook is mired in infighting, theatrics, and a faltering ethical compass that is not helped by Zuckerberg’s total domination over the platforms he runs.
The same is true for Rahul Gandhi. Far from being a charismatic leader or an adept politician, Gandhi is a no-name entity in Indian politics, bound to keep making the same mistakes or worse, that have so marked Congress’ recent history in India. Why should the people not demand his and all other Gandhis’ removal from the party, so that it can reboot, refresh, and move forward?
The Indian democracy is still young, and can afford to make some mistakes. But letting the Gandhis maintain control over Congress is not just a small mistake. It weakens the largest democracy in the world by beholding an entire national entity to the whims of a few inept politicians. The path from being the largest democracy to the greatest one lies through a few important sacrifices.
Let’s make sure that we hold Congress responsible for their choices, so that India as a country can make better ones.