Pilot ejected, but Gandhis?
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Pilot ejected, but Gandhis?

July 18, 2020

The Congress has ejected its Co-Pilot out of the cockpit in Rajasthan. Now everyone is waiting to see if Sachin Pilot lands safely on BJP’s lap or makes a hard landing trying to start his own party? 

Meanwhile, the Congress party, still piloted by the Gandhis, is in nosedive and heading for a crash-landing as it steadily keeps losing young leaders in favour of old loyalists. 

Speaking of political developments in Rajasthan, Congress party’s new recruit in Gujarat, Hardik Patel said, “In Congress you get to bat after fielding.” Let’s see how long Hardik Patel keeps fielding, while his ex-President keeps batting whenever he pleases, even if he is an incompetent batsman. Let’s see how much patience Patel will have as his ex-President keeps getting other batsmen in his team run out, while he continues to stay at the crease without scoring any runs. Let’s see how long Patel will stick around in the team as winning players are benched or turned into water boys. 

Frustration is creeping in among competent Congress leaders. Many have worked hard, they have delivered and they want their reward. But in Congress, loyalty to the family is supreme, not performance. After Indira Gandhi became PM, ‘Chamchagiri’ to the family became a qualification and it mattered more than performance. 

And Congress members go to great lengths to display this qualification. In 2004, Sonia Gandhi’s birthday was declared as “Tyag Divas”! And at the event, a Congressman said Sonia embodied the virtues of the Buddha, Ashoka and Mahatma Gandhi! This outpouring of blind devotion did not come from some ordinary fanatical party worker, it came from the then Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil ! 

Similarly in 1995, the Congress party renamed the two concentric roads in the heart of Delhi. Connaught Place and Connaught Circus were renamed Indira Chowk (the outer road) and Rajiv Chowk (the inner road). When asked why this renaming was needed, according to India Today report, the then Congress MP Mani Shankar Aiyar reportedly said, naming it Indira and Rajiv would figuratively mean “a mother embracing her son.” When an angry BJP MP asked in Parliament, “Kya yeh desh Indira aur Rajiv ki jagir hai?” (Is this country the fiefdom of Rajiv and Indira?) a Congress MP actually turned around and said, “Yes”! 

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But today’s youthful India doesn’t care for pedigree. They want some delivery. If not schemes, then at least some dialogues, catch phrases and grand speeches, it’s working for BJP. 

Congress has better young leaders than BJP, but it suffocates them and drives them away. Rahul himself is reluctant to build a team. He had a chance to promote leaders like Shashi Tharoor, Sachin Pilot and Milind Deora directly into the Congress Working Committee but he did not. 

This reminds us, in 1980 Rahul Gandhi’s uncle Sanjay Gandhi’s numerous friends such as Kamal Nath, Ashok Gehlot and Captain Amarinder Singh made it to the Seventh Lok Sabha. The Opposition called them “Sanjay ke chokre” (Sanjay Gandhi’s boys). It was also called the most youthful Lok Sabha. But Rahul Gandhi does not want any ‘chokras’. Is it because today’s chokras are more educated, more articulate and more dependable to deliver than Rahul Gandhi?

Worse, young leaders are treated shabbily, like they are the house help of the Gandhis. Example: When Assam leader Himanta Biswa Sarma visited Rahul to warn him that Assam needed an overhaul, Rahul, instead of taking him seriously and lending an attentive ear, was playing with his pet dog ‘Pidi’.  Later Biswa left Congress, joined BJP and delivered Assam to BJP.

 Congress must realise that Rahul Gandhi is turning out to be a Political Peter Pan — never growing up to decisively lead. If the Congress has to survive, and survive it must, then the Gandhis must take a backseat or make an exit. 

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So, Congress wake up — Choose — and choose now — Country or Gandhi? 

If the answer is “Madam’s family”, then you are doomed and so are we — to have a healthy democracy, we need a strong Opposition. No party must rule for too long because absolute power corrupts absolutely — it did the Congress. 

If only Shastri had lived…

As we speak of the Congress party’s obsession and worship of the Gandhis, it’s apt to recall Historian Ramachandra Guha’s wishful thinking — what if Lal Bahadur Shastri lived. Because his death is what led to Indira Gandhi being made PM.  

Guha writes: “Had Shastri lived, Indira Gandhi may or may not have migrated to London (Indira Gandhi had mentioned her desire to move to England as her sons were studying there in a letter to her friend Dorothy Norman).

But even had she stayed in India, it is highly unlikely that she would have become the Prime Minister. And it is certain that her son would never have occupied or aspired to that office. 

Had Shastri been around for another five years, there would have been no Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Sanjay Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi would almost certainly still be alive, and in private life. The former would be a failed entrepreneur (Maruthi Car Project), the latter a recently retired airline pilot with a passion for photography. 

Finally, had Shastri lived longer, Sonia Gandhi would still be a devoted and loving housewife, and son Rahul Gandhi perhaps a middle-level manager in a private sector company.” 

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12 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Pilot ejected, but Gandhis?”

  1. Jasbir Singh says:

    Imagine you have a dynamic CM well educated with a Wharton MBA from USA aged 42 in the state of Rajasthan who is doing exceptionally well and has gained the people appreciation that he is a great leader. At the same time another PM candidate aged 50 who is a serial disaster of losing maximum number of elections, recently lost the National elections (unable to get a majority) is waiting in the sidelines to propel himself in the national politics. Even he lost his seat in Amethi held for 5 decades and had to run to get help from Communists to get in to Loksabha! He does not even have the authority of national house opposition leader to his credit as the party got only seats to become a mere minority and still has to wait till 2024 to showcase his national political career.
    When the family is struggling to mesmerize the nation in 2013, he of course in the state of Rajasthan showed how to galvanize the grass root workers and prop the party in 4 years so that they can get a majority.
    Sachin Pilot, People love him so much. Some are even saying he will be better candidate for PM IN 2024. So, if this trend continues he is perceived as a serious threat Rahul’s career! After all MMS would have made him the PM if not for this stupid thing called Democracy! Congress wants people like MMS who can sacrifice their principles, education, career. family, Money -anything that the Madam wants! He is capable of saying the stupidest things that may hurt his image if that can save the queen , the Clown prince and their family!

  2. Hare Krishna!! says:

    Wharton MBA? What is he doing in Politics ? His place is in Procter and Gamble company, not in politics.
    Kamaraj , the very highly successful CM of Tamil Nadu, arguably the best administrator , honest and in-corruptible politician of his time,who managed that state with just 8/9 cabinet ministers, some of who went on to become brilliant ministers at the centre ( Subramaniam, Venkktaraman ..), and who modernised, and industrialised that state, DID NOT STUDY BEYOND HIS PRIMARY SCHOOL YEARS.
    Subramanian Swamy has a PhD in economics from Harvard, and is right person for the FM position in India. Instead, Modi has Mrs Sitharaman, who besides the cheer leader for the BJP, had had the only experience of working as one of the sales women in the Habitat company’s branch in Central London, while her husband was studying in LSE. Nothing else, But . she did not hesitate to manufacture her CV! India needs the brilliant economist Dr Swamy not Sitharaman, but Modi knows this, but fears Dr Swamy will not be a “YES man. Some may say, what is Dr Swamy doing in politics? He should have had a career in World Bank or IMF. That is also a good point.
    If , then, may , be etc.. One is not sure of how history would have panned out. If only JFK lived.., or his brother lived.. No one knows what Lal Bahadur Shastry would have achieved . He gave too much concessions to Pakistan, during the summit in Tashkent, and realising it, he had a cardiac arrest, said , an insider then.
    Congress is wedded to dynasty politics. Instead of mocking them, Amit Shah, should thank Gandhis. otherwise,this fat man would have had to deal with clever Tharoor, and would have thought long and hard before introducing CAA amended law and thus drove Bangladesh into the arms of China, would have made Modi to be careful with the Article 370, which now drove Nepal too to China. If Tharoor was the Congress leader, take a guess, whether Modi would have achieved his election successes to the extent his followers bleat about.

  3. Hare Krishna!! says:

    correction:”very highly successful CM..”

  4. Hare Krishna!! says:

    Here are other historical takes:
    1. Mahatma Gandhi wanted Nehru to succeed him, who he said:” will speak my language). Instead of Nehru, if Patel had become the PM?
    2. Nehru wanted Rajaji ( C , Rajagopalachari, the last Governor General of independent India, before the Constitution came into force), to be thrthe first president of India, but Patel and Congress wanted Rajendra Prasad.
    3. What if Rajaji had become the president? He would have advised Nehru ( which he said in later years) to pick Sir C P Ramaswamy Iyer, a brilliant lawyer, instead of Sir Gopalaswamy Iyengar , a complete useless networker, to argue the case of Kashmir first time at the UN. UN security council members and General Assembly members, found Gopalswamy Iyengar very aloof, too religious not to touch alcohol, as the lobbying then (and now )required cocktail parties to invite influential members. Sir CP was known to love Scotch, and hence was a very good networker.

  5. Hello, hello! says:

    Here is another what if scenario!
    General Eisenhower , who never had any battle field experience, a desk-bound military bureaucrat, and an YES MAN to General Marshall, then Chief of Defence in US, and later Defence Secretary overlooked many fine commanders and appointed Eisenhower as the Supreme Commander of Allied forces in WWII, to defeat Hitler. He was no match for the brilliant Field Marshal Rommell, Hitler’s finest general. Hitler was worried that either George Patton of US or Field marshal Montgomery of UK, two very fine generals and tacticians Could be that Supreme Commander of Allies.
    If either Patton or Montgomery were the Supreme Commander of Allies, they would have not bogged down in fighting Germans in France, Belgium etc.. for months after the Allies Invaded Normandy and would have straight by-passed German armies with elite contingent, leaving other s to fight, and headed towards Berlin. Eisenhower, delayed and delayed which gave the Soviets a chance to demand that they should first reach Berlin. This ensured that Germany was divided as East and West Germanies after the war, Berlin wall was up etc.. Had Either Patton or Montgomery led their elite contingent fast through Rhine and into Berlin, Germany would have remained undivided after the war, no cold war place and above all no Berlin wall.

  6. Past Mysorean says:

    Why is Congress sticking with Gandhis, the perennial wastrels and dimwits. Sonia was a former bar maid from Turin Italy who was working in bars in London, when she attracted Rajiv Gandhi’s eyes. Rajiv Gandhi was a failure at Cambridge, did odd courses , and had plenty of time and money to attract a woman like Sonia. Rahul, who has manufactured his CV, was a drop out from Harvard and no one knows what he did at Cambridge, but was employed in a finance firm in London, thanks to his pedigree.
    Fothe above 2 to go, both must have been defeated at the last General Election. Also, without them at the top, Congress would have internal quarrels, defections and would even split. These 2 are the best insurance to BJP electoral success.
    Politics does not need aMBA from Wharton. Chidambaram, the former finance and home minister, who finds himself in the quicksand of corruption was a MBA from Harvard business school.
    Look in the US,where there is no dearth of talent in politics, the choice for the next president is either the bluffing and lying Trump, who is 74, or the former VP who often forgets his own name, Joe Biden , 78. Democrats and Republicans have supremely educated and wise potential young candidates. But that country is lumbered with one of the 2 geriatric fools.

  7. Strangeworld says:

    This editor seems to have no idea of the Indian electoral scene. To become the PM, the person has to win in the North, which consists of many rural constituencies, and these people do not care for MBA ( Pilot) or PhD ( Tharoor), but some one who they can relate to them. Tharoor is from Kerala, and that rules him out. Pilot from Rajasthan will struggle to win UP, MP etc..big, Indira Gandhi did it even in 1980, after Desai government failed, and she was accused of cruelties in her emergency rule. The rural votes went for the Congress.
    With the Gandhis. Congress has a big problem. As a poster said above, ditch Gandhis, there will be internal skirmishes for leadership positions from the factions, and the party may even split.
    Educational achievements do not count in politics in India, unlike Germany.
    In Germany, its leader, the Chancellor has to have a doctortate-a Doktor! Merkel is a Doktor, a PhD in nuclear chemistry. Other politicians have doctorates too. A Doktor politician wins in Germany’s Bavaria to become the chancellor. In the US, a Democrat or a Republican candidate wins the electoral college votes-not the popular votes cast by people like in India, when he successfully rubbishes the opponent, with lies, half-truths etc. just as Trump did, offering policies which appealed to a massive audience of white voters, and Biden will do the same appealing for hispanics and blacks in November. The Americans do not care for a Wharton MBA in politics or a PhD.

  8. swamy says:

    An imbecile of congress will take congress into dust.. A pilot knows how to land and survive, but imbecile will crash to the ground with head first and shattered blood all over. I personally like congress party sans Gandhis and lot of chamchas.. It is a secular party but need a big overhaul.. BJP used to be good, but now with the taste of power, they are forgetting why in the first place they exists..

  9. jalandhara says:

    Indian voters are cynics, they know all politicians lie.
    Politicians in India, have to be imbeciles, but look outwardly nice and caring. Should appeal to the voters in the Northern belt, particularly rural voters.who do not care for Wharton MBA, and do not know what it is! I doubt, whether Pilot or Tharoor have that pull in the Northern belt. Pilot may be appreciated by those who like American MBAs, and they are very small in number compared vast rural voters in the Northern belt. Wharton MBA may be attractive to large companies in the US, but there too does not count very much in politics.
    Gandhis are finished, and as posters said, they aare kept in place, to avoid factional fights in the party.
    Congress needs a leader who knows how to appeal to rural voters and how to leverage their votes. That means , a leader who was born amongst them , knows their problems , having himself experienced it. Modi is an example. I cannot see any leader like that in Congress.
    BJP took a long time, by cultivating the rural votes, thanks to their working class volunteers, excellent set up.born out of RSS culture of working with common people. Modi, used this set up.
    The only other Congress leader, as a poster mentioned, who was a commoner,but knew what the rural voters wanted, was Kamaraj. He was poor, uneducated like them, but honest, never had money or luxuries like car, dressed modestly and spoke their simple language. He ate the simple food of rural people. He built a rock-solid Congress majority for 15 years in Tamil Nadu. He spoke broken English, no Hindi, but was politically astute. He modernised Tamil Nadu, and in his time, the best industrialised state,with poor people getting support for education at all levels.
    He died without any savings in his bank account. In a way, Modi is like him in 2020.

  10. Strangeworld says:

    @Jalandhara
    Spot on! There are striking similarities between Modi and Kamaraj.
    Like Kamaraj, though married young, Modi leads a bachelor life like Kamaraj. Like Kamaraj, he has an elderly mother, who he respects and worships. Like Kamaraj, he speaks simple language when he appeals to voters. Like Kamaraj, he struggled in his early life with poverty, and became a self-made man. Like Kamaraj, whatever you accuse of Modi, you cannot accuse him being rich, amassing wealth and indulging in luxury. I agree Modi is the modern version of Kamaraj, politically astute, but humble , and has no corruption scandal to his name.
    By the way, I do not live in India, do not vote because I cannot , and never voted for BJP. I cannot see Congress beating him in any future general elections with any leader , Pilot or Tharoor or any one.

  11. Maan ki Baat! says:

    Political dynasty:
    Gandhis are bad,wastrels and are no good.They should give way to new comers.
    But what about in the US? Trump got elected because he was opposed by a Clinton dynasty member-Hillary Clinton. She was anointed long ago as the future female president, and was built up so,even after she very badly mishandled Libya as the secretary of state in Obama administration causing thousands of deaths there. She was almost in a celebratory mood, with a long pole to shatter the specially installed ceiling glass,which she was planning shatter with the pole,to indicate,the barrier for female presidency was broken! Alas!
    What about Kennedys?After JFK assassination, Robert Kennedy tried to become the president,and when he was assassinated too,his brother Teddy Kennedy tried years later until his Chappaquiddick incident came back to bite him out of the race!
    Bush dynasty succeeded because,George Bush’s father, in his presidency appointed Supreme Court judges,who returned the favour when George Bush and AlGore were through the ballot paper chad fiaso ,and George Bush was declared president by the US Supreme Court!
    The very old Joe Biden may win, because, Trump is acting as a raving lunatic! Biden,is confused and dazed because of his age.There are very good younger democrats are there. But they have no chance, until Biden dies!
    Industry dynasty:
    Ford,Tatas, Wipro,and even Infosys when Murthy who pontificates of clean administration tried to bring his son, when he was the interim Chairman,just a fe years ago,to fill the gap,until chair was appointed.
    Finally,what about SOM? There is dynasty here too!

  12. The lucky ones! says:

    Though very bad Gandhis are not an exception. The political and commercial worlds are riddled with dynasties.
    Kennedys, Clintons and Bushes in the former , and Dells, Ramjis, Tatas, Murthys ( although this backfired in Infosys!), and very near home the SOM where the elder gave way to the younger , all in the family!

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