Varun Gandhi, far ahead of Rahul in the game

First published on Times of India on 28th August 2011

Once upon a time till not too long ago, the Gandhis, whether we liked it or not were a charismatic lot. When I mean charismatic, I probably still rather ludicrously state that they were a ‘good looking’ lot and it was their superciliousness that covered up plenty of blemishes that smeared their political conduct. The Gandhis liked to cloak themselves in an enigma, a bit like the way the Kennedys did, but the enigma of the Gandhis is rapidly vanishing. Of course, there could be other comparisons with the Kennedys, including the numerous tragedies that both the families have faced, but for the time being the Gandhis desperately need a face lift to restore their fame back to pre scams and pre Anna Hazare revolution era. Undoubtedly, the coteries of Ministers and cronies of the Gandhi’s would still continue to act in the most obsequious manner around the Gandhis and nothing is bound to change this. But, the public opinion about the ‘first family’ that bore a dynastical heritage has changed rapidly. The educated, sensible thinking population of this country is responsible for disrobing the ‘enigma’ from the first family’s closet. Unfortunately, the ‘first family’ continue to greedily clutch on to their famous surname and use it to seek numerous advantages that are automatically endowed to them in the political machinery. Rahul’s “address to the nation” during zero hour is one of such numerous “ bending the rule’” incident and eloquently argued by Sushma Swaraj.

This is a family that knew how to deal the right cards but somehow in the last few months, nothing has gone right for the Gandhis and they have been pulling out plenty of jokers from the pack. The last circus act being Rahul Gandhi’s insipid speech in parliament that could not have possibly received any attention from even a hare brained twit. Compare his speech to the passionate, extempore of a speech that his cousin Varun Gandhi delivered yesterday. Varun undoubtedly had our attention and more importantly he has felt the pulse of the nation, something that Rahul Gandhi has failed to do so. Rahul Gandhi read a prepared text, word to word for fifteen minutes, where as Varun Gandhi spoke extempore and in a matter of few words clearly articulated that protecting the privileges of the parliament may be important but so is protecting the privileges of the people and the parliament should be reflective of public opinion, not judge it and reject it. Varun Gandhi understands the working of the democracy far more lucidly than Rahul who looked uneasy in parliamentary setting and insisted that he had serious doubts that an agency such as the Lokpal could usher in a corruption free society. One Gandhi believes in the will of the people, the other does not. One Gandhi is willing to introduce the first step to curb corruption, the other remains placid in the current environment. One Gandhi spoke with complete empathy for the 74 year old, fasting Anna “ battling between life and death” while the other was of the belief that Anna’s actions were largely selfish and went on to state that “individual dictates, no matter how well intentioned, must not weaken democratic processes.” According to Rahul Gandhi “this process is often lengthy and lumbering”. One Gandhi appeared on a historic day in parliament and spoke eloquently of the will of the people and said that his party “will stand with Anna Hazare…stand behind him…and will stand in front of him”, in comparison, the other was completely amiss and was standing nowhere and in fact missing from parliament. One Gandhi understands the current crisis and can put his opinion across with great clarity, the other answers questions with a dimpled smile. There is a vast difference in the thinking, reasoning and understanding of the current Indian climate between the two Gandhis. Rahul Gandhi’s image has nose dipped further after his Mother has been missing in the last few weeks and he has failed in public perception as an adequate and knowledgeable leader, in contrast, Varun Gandhi has cannily used the circumstances to improve public perception. Varun was seen fasting alongside Anna and wished to introduce the Jan lokpal bill as a private member’s bill while Rahul Gandhi who has claimed to have traveled the length and breadth of this country and has met many of India’s poor is disillusioned himself and he has not yet come out with any ‘game –changing’ idea. It will be interesting to watch from hereon how the cousins will be playing the game, but for now, Varun Gandhi at this stage is far ahead and he has the whistles and claps.


5 Responses to “Varun Gandhi, far ahead of Rahul in the game”

  1. Sharmila-One Gandhi belongs to the ruling coalition while the other does not and both of them are yet to be tested. This Gandhi fixation only shows the dearth of quality leaders in India.

  2. Anand Khare Says:

    Partially agreed with the Melwyn. Many university level leaders can give better speech than both of them. It is just that they don’t get enough opportunities due to prevailing nepotism/legacy/inheritance in politics (that is not only limited to India).


  3. Point noted Mr. Khare. Very often deserving candidates do not make the grade because of factors that you have just mentioned. That is why I strongly feel that reforming the whole electoral system is the solution to this and so many other related problems, including corruption.

  4. Anand & Melwyn, of course I am not in disagreement that there could be many more in this country who would do far fare better than both put together. But, fact of the matter is for the time being there are not many out there whose mettle is worth much. My blog is entirely on comparing the two cousins, re fixation of the Gandhi, I am one person who is most certainly not.
    And welcome back Melwyn! where have you been all these days?
    Anand, you too, good to see you back :). I am just back from a great holiday in Bali, saw your comments only now. Apologies for the delay..

  5. Agree Partilly

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