Ramachandra Guha | Twitter/@Ram_Guha
Ramachandra Guha | Twitter/@Ram_Guha
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Kozhikode: A “fifth-generation dynast” Rahul Gandhi has no chance in Indian politics against a “hard-working and self-made” Narendra Modi, and Kerala did a disastrous thing by electing the the Congress leader to Parliament, historian Ramachandra Guha said here on Friday.

Guha said the reduction of the Congress from a “great party” during the freedom movement to a “pathetic family firm” now is one of the reasons for the ascendency of Hindutva and jingoism in India.

“I have nothing against Rahul Gandhi personally. He is a decent fellow, very well-mannered. But young India does not want a fifth-generation dynast. If you Malyalis make the mistake of re-electing Rahul Gandhi in 2024 too, you are merely handing over an advantage to Narendra Modi,” said Guha on the second day of the ongoing Kerala Literature Festival (KLF) during his talk, “Patriotism Vs Jingoism”.

Addressing the crowd, full of Keralites, he said, “Kerala, you have done many wonderful things for India, but one of the disastrous thing you did was to elect Rahul Gandhi to Parliament.”

Gandhi, who in 2019 general elections lost from his family bastion of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, had won from the Wayanad seat in Kerala.

“Narendra Modi’s great advantage is that he is not Rahul Gandhi. He is self-made. He has run a state for 15 years, he has an administrative experience, he is incredibly hard working and he never takes holidays in Europe. Believe me I am saying all this in all seriousness,” he said.

But, even if Rahul Gandhi was “much more intelligent, more hard-working, never took a holiday in Europe, as a fifth generation dynast he still will be at a disadvantage against a self-made person”, the 61-year-old author said.

He took on Congress president Sonia Gandhi too who, he said, reminded him of the “late Mughal dynasty” and how aloof they were of the state of their kingdom.

“India is becoming more democratic and less feudal, and the Gandhis just don’t realise this. You (Sonia) are in Delhi, your kingdom is shrinking more and more but still your chamchas (sycophants) are telling you that you are still the badshah,” he said.

Further, he quoted his teacher and noted Indian sociologist Andre Beteille to describe the story of Nehru-Gandhi family as a classic “reversal of the famous Biblical injunction”: the sins of the father will be visited upon seven successive generations.

“In the Nehru’s case, it is the sins of the seven successive generations have been re-visited upon Nehru… look at the national debate today. Why is Nehru evoked everytime? Why does Modi always say Nehru ne Kashmir mein yeh kiya, China mein yeh kiya, Triple Talaq mein yeh kiye … because Rahul Gandhi is there.

“Now if Rahul Gandhi disappears, Modi has to talk about his own policies and why they failed,” he said.

According to Guha, “Hypocrisy of the Indian Left — the fact that they loved other nations more than India”, “rise of aggressive nationalism worldwide” and “the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in neighbouring countries” are some other reasons behind the evident leap of Hindutva in India in the recent times.

Historian William Dalrymple, novelists like Benyamin, Namita Gokhale, Chetan Bhagat and journalists Karan Thapar and Rajdeep Sardesai are among the many other writers who will be attending the four-day festival.

The focus theme of KLF 2020 is environment and climate change.


Also read: From writing history to becoming a part: How Ramachandra Guha became face of CAA protests


 

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20 Comments Share Your Views

20 COMMENTS

  1. After fixing history and Indian cricket, I think that the man is looking for a Rajya Sabha nomination from Congress. He is trying a different tack, criticizing Shri Rahul Gandhi so that he is forced to give him a RS seat to shut him up.

  2. I do not agree.It is not about dynast because as a person he is free to do what he likes.What matters is performance,delivery and acceptance by people of persons in public life.

  3. Guha who has continuously lied about Indian history and has been the most dishonest member of self labelled intellectual club of leftists is an essentially a crook disguised as an intellectual. He has been at the forefront of Congress propaganda to defame Hindus specifically RSS and BJP. His sins are so deep and wide spread that not even god would pardon him.

  4. I always feel Ram Guha is a liberal in true sense. He is the only one (i am aware of) to question left’s credential . The so called liberals always label Islamophobia as a Right wing conspiracy …then what about Uighur Muslims In china? “liberals” will be speechless if you ask them about Tibet, Hong Kong, Putin etc etc. Indian cant be right..true…but no way India cant be left or even centre-left.

    Even recently the girl student (Jamia fame) was forced to apologise to communist when she landed in Kerala….weeks later Kerala CM was all praise for JNSU president..such is their shameless hypocrisy.

    I dis agree with Ram guha on his dynast comment. Indian lifestyle is always family centric, so its not unusual to see many dynastic politician in our country. One fine example of a dynastic politician is Mr.NAVEEN PATNAIK. When faced with aggressive BJP , he always allowed his work to speak rather than his mouth. I heard he don’t even know the local language despite that he is not only winning elections but everyone treats his with high regard. He is not like Rahul gandhi who quoted Hindu terrorism is the biggest threat one day and proclaiming he is a scared thread bramin next time. In fact its his Mother who made congress left centric by giving too much importance to Lutyens liberal in the name of NAC and that ultimate cost congress the power. Hope congress reclaim its originality (centre-right) by packing of “left-liberals” to bay of bengal

  5. It is only partly about personalities. World over right wing racial or caste supremacists have a field day. Rahul or others have no answer to that.

    • How do you define leadership? Who are leaders? The ones who can galvanise followers with a convincing case. Was Mahatma Gandhi not an effective leader at the height of imperialism and white supremacy?

      That said, it is time for Congress to democratise itself and let a leader emerge. The problem is that most of the opposition has a hyena pack mentality (examples: over hyped Pawar, Uddhav etc) and some maverick self-styled leaders opposed to BJP ideology are just Twitter/website based leaders (example: Yogendra Yadav). Other dynasts prefer to wait for the right time instead to doing public service when out of office (example: Akhilesh Yadav). None of these have half the spirit and energy of Mamta Bannerjee.

      • Sadly world over war mongering, racial hatred, bigotry excites people and propagators of these becomes big leaders with big following. That’s the history. Trump has become invincible, I am sure, after his Rambo style action. Do we want Rahul to go this way,?

        • Who’s Rahul? Let him join the ‘perfect boys’ club if he belongs there. But before that he needs to learn to do an honest day’s work. Now don’t say that he had a rich great grandfather so he can afford to have a cool lifestyle especially now that he has proven that he can win a constituency.

        • And if he is such a great guy, why doesn’t he open up Congress, the great party, to a genuine and transparent leadership context by supporting it as an ordinary member? Let the party select a leader, which I am sure these grown ups like Chidambaram, Sibal etc are capable of selecting based on his/her capacity to fill a wholesome majority for Congress.

          And if he cannot do that, let him do an indefinite fast and show his steel. What’s so special that Rahul can do? Let’s see that.

          • World over dynasts are not a problem so long they are able to look after the interests of the power blocks they represented. If not they look elsewhere. It is not a question of Rahul or anybody else in the Congress. Traditional power blocks have abandoned Congress.

        • You mention “World over dynasts” …which includes the world outside of progressive democracies. In the US, George Bush Jr. could become a presidential candidate not because of his father. Justin Trudeau is NOT Canada’s PM because of his father. These guys competed against equally worthy party candidates to emerge victorious. But any Gandhi family supporter must be subscribing to Vadra’s grand proclamation that India is a banana republic and therefore needs to be equated with autocracies or other set-ups masquerading as democracy. Modi is just a fluke and an aberration caused by many crore voters who lost their mind. Correct?

          • Rahul is leader because Congress members wants him so . Similar is the case of other dynasts. I am not a Congress member. So I can’t decide about it. Don’t know about your status.

  6. The issue is not really about dynasty vs self made. See how differently Dhirubhai Ambani’s two sons have shaped up in business. For that matter, Balasaheb Thackeray’s son and nephew. In RG’s case, a total lack of earnestness. It is possible he could have been diligent and still failed. However, the converse is not possible. One cannot be a part time politician and overcome such an awesome political machine. Also, with coalitions the Congress party’s only hope of redemption, he ought to have forged much better working relations with actual and potential allies.

  7. In a sense, Guha is stating the obvious. After independence, for many years, Congress was the default operating system of the country, as stated by Rahul once. All others were just opposition parties for the sake of opposition. Only by 1977, there was some semblance to the idea of a single party capable of challenging Congress but it soon fizzled out. Three decades were wasted in coalition politics but later years of this period were with much stable coalitions as in NDA and UPA. BJP has come up over the years as the single largest party due to various reasons- appeasement, vote bank and entitlement politics, corruption, nepotism and family owned business nature of political parties along with cleaver positioning by BJP of broad basing its appeal to all shades of Hindu vote base, Ayodhya movement etc. Modi’s rise was just the right phase for BJP. Guha is wrong in the sense that Modi without Rahul will also be unbeatable as he has delivered completely corruption free and focused government that can not be compared with any government in the past. Much is made of the failure of the economy to generate growth but that is just a point to beat Modi politically as sickulars like Guha can not get at Modi otherwise, apart from leveling the charge of authoritarianism. I am not arguing that Waynad should not repeat its mistake- Modi after all needs a punch bag !!

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