Monday, April 8, 2013

Sting Like a Bee

Rahul Gandhi's maiden speech to India Inc. at the CII Conclave can be best described as a let down, a speech by a low leader in the Opposition ranks and completely devoid of any substance. His strange choice of metaphor, describing India as a 'beehive', adds to the surrealism that shrouded his talk and the answer to the two questions that he took.

We need to look at the speech from a contextual point of view - Rahul Gandhi is VP of a party that has ruled India for nearly half-a-century and the scion of a family that has been at the helm of that party for most of those years. For him to go about peddling ideas and asking questions to those out of power is ironical. What made it worse was that he did not provide any answers to his own questions or those that he took. On Centre-State relations, which has become a serious issue in India's political landscape today, he virtually ignored the question and went into a monologue on his favourite (and unrelated) subjects.

His speech was full of assertions without any practical basis. He said that India can solve all its problems 'in a jiffy' if all its people were empowered yet, he did not talk about the structures needed to get there. He did mention the Panchayati Raj system, but even there he quietly admitted that the Congress Party had failed its own initiative. He did not discuss inflation, economic stagnation, International relations... in fact, he did not discuss anything worthwhile at all!

A funny connotation of his speech was that he kept drubbing his own party and family at every stage possible. From talking about the political class that controls the fate of a billion people, the lack of intra-party democracy to the lack of empowerment in India, Rahul Gandhi virtually decried his own family and party, actually giving us more reasons to be weary of him than to take him seriously. For a politician, this is a fine mark of naivete indeed! 

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