RG's Congress & intellectual cretinism
He has turned every public foreign visit into an occasion to launch into a confused rant
Each time Congress president Rahul Gandhi goes abroad – not on undeclared and undisclosed private visits – but on well publicised, poorly planned and ill-conceived "lecture tours", we are reminded that Congress has already reached and is well into its age of intellectual cretinism. Each time he opens his mind abroad, the perception is reinforced that Rahul Gandhi's Congress is well advanced on the path of intellectual degeneration, a degeneration which is a process, not a point and certainly not episodic. A degeneration that had set in with Indira Gandhi and which is now reaching a certain apogee under her grandson who is probably the most un-intellectual and non-political minded president that Congress has had perhaps since the sycophantic Devkanta Barooah had held that office.
The once mighty party of stalwarts like Nehru and Indira, Congress under Rahul today has fallen on evil days. While Nehru articulated a certain worldview on the world stage, had certain positions on geo-strategic situations of his era, formulated a certain geopolitical philosophy, however esoteric, while Indira, who spoke French fluently, had personal rapport with a wide array of world leaders, even before she became Prime Minister, had a sense of the classicism of Western civilisations and was articulate and forceful in her time, Rahul comes across as a rudderless and clueless attempting-to-be-statesman who has no worldview to offer, no geopolitical philosophy to articulate, and who is incapable of formulating an alternate vision of how India can rise.
Driven solely by an excessive self-obsession, egged on by a strange coterie of self-styled advisers who have no responsibility towards India except that it has to be readied once more as playground of the dynast, consumed by his irrational and frothing hatred for Narendra Modi and the RSS, Rahul has turned every public foreign visit of his into an occasion to launch into a confused rant against Modi, against his government, against the RSS and its activities of which he has precious little knowledge. He does not even speak of the achievements, if any, of some of the state governments, run by his party; he has no model, no plan, and no system to offer, except false predictions of an impending Indian doomsday. While such an act gives Rahul a certain negative satisfaction, it gives us occasion to laugh and expose his mindlessness and his propensity of resorting to lies and subterfuge.
Over the few days that he has been abroad, a number of commentators in the media and social media have, with aplomb, exposed Rahul's lies. Through his interactions, Rahul comes across first as a non-serious politician who has no clue of what he wishes to do for his country, his people or party and second, as a dishonest public figure who, with insensitivity and irresponsibility, has the temerity to deny the genocide of Sikhs that his party and leaders indulged in and over which his own father had presided.
There is another section which invariably derives great satisfaction, a sort of vicarious pleasure each time Rahul Gandhi goes abroad on his "lecture tours." Separatists, terrorists, supporters of separatism in India, disrupters in foreign lands who wish to see India destabilised, members of academia in the west who have continued with a relentless anti-Modi campaign since the last nearly two decades or so, seem to derive fresh oxygen each time Rahul visits foreign countries. Such a state of affairs must give rise to grave concern.
In fact, over the months and years, if he sticks to this script, Rahul may well emerge as the principal spokespersons of these India wreckers. They will find it convenient to cease talking since he will be their voice on the world stage, he will put forth their arguments and positions. With the Congress under him, having extended its hand of support to demands of breaking India, such a turn of events would be hardly surprising. One question that comes to mind, is why is the Congress's foreign affairs department, headed now by Anand Sharma, not in-charge of coordinating and planning these visits, why are these left to a motley group directed by family courtiers like Sam Pitroda who have long relinquished any responsibility towards India's well-being. Sharma would perhaps inject some sense and direction into these exercises and may perhaps reduce the rant and froth in Rahul's utterances, but then these are issues strictly internal to the Congress and the to the family.
To those who think that this is a mega exercise in an image makeover for Rahul Gandhi and to those who have started feeling that such efforts are making Rahul emerge as a contender to Modi, one can only say hold on, the confusion that permeates Rahul's western trips, the confusion that is intrinsic to his leadership and politics, the confusion that still characterises an aspiring anti-Modi coalition will only intensify in the days and months to come.
Meanwhile, let us recognise and rejoice at the fact that Rahul Gandhi's Congress has truly and well entered into its age of intellectual cretinism, a state of being which will lead it to increasing intellectual debilitation and eventually to permanent political atrophy.
(The author is Director, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, New Delhi. The views expressed are strictly personal)