Some words of advice for Rahul

Some words of advice for Rahul

By Ram Jethmalani | 26 January, 2013
Congress vice-president, Rahul Gandhi speaks during the All India Congress Committee meeting in Jaipur on January 20. REUTERS
He must ensure that the Congress changes its “communal secularism” agenda that is polarizing society.

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle who labelled us as "political animals", was an intellectual giant. He bequeathed to humanity voluminous records of his studies of the natural and physical sciences, theories of human nature, the evolution of society, politics and ethics. His special favourites in zoology were the bees, which he believed were very similar to human beings in terms of social objectives and behaviour. He spent considerable time in observing and documenting their social behaviour, and wished that human society could emulate and achieve the social harmony of the beehive. Of course, the epicentre of the beehive is the queen bee, which is serviced in all respects by the worker bees and drones, and she in turn ensures the survival of the hive. And all important issues are settled by her unquestionable wisdom and boundless authority.

The more I observe the Congress Party, the more I believe that someone there has read Aristotle and the bees very thoroughly, and tried to meticulously convert his thesis to a modern form of political apiarism in India. There is the providence ordained queen bee as contemplated by Aristotle. She has correctly formed a very low view of the independence and self respect of all the workers and drones that inhabit the hive, male or female. They just wait to be told what to do, and if they disobey or become independent, flaunting the rules of the hive and disturbing it, well, then kaput. For the aam admi, the queen bee has almost contempt, and as I have said earlier, she would like to keep them exactly as they are for generations, so that she can keep conning them with goodies that get hijacked before delivery.

Citizens and sociologists are surprised why our aam admi, hungry, poor, exploited and angry continues to show the hive mentality without questioning the queen bee, even as prices of staples increase day by day, and his condition worsens. Bread has been the cause of revolutions, but here the queen bee, with the help of her drones, ensures that the aam admi remains like the hive workers, dumb and unquestioning, to be fed or slaughtered as she wants, while she rules over all issues concerning his present plight or future fate.

We are so unlike the Westerners who fought Hitler and his Nazis, or even the Italians who got rid of Mussolini and his Fascists. Why can't we produce even a Benjamin Franklin who rid America of the insane King George III, while at the same time cautioned his fellow Americans that maintaining a free democracy would be a great challenge? How is it that even the enlightened, educated sections of our nation mutely stand by and witness the subversion of democracy as enshrined in our Constitution into a monarchy of the Nehru-Gandhi-Maino family?

Coming to this point, mercifully, the First Act of the monarchical succession appears to be over, after more than two years of the rather tedious and repetitive theatre of the absurd. The reluctant prince finally agreed to being officially anointed as the numero duo, next after his mother. In addition to the public sycophancy competition that has become an essential part of any Rahul Gandhi show, there was an additional lachrymose competition. Undoubtedly, someone was noting who wept most, who wept genuinely, and who faked it. Well, this is the Indian republic at 66 years and the Congress at 128. More serious and far reaching is the undemocratic dynastic tradition that has become rooted in several states of our country following the example set by the Congress. If the Nehru Gandhis can do it, why not other political families?

Rahul Gandhi's speech at his inaugural was a mish mash of much — paying obeisance to his ancestors, speaking of his traumatic childhood, with a reference to his mother's tears of the night before, and her homily likening power to poison. But one couldn't get the message straight — was she making an attempt to dissuade him from the coronation, or prodding him on to make the great sacrifice for dynasty with the poison chalice near his lips? He did say that she meant that power should be used to empower others, something that made sense, because that is exactly what she did using her absolute power to empower her son. He also made some scathing comments about the system and culture of mediocrity patronised by his mother. This is what he had to say: "All our public systems, administration, justice education, political systems, all of them are designed to keep people with knowledge out. They are all closed systems. They are designed to promote mediocrity and mediocrity dominates discussion while the voice of insight and thought are crushed by loudness of those who have neither the understanding nor compassion." Brilliant, and absolutely true. But I'm not sure whether these comments were directed against his mother and her advisers, who have torn the administration to pieces by inducting only mediocrity, outstanding capacity or blindness to corruption, and adequate rewards for it, or against her government, which has devised the most innovative political administrative pathways to ensure that the corruption sewers line never runs dry. I look forward to hearing Rahul's complete thesis on this. On the issue of corruption, for which his mother is the fountainhead, Rahul can only fall flat, with just about everyone of his family deeply embroiled in it directly or indirectly. These cameos and vignettes aside, there was nothing concrete that Rahul Gandhi said about how he would take India or even his dynasty forward. All this while, the Prime Minister and Prince Regent of India, sat and watched, reconciled to the next Act that is probably being planned right now, of announcing Rahul as the next Prime Ministerial candidate.

Rahul Gandhi brings in a huge amount of murky baggage in his dynastic ascent for ruling India. First, there is the question of his citizenship. Is he also an Italian citizen, as he is entitled to be by birth? If he is not, he should honestly inform the nation, and put this matter at rest at this stage.

According to a Russian scholar Yevgenia Albats, who has written about this in his book, The State Within A State, the family has a huge Swiss bank account as well. If the author was wrong, he should have been sued for defamation.

I have some words of advice for you, Rahul, now that you are closer to the throne. First, you must prevail upon your mother and her coterie to change their "communal secularism" agenda that is completely polarizing our nation and alienating the majority population by attempting to destroy their self respect, into 'national secularism' that is truly inclusive of the nation. Second, since you want to make a brand new start in your political career, do you promise that you will reveal the information you have received from France, Germany, Switzerland, and other sources regarding Indians holding black money in off shore accounts? Do you promise that in accordance with the Supreme Court order, you will make every honest effort to prosecute and punish the offenders and bring back the stolen wealth to India, to rid it of its poverty? If you do so, you will be repaying your great debt to India and to its people, who you say are now your life. And I give you my word, I will use all my influence with the BJP to accept you as the Prime Minister of India, when your chance arises.

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