What Makes the Political Heir of India a Mixed Bag of Contradictions Flowing with More Misses than Hits?
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Rahul Gandhi has seen criticism and opposition more than optimism and praises. He has been called names, has been mercilessly thrashed, have had his capabilities questioned but he has never left the party’s side even if he has not been able to fully measure the expectations set for him.
The Indian National Congress (INC) is the first family of Indian politics. Rahul Gandhi has an illustrious lineage. Beginning from his great-great-grandfather, Motilal Nehru, who was an excellent politician to Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, his family has seen a glorious run in the Indian political arena. Even his father, Former Prime Minister of India, who did possess much inclination towards politics but went on to become a great leader, enormously respected and admired by the masses. Rahul Gandhi, seemed a promising face, when he was starting out but over the years, the nation saw the downfall of both the political party coinciding with that of Gandhi’s.
Decline of Congress
Decline of Congress cannot be dated to a particular time or year. Before 2014, it was ruling, indisputably and comfortably, until the Modi wave came and swept the nation. The Congress, today, has little chance of reviving its former glory and Rahul Gandhi might be a reason. The heir of the political dynasty failed to put up a grand show as opportunities kept slipping after one another.
Despite the plummeting times and circumstances, Rahul Gandhi has become a figure of perseverance, resilience and never-giving-up spirit. He is aware that he is, in many ways, the sole custodian of the political party with a lofty legacy and has never tried to run away from his exiting position. In 2004, Rahul Gandhi was proclaimed to be Congress’ prime ministerial candidate but 2014 changed the game altogether for everybody. The 2019 Lok Sabha elections was India’s prime point both for Indian citizens as well as the political parties.
The UPA encountered a rude shock with the startling victory of Smriti Irani against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, the Congress’ oldest constituency. The battle culminated with Irani garnering 4,68,514 votes whereas Gandhi, not far behind, had 4,13,394 votes in his kitty. He won a seat in Wayanad but the weight of the loss in Amethi was too big acknowledge his win.
Down and Back Up
While the whole world has continued to criticize and thrash Rahul Gandhi relentlessly and ceaselessly, no one has been able to decode the man in the absolute sense. Did he come to politics only to take the reins of the dynasty because nobody else was present apart from his mother? Priyanka Gandhi, his sister, always had the support of party veterans and could even rattle the opposition but she chose to enter active politics only during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. For a man who was not harbouring political ambitions, getting into the system which is brutal and crass could be responsible for blurring the fault lines.
While his uncle’s (Sanjay Gandhi) family, chose a different party and life altogether, Rahul Gandhi did not have the luxury to do so. He is indefinitely a mixed bag of contradictions. And this is why, there is some part of everybody and a good section of people who want to show him support ignoring his flaws. Perhaps, his birthday is a good opportunity to do so.