Quiet man(Rahul Gandhi) set to take up reins of power in India

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by ajtr, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    Quiet man set to take up reins of power in India


    RAHUL Gandhi's helicopter descends out of the boiling afternoon sky and a restless, sweat-soaked crowd of 100,000 people suddenly surges to life. Men rush forward and teenage boys wave a white bed sheet bearing the request: "We want to meet the Prince of India."
    Gandhi climbs on to a viewing stand in this isolated corner of India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, and offers a boyish wave. Not yet 40, Gandhi is the great-grandson of India's first prime minister, the grandson of India's fourth prime minisADVERTISEMENT

    ter and the son of India's seventh prime minister.

    "I'm standing here with you," he declared to loud cheers, speaking for about 15 minutes before he left, waving through the window of his helicopter. "I can come with you anywhere and everywhere to fight with you."

    India is Gandhi's family inheritance. Seemingly the only uncertainty is when he will collect it. He holds no major post in government, yet rumours persist that the governing Indian National Congress Party – whose president is his mother, Sonia Gandhi – might install him as prime minister before the current government expires in 2014.

    The job's current occupant, Manmohan Singh, recently had to fend off retirement questions.

    Yet despite his aura of inevitability, Gandhi largely remains an enigma. India is an emerging power, facing myriad domestic and international issues, but he remains deliberately aloof from daily politics. His thoughts on many major issues – as well as the temperature of the fire in his belly – remain mostly unknown.

    For the Congress Party, that may be an advantage. The party has been the top vote getter in the past two national elections by appealing to the poor through welfare schemes while also pursuing pro-growth policies. But it holds power only with the support of fickle coalition partners.

    Gandhi is using his enormous popularity to broaden the party's political base, steering clear of more contentious policy making. That could help position Congress to win an outright national majority – though it does little to illuminate what he would do with a mandate if he won it.

    "What most people still have a hard time figuring out is, 'What is Rahul Gandhi's vision?' " said Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi.

    Gandhi traverses the country, often on secret trips, to recruit as many as 10 million new youth members.

    Most Indian political parties are internally undemocratic and often dominated by political dynasties, none more famous than the Gandhi clan. But Gandhi has also insisted that the party's youth organisations hold internal elections for posts and operate as meritocracies.

    He has also succeeded far more than other Indian politicians in tapping into the hunger for generational change in India, analysts say, and has positioned himself as a change agent for the future.

    "We youth are with Rahul!" said Manonit Garharabari, 23, at the rally. "The whole youth is with Rahul. We see an internal strength in him."

    Gandhi is omnipresent in the media, and his face is plastered on untold numbers of billboards and political posters. His public image is of a humble, serious man, if somewhat shy, even as his name invariably tops polls ranking the country's "hottest" or "most eligible" bachelors. Yet he almost never grants interviews and only occasionally conducts news conferences.

    His daily life is cloaked in secrecy, which makes it an irresistible if elusive topic for the Indian media. One news station ran a lengthy report after obtaining a short video clip of Gandhi riding his bicycle in New Delhi.

    His advisers say his low profile reflects his desire not to overstep the authority of his organisational position while the secrecy is rooted in security concerns. His grandmother, Indira Gandhi, was assassinated, as was his father, Rajiv Gandhi. His official residence in New Delhi is heavily fortified and he travelled to the rally in Ahraura with a special black-clad security detail.

    Yet analysts say his inaccessibility is also a deliberate effort to protect him from taking unpopular public stands and also to burnish his image. Last spring, he turned down an offer to join Singh's cabinet. "They want to keep a certain mystique to him," said Mahesh Rangarajan, a political analyst in New Delhi.

    Before he entered politics in 2004, winning a parliamentary seat in his father's old district in Uttar Pradesh, Gandhi had appeared ambivalent about the family profession. He attended Harvard for three years before transferring to Rollins College in Florida because of security concerns after his father's death.

    He earned a master's degree in development studies at Cambridge and worked in London as a management consultant before returning to India after his mother took over the Congress Party.

    Some veteran politicians initially dismissed him as a pappu, the Hindi word for a nice boy, if one who is not too smart. Inside the Congress Party, some leaders had considered his younger sister, Priyanka, a more dynamic politician, but her focus has been on raising her children rather than running for office.

    Gandhi's breakthrough came during the 2009 elections, when he campaigned across the country and was later credited for the unexpectedly strong showing by Congress.

    His youth drives are conducted state by state, and he has hired a non-profit group of former election commissioners to oversee the internal elections for posts in the party youth organisations – as opposed to the usual practice of party bosses picking their choices.

    He has travelled widely and met with business or political leaders. When Bill Gates recently visited India, he joined Gandhi in a village. In Egypt, Gandhi has befriended Gamal Mubarak, son and heir apparent of President Hosni Mubarak. In China, he has met Xi Jinping, the man tapped to replace the country's president and party leader, Hu Jintao.

    It seems he is preparing for the future.
     
  2.  
  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    India’s Young and Poor Rally to Another Gandhi


    AHRAURA, India — Rahul Gandhi’s helicopter descends out of the boiling afternoon sky and a restless, sweat-soaked crowd of 100,000 people suddenly surges to life. Men rush forward in the staggering heat. Teenage boys wave a white bedsheet bearing a faintly cheeky request: We Want to Meet the Prince of India. Mr. Gandhi climbs onto a special viewing stand in this isolated corner of India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, and offers a boyish wave. Not yet 40, Mr. Gandhi is the great-grandson of India’s first prime minister, the grandson of India’s fourth prime minister and the son of India’s seventh prime minister. His audience includes some of the poorest people in India.

    “I’m standing here with you,” he declared to loud cheers, speaking for about 15 minutes before he left, waving through the window of his helicopter. “I can come with you anywhere and everywhere to fight with you.”

    India is Mr. Gandhi’s family inheritance. Seemingly the only uncertainty is when he will collect it. He holds no major post in government, yet rumors persist that the governing Indian National Congress Party — whose president is his mother, Sonia Gandhi — might install him as prime minister before the current government expires in 2014. The job’s current occupant, Manmohan Singh, recently had to bat away retirement questions.

    Yet despite his aura of inevitability, Mr. Gandhi largely remains an enigma. India is an emerging power, facing myriad domestic and international issues, but he remains deliberately aloof from daily politics. His thoughts on many major issues — as well as the temperature of the fire in his belly — remain mostly unknown.

    For the Congress Party, that may be an advantage. The party has been the top vote getter in the last two national elections by appealing to the poor through welfare schemes while also pursuing pro-growth policies. But it holds power only with the support of fickle coalition partners.

    Mr. Gandhi is using his enormous popularity to broaden the party’s political base, steering clear of more contentious policy making. That could help position Congress to win an outright national majority — though it does little to illuminate what he would do with a mandate if he won it.

    “What most people still have a hard time figuring out is, ‘What is Rahul Gandhi’s vision?’ ” said Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, who has met privately with Mr. Gandhi and speaks highly of him. “It is still not apparent to a lot of people what his own deep political convictions are.”

    Mr. Gandhi traverses the country, often on secret trips, to recruit as many as 10 million new youth members. His job is also to try to take back crucial strongholds like Uttar Pradesh, in the north, which his family claims as its home base but which the Congress Party does not control.

    Most Indian political parties are internally undemocratic and often dominated by political dynasties, none more famous the Gandhi clan. But Mr. Gandhi has also insisted that the party’s youth organizations hold internal elections for posts and operate as meritocracies.

    He also has succeeded far more than other Indian politicians in tapping into the hunger for generational change in India, analysts say, and has positioned himself as a change agent for the future, despite his obvious debts to India’s political past. He is trying to bypass the identity politics of caste and appeal to young people of all backgrounds. “We youth are with Rahul!” said Manonit Garharabari, 23, at the rally. “The whole youth is with Rahul. We seen an internal strength in him.”

    Mr. Gandhi is omnipresent in the media, and his face is plastered on untold numbers of billboards and political posters. His public image is as a humble, serious man, if somewhat shy, even as his name invariably tops polls ranking the country’s “hottest” or “most eligible” bachelors. Yet he almost never grants interviews, including for this article, and only occasionally conducts news conferences. Reporters are often tipped to his appearances at one village or another but often all they get is a photograph — which inevitably appears in newspapers around India.

    His daily life is cloaked in secrecy, which makes it an irresistible if elusive topic for the Indian media. One news station ran a lengthy report after obtaining a short video clip of Mr. Gandhi riding his bicycle in New Delhi. Mr. Gandhi confirmed in 2004 that he had a Spanish girlfriend, but whether they remained a couple was unclear.
    His advisers say his low profile reflects his desire not to overstep the authority of his organizational position while the secrecy is rooted in security concerns. His grandmother, Indira Gandhi, was assassinated, as was his father, Rajiv Gandhi. (The family is not related to Mohandas Gandhi, considered the father of modern India. Rahul Gandhi’s great-grandfather was Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister and another founding father.) His official residence in New Delhi is heavily fortified and he traveled to the rally in Ahraura with a special black-clad security detail. Yet analysts say his inaccessibility is also a deliberate effort to protect him from taking unpopular public stands and also to burnish his image. Last spring, he turned down an offer to join Mr. Singh’s cabinet. “They want to keep a certain mystique to him,” said Mahesh Rangarajan, a political analyst in New Delhi.

    Before he entered politics in 2004, winning a parliamentary seat in his father’s old district in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Gandhi had appeared ambivalent about the family profession. He attended Harvard for three years before transferring to Rollins College in Florida because of security concerns after his father’s death. He earned a master’s degree in development studies at Cambridge and worked in London as a management consultant before returning to India after his mother took over the Congress Party.

    Some veteran politicians initially dismissed him as a pappu, the Hindi word for a nice boy, if one who is not too smart. Inside the Congress Party, some leaders had considered his younger sister, Priyanka, a more dynamic politician, but her focus has been on raising her children rather than running for office.

    Mr. Gandhi’s breakthrough came during the 2009 elections, when he campaigned across the country and was later credited for the unexpectedly strong showing by Congress.

    Some analysts interpreted the 2009 voting results as evidence that the clout of regional, caste-based parties was waning. Over two decades, these parties splintered national politics and gave rise to leaders like Mayawati, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh and India’s most powerful Dalit politician, who uses only one name. Analysts say Congress must regain seats in Uttar Pradesh and neighboring Bihar if it wants to achieve a national majority.

    “The real test is Uttar Pradesh,” Mr. Rangarajan said. “Everything rests on it. It is the most populous state. It is the demographic center.”

    Uttar Pradesh will hold state elections in 2012, and Mr. Gandhi is pushing to unseat Ms. Mayawati. For months, Mr. Gandhi has periodically turned up at villages to share a meal or even spend the night with Dalit families. He told reporters that he did not see people’s castes, only that they were poor.

    “When Rahul Gandhi goes to the home of a Dalit to share a meal, Mayawati’s stomach starts itching!” shouted one speaker at the rally.

    His youth drives are conducted state by state, and he has hired a nonprofit group of former election commissioners to oversee the internal elections for posts in the party youth organizations — as opposed to the usual practice of party bosses picking their choices.

    Mr. Gandhi’s campaign could eventually threaten entrenched interests within the party, analysts say, which is why, for now, the internal voting is limited to the youth organizations. And his efforts to unseat Ms. Mayawati got off to an inconsistent start. Analysts say the public response to his recruitment efforts in Uttar Pradesh had been tepid before his latest trip.

    Ultimately, analysts say, Mr. Gandhi will have to reveal more about himself than his just organizational vision. He has traveled widely and met with business or political leaders. When Bill Gates recently visited India, he joined Mr. Gandhi in a village. In Egypt, Mr. Gandhi has befriended Gamal Mubarak, son and heir apparent of President Hosni Mubarak. In China, he has met Xi Jinping, the man tapped to replace the country’s president and Communist Party leader, Hu Jintao.

    It seems he is preparing for the future.
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    So it been decided to dethrone PM manmohan singh and replace him with the yuvraj with in this loksabha term itself
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    715
    Slip of Tongue?





    Slip of the tongue? - Suman K. Jha


    Politics
    Congress sources say that Rahul Gandhi only meant Bangladesh's liberation

    "India being a big country, it needs a massive push to start it rolling, but once it starts to roll, it takes a massive push to stop it. If you look 30 to 50 years ahead, which is where one should look, I am pretty certain India will be one of the top five powers. The issue is whether we will be among top three or not.... That will make a big difference to how we impact poverty. Equally important is how we'll behave in that position. Will we be a complete bully, or will we be a power that is more accepting...?"

    Rahul Gandhi in an interview (late 2004)

    Rahul Gandhi sought to tread a hitherto uncharted path during his fourth leg of Uttar Pradesh jan sampark abhiyan (public contact programme). The Congress heir had focused exclusively on development ("Has your lot improved one bit in the last 15 years, when several parties tried to divide you on the lines of caste and religion?"), the youth ("The youth, who comprise 70 per cent of the state's population, will take the state forward to its past glory"), and the state ("Elections or no elections, I'm here to stay") in the first three legs of his roadshows. Save for a response to a question by THE WEEK that triggered a political storm in Uttar Pradesh ("Had anyone from my family been active, the Babri demolition would not have taken place"), Rahul had consciously avoided raking up any contentious issue.

    In the fourth leg of his Uttar Pradesh foray which began on April 13, he added the 'first family' to his three-point agenda, described as a "tactical shift" by a senior Congress leader. "My job doesn't end with the elections. I'm here till we have a Congress government in the state. Other parties should know that I come from a family that matches its actions with deeds," he said in almost all the 10 public meetings he addressed in three days. While the entire opposition cited this as yet another expression of how the Congress had become subservient to the Gandhi family, Congress strategists felt that the Nehru-Indira-Rajiv genealogy would strike a chord with the party's traditional support base.

    It was his speech at Badayun and at Bareilly that, besides inviting Pakistan's wrath, had party honchos scurrying for cover. "I come from a family that doesn't shy away from its responsibilities, whether it is the freedom struggle, breaking up of Pakistan, or ushering in a new era of technology and IT," he said.

    The after-tremors could be felt from far and wide. Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said that Rahul's remarks proved allegations that India interfered in Pakistan's affairs and tried to destabilise it. "India took advantage of the circumstances to dismember Pakistan, and the scion of Nehru family has accepted the real Indian motives for the intervention," she said. Some peaceniks in Delhi even accused the Congress leader "of derailing the Indo-Pak peace talks".

    While this sounded a little far-fetched, and the cacophony died down in a couple of days, as expected, the entire political class spent countless hours deciphering the text and context of Rahul's "breaking up Pakistan" intervention.

    "Who is advising him on matters like these?" one of the tallest Muslim leaders in the Congress thundered. "Are we trying to be one up on the Bharatiya Janata Party?" asked another senior Muslim Congress leader, and said the reference was avoidable. A leader known for his proximity to Rahul tried to reason that he was probably trying to match the "BJP's nationalist rhetoric in one of their strongholds". While the Congress has been known for its old trick of playing community cards selectively, one is not sure if Rahul would find the analogy flattering. There were even voices against the "corporate types" advising Rahul on political matters.

    Those who know Rahul said that while he was open to various viewpoints, he was known to speak his mind. Hence, the "breaking up of Pakistan" marked a clear and disturbing departure from what Rahul has sought to symbolise so far.

    While an Akhand Bharat votary might tom-tom this as "an achievement", how is the "breaking up of Pakistan" relevant to Rahul's espousal of Gandhian nationalism? Congress spokesperson Devendra Dwivedi countered that he was speaking "at an election campaign and not at a seminar". Another top Congress leader argued that Rahul only meant "liberation of Bangladesh," as distinctly different from the "breaking up of Pakistan". A plausible explanation, but are the future prime ministers allowed the luxury of retakes in their public pronouncements? And, how does this idea fit into Rahul's idea of India "as one of the top three powers that is more accepting"?

    In the earlier legs of his Uttar Pradesh foray, Rahul had talked about "opening the doors of the Congress for the state youth," something that many thought signalled a welcome democratisation of a dynasty-obsessed Congress. It was back to the dynasty in his fourth leg, so much so that Congress spokespersons were not unanimous on how to defend the move. While Satyavrat Chaturvedi wanted to put other parties under the scanner, Dwivedi argued that the Gandhis' political lives were coterminous with the life of the republic. BJP leader L.K. Advani blasted the Congress: "This shows a mindset that one family alone is fit to rule the country."

    "While the BJP is the polar opposite of the Congress, is there any fundamental difference between the Samajwadi Party or the Bahujan Samaj Party and our party? Our failure to produce a Mayawati or a Mulayam Singh Yadav reflects how the party has become entirely dynasty-centred," said a senior Congress leader. In one of his works, political observer Pratap Bhanu Mehta describes the phenomenon as "the decline of the very institution of political party".

    Even with a section of the Congress convinced that the dynasty alone keeps this disparate organisation together, many thought Rahul would be keen to make the party relevant by democratising it. If Rahul had a blueprint for the same, one didn't get to hear about it amid the talk of the dynasty and the party in UP.
     
  6. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,195
    Likes Received:
    2,223
    whatever it may be but every young congress yuvraj is seen by poor as their Liberator AND I DON NOT why?everybody specially there is tendency in dalits to converge around congress yuvraj if he talks sweet, hardships faced by dalits . first it was indr gandhi then Rajvi gandhi ,sonia gandhi and now rahul gandhi. these people all sweet talks about poor or about amm adhmi but what they do when in power nothing but only for elite class eg present indian budget nothing for common men instead his income tax was increased but that of elites it was decreased. u may see rahul organizing elections for youth congress but who stands in that election son`s/daughter of politician. who gets ticket in congress mostly son/daughter of politician(this disease is spreading to all parties) .see most of congress next generation leaders mostly son of minister. none of them has to compete hard against their opponent . it just 1 year hardship before election ant then they are through that and then rest for next 4 years.
    And if complain about it they says what wrong in that is in`t a doctor son is always doctor or engineer son is always engineer. but they forgaet one thing engineer or doctor son has to toil , has to complete prove himself but politician son has nothing to prove he gets everything full of plater
     
    AkhandBharat likes this.
  7. AkhandBharat

    AkhandBharat Regular Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Messages:
    542
    Likes Received:
    78
    Location:
    Brokeland
    I agree. Its total nonsense. The nehru-gandhi family has been winning elections from Amethi ever since independence. Amethi is still where it was 30 years ago! There is no development at all, yet the people still vote for congress there. It so bizzare! They will see him eating food with a poor family and it will touch their hearts and then congress will start a PR campaign saying that Rahul is working at the grass-roots level. What is the result of his work at the grass-roots level may I ask? Zilch, Nada, Nothing!
     
    anoop_mig25 likes this.

Share This Page