Image source, DNA India
Yesterday while having lunch I was watching CNBC Awaaz (a news channel) and there was a report on how the Congress party is planning to pitch Priyanka Gandhi in the upcoming U.P. elections. There was one reporter in the studio and another reporter, maybe standing in front of the Congress headquarters in Delhi.
The reporter in the studio was asking various questions and the reporter on the ground was answering them. The reporter on the ground spoke about how the bringing in of Priyanka Gandhi will inject a new lease of life in the party cadres who are at a complete loss in the wake of the recent spate of defeats.
The slogan “Congress-mukta Bharat” introduced into the public-vocabulary by Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems to be manifesting sooner than people had expected and Priyanka Gandhi is expected to put a stop to the party’s rollercoasters ride into the oblivion.
The reporter said that Priyanka Gandhi is charismatic. She reminds people of Indira Gandhi. She can charm her way around. The party workers look up to her. She can mingle with the poor easily. She is a good talker. She is expected to rejuvenate the party. And so on.
The thing to note was the reporter, while spelling out all the great things about Priyanka Gandhi, not even once wondered why exactly Priyanka Gandhi was being chosen as the primary face of the party. What qualifications does Priyanka Gandhi have as an experienced politician expected to lead the party at the helm during a crucial election? What experience does she have? Does she possess organisational skills? Does she have leadership qualities? Is she a great orator? Has she worked at the grassroots level? Is she a scholar? Is she from the forces? Is she an industrialist of great repute? Is she a former bureaucrat? Is she a well-known author or an artist? Is she a crusader? Is she a known activist? Is she even a politician for that matter? What exactly does qualify her to be given the reins of the party?
The report never asks why, whenever the Congress party needs a leader to turn the party around, there is no other leader than someone from the Nehru-Gandhi family? Is it a fiefdom? Isn’t there anyone else in the party who has the ability to turn the party around? Is the Congress party primarily a Nehru-Gandhi-family-centric entity that cannot survive without one of its members?
The alarming aspect is, even for a moment if you assume that nobody is going to ask such question from the Congress party and its stooges, even people who like to call themselves liberal and intellectual and hence by the gist of these attributes, find themselves supporting the Congress and opposing the BJP, are never troubled by such questions. These people will have problems with Narendra Modi or Smriti Irani holding important portfolios and getting praise, but these people will have no problem if someone like Sonia Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi, who don’t even qualify for the job of Narendra Modi’s or Smriti Irani’s peons, get important portfolios and decide the fate of the country. Most of the current members of this family are, to be frank, good-for-nothing individuals as far as governance and politics is concerned, and still, they enjoy greater acceptance among the Liberals and intellectuals compared to even the brilliantly qualified people on the opposite side of the spectrum.
Obviously it’s due to the slavish mentality they have inherited from their parents and grandparents, and acquired from a moribund education system.
Although we have ceased to expect such questions from most of the journalists, it’s high time people of the country started asking such questions.