LEAD, KINDLY Hamlet was pretty poor as an assertive prince. He thought too much. That may be Rahul Gandhiâ€™s problem too. But politics is ruthless and Mr Gandhi must make up his mind on what role he wants to play in it. By nominating Mallikarjun Kharge, the senior Dalit leader from Karnataka, the leader of the party in the Lok Sabha, Sonia Gandhi has exposed the confusion at the heart of the Congress. Of course, Mr Kharge is a second-time member of parliament, a nine-time member of the legislative assembly and the erstwhile railways minister in the United Progressive Alliance government. His credentials as party loyalist, vote-winner, organizer and administrator are impeccable; his Dalit identity is a useful token of the Congressâ€™s inclusiveness. Yet he is a strange choice, for he is not known for his eloquence, his ambitions are focused on his home state, and his political stature comes nowhere near Narendra Modiâ€™s. After the Congressâ€™s unprecedented failure, it was expected that some thought would have been put into this choice. Which might indicate what the Congress has learnt from its loss. Nothing, it would seem. The party seems torn between logic on the one hand â€” for there have been criticisms and questions â€” and loyalty to Sonia Gandhi on the other. If the party wants Mr Gandhi to be the next leader, then this was the time for him to take up the reins in the Lok Sabha, to address hard questions, to work on the partyâ€™s image, to be visible, articulate and, most important, accountable. Taking verbal responsibility in disarming martyrdom, and then shying away from the roughness of parliamentary exchange, show an evasiveness that sits ill on an aspiring leader. Is he one? Mr Gandhiâ€™s record in Parliament indicates that he was among those MPs who attended least. His mother has the excuse of ill health, but if the party still looks up to mother and son, at least one of them should be responsible for the partyâ€™s showing in the Lower House. If Mr Gandhi does not want to face Mr Modi and his men, why not have a powerful, eloquent, weighty Congressman, such as Kamal Nath or Veerappa Moily, instead? The choice of Mr Kharge suggests that the seat is being kept warm for Mr Gandhi till such time as he overcomes his delicate sensibilities, because Mr Kharge is unlikely to want to take over leadership of the party. â€˜Safeâ€™ man. So by undermining leaders who could be effective in the lead, the Congress seems doomed to repeat its failures. lead, kindly ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ The intellects of the Gandhi Nehru has faded long ago. It is time for the Congress to realise it. And it is more important for the Nehru Gandhis to realise it. But Power grows from riding on the shoulder of a party. It is better to be a tiger for one day than a sheep for a thousand years. Tibetan Maxim "Lions led by donkeys" is a phrase popularly used to describe the British infantry of World War I and to blame the generals who instructed them. The contention is that the brave soldiers (lions) were sent to their deaths by incompetent and indifferent leaders (donkeys). Could the donkeys and there are many in the Congress, please give space and go?