Why criticise his masterstroke?
Even though the manner in which Rahul Gandhi orchestrated his ‘coup d’état’ of sort against the Manmohan Singh-led union cabinet and shot down the ordinance to protect convicted legislators from electoral disqualification reeks of arrogance and firm faith in family-oriented feudalism, what we must remember is that the outcome is a desirable one. Clearly, Rahul Gandhi played a masterstroke and through his political pantomime, not only emerged as the veritable voice of the nation, but also proved to be the conscience-keeper of the dilapidated party and government alike. While many have likened Rahul’s rubbishing of the ordinance as an affront to the legislative process and, in fact, an obdurate insult to the prime minister himself, it must be emphasised that political grandstanding notwithstanding, the Gandhi scion and the Congress vice-president did bat for transparency in the administrative system and took the audacious step towards cleansing politics of stinking corruption. And even though the ordinance was the brainchild of the Congress Core Committee, of which the party president Sonia Gandhi is an integral part, commentators shouldn’t have pounced upon Rahul’s apparent ‘disconnect’ from his mother in the wake of the younger leader’s vehement and successful opposition to the thoroughly unconstitutional and unparliamentary legislation.
Hence, irrespective of the screaming headlines bemoaning Rahul Gandhi’s ‘insubordination’ to the party, what the Congress leader achieved in one elegant stroke was the demolition of the BJP’s moral high ground and Narendra Modi’s insistence on delivering the country from a corruption-free government. Rahul has managed to unleash a transparency wave and if in the process the cabinet stands maligned, it is the not to the Gandhi scion’s fault. Obviously, the question remains whether Rahul’s anti-ordinance stance would reach his own safe haven, given Rahul’s own brother-in-law has been under the CBI scanner. So, even though Rahul’s move might feel like a sledgehammer on an intricate edifice of cronyism and corruption, it is indeed has been for the best.