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Jyotiraditya didn’t want to become Rahul. He could’ve become Sachin. Will end up like Varun

Maharaja Scindia may have bargained for a good deal now, but one day, the BJP won’t need him.

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There are two and only two kinds of politicians. One is a politician whose power comes from the masses, the other is a politician whose power comes from the party.

The first kind is called a mass leader, the second a darbari.

Darbaris are dispensable, or history dispenses with them anyway. Mass leaders are the real deal. A mass leader can have his or her way within the party, ride roughshod over rivals within the party. That’s how Narendra Modi dispensed with the Delhi Darbar of the BJP in 2013, forcing it to concede to his demand of being officially declared prime ministerial candidate.

Rahul Gandhi has been losing the battle to the old guard of his party because he himself is not a popular mass leader. Rahul Gandhi draws his power from the Congress party, so the party decides how powerful he is going to be.

Despite the decline of the Congress since 2014, there has been no split in the party. That’s because there are very few mass leaders left. Those who are mass leaders, are not doing too badly for themselves, such as Amarinder Singh and Ashok Gehlot.

If you read the fascinating story of how Mamata Banerjee quit the Congress and formed her own party, the difference between darbaris and mass leaders becomes starkly clear. The darbaris within the West Bengal unit of the Congress who were using the party structure to keep Mamata at bay have become footnotes in history. Mamata is the chief minister, without the Congress.

The likes of Mamata Banerjee and Sharad Pawar never felt the need to return to the Congress because they drew their legitimacy from their voters and not the high command.

The young leaders of the Congress party, much like Rahul Gandhi himself, have been disappointing in both their inability and unwillingness to become mass leaders. All they have been doing is waiting for the party leadership to change, for the old guard to leave and have the Congress to themselves.


Also read: How Jyotiraditya Scindia’s departure shows Congress is an HR disaster


Leaving Delhi 

A notable exception has been Sachin Pilot, who moved to Rajasthan in 2014 and decided to work on the ground. Despite his open rebellion against chief minister Ashok Gehlot and his unseemly assertive demand to be made chief minister in 2018, the Congress party has not been able to marginalise him. He remains deputy-chief minister as well as state Congress chief, a post he has held for six years now. This is because he is positioning himself as a leader with the masses behind him. He is using his voters against his party.

At the same time, Pilot couldn’t get the better of Ashok Gehlot not because Gehlot had the backing of Delhi. In the Rajasthan assembly election, Gehlot was able to show who the bigger mass leader was. It is said that you could go to any village in Rajasthan and find at least one man who will say he personally knows Ashok Gehlot.

Sachin Pilot used to be spoken of in the same breath as Jyotiraditya Scindia. Both come from dynasty and wear arrogance on their sleeve. Arrogance can also be used as strength, to project oneself as a strong leader, for instance. Sachin Pilot is using it to present himself as the wronged underdog.

But arrogance of surname sticks out like a sore thumb. Scindia’s arrogance is about being former royalty — he doesn’t see himself as ‘former’. It’s 2020 and he wants to be maharaja. There was one former royal who went on to become prime minister, Vishwanath Pratap Singh. He did so by giving up his properties and becoming a man of the masses. That’s the kind of sacrifice, risk and courage Jyotiraditya Scindia doesn’t have.

Jaganmohan Reddy was another dynast with an image of arrogance and entitlement. Yet, he worked hard on the ground for two years and ensured a sweeping election victory. Why couldn’t Scindia have done that?


Also read: These are the 5 key young Congress leaders ‘sidelined’ like Jyotiraditya Scindia was


Maharaja and his subjects 

Unlike Sachin Pilot, Scindia did not try mass leadership in Madhya Pradesh after 2014. He preferred the five-star Delhi circuit. Among his reasons for quitting the Congress party, Scindia said that the Congress was not what it used to be. Yet, as a prominent face of the Congress, is he also not responsible for the bleak state of the party?

Scindia could not win his traditional family seat of Guna in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He can blame the Modi wave for it. After all, Rahul Gandhi couldn’t save Amethi either. But in Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath was able to save his traditional seat Chhindwara, transferring it to his son Nakul Nath. In Guna, Jyotiraditya Scindia lost to his former aide, Krishna Pal Singh Yadav, who was insulted by Scindia’s wife in the election in classist terms. He played the underdog against the arrogant maharaja and won. Scindia couldn’t keep his own house in order, and now blames the party. Such was his commitment to his party that he travelled to the US for his son’s convocation, happily posting a photo, while the Lok Sabha elections were still going on.

After the results, Scindia was left high and dry. The Congress didn’t give him anything at all. Scindia understandably feared becoming Rahul Gandhi, a man waiting for Lady Luck to shine on him. Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh ganged up to force Scindia into a corner, leaving him with no option but to rebel.


Also read: The many hurdles Jyotiraditya Scindia faces in BJP before he can fulfil his dreams


But Scindia had another option: to take to mass politics. He has chosen the easy way out, a business class ticket from Gandhi darbar to Modi darbar.

Today the BJP needs Scindia as a face through whom they can destabilise the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh and make it look like internal rebellion rather than ‘Operation Kamal’. There was a time when the BJP needed a part of Indira Gandhi’s dynasty. In 2004, Maneka and Varun Gandhi joined the party. Today Maneka Gandhi is not even a minister. Varun Gandhi, who comically projected himself as a CM-aspirant in Uttar Pradesh, is out of the headlines.

Understandably, Jyotiraditya Scindia did not want to end up as Rahul Gandhi. He could have become Sachin Pilot. He may get a ministerial berth from the BJP today, but one day they will make him Varun Gandhi.

The author is contributing editor to ThePrint. Views are personal.

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51 COMMENTS

  1. The country needs such GYANI persons like you.Why don’t you join the race & make INDIA happy and prosperous!!!!

  2. If the facts re Mr. Scindia are correct, the author may be quite correct in his analysis. I choose to ignore the author’s negative personal comments about Mr. Scindia; The Print is decidedly anti-Modi and therefore is forced into a stance that is pro-Congress, pro-Pak etc. etc. and such negative personal comments are de rigueur. Only Mr. Scindia can prove the author wrong by morphing into a mass leader from inside the BJP. Mr. Scindia comes from a long line of dedicated and distinguished sons and daughters of Mother India. Only time will tell. Usually, blood is thicker than water. I certainly wish Mr. Scindia the very best.

  3. Varun Gandhi and Maneka Gandhi are capable people. If they are given power, there would be a wrong influence on the BJP due to them still having ‘Gandhi’ at the end of their names. And varun Gandhi doesnt have much political history like Scindia too. Scindia sure won’t face any problems.

  4. The British rule when encountered the Mutiny of 1857 was defended by the Scindia of Gowliar. That saved the endangered Company rulers got more quislings rallied around them.
    After the Mutiny, the British Government passed order whereby the Maharaja Scindia of Gowaliar was covered in protocol for Royal Salute whenever he visited any civil station in India. So, none of the scions of the same dynasty feel comfortable for long without trappings of power.
    By the way, when in 1803, Orissa was overran on orders of Lord Wellesley in a 14-day campaign with even a shot being fired against the invaders by the Peshwa who had Orissa under the power, fled lock, stock and barrel. A delegation of pandas and priests—all Brahmans—came to the victorious commander of the Army at Pipli where the marching Armies camped for some rest and recreation after 14 day unbroken campaigns. Under pretension of “oracle” of Lord Jagannath they asked the Commander to takeover the temple and manage the Hindu shrine. That the British did for about 40 years. The alien rulers imposed pilgrim tax on Hindus who never ever even discussed it because that would expose the impotent Jagannath, lauded as an avatar of Vishnu. The Company earned millions, part spent for temples for rituals, payment of salaries for brahmans, including devadasi, guards, cooks, etc. and res went to their coffers.

  5. सिंधिया जी बीजेपी के नए जन नेता की भूमिका में आगे होंगे. बीजेपी मोदी जी के बाद जो पचास के उम्र के लगभग नेता है उनकी पारिवारिक पृष्ठभूमि की सर्व स्वीकारें यह जो ग्रैविटी की तलाश थी . बीजेपी ज्योतिरादित्य सिंधिया के व्यक्तित्व से आगे करेगी . सिंधिया के अग्रिम पंक्ति से जहां हिंदी पट्टी के नेता और पढ़े लिखे अनुभवी स्तरीय निजता का लालच जैसे सवालों का जवाब बीजेपी के पास है . पिछड़ों के वर्चस्व के नुमंदगी की शानशौकत के अकूत धन जो हैल्थ एजुकेशन बिल्डर्स और प्रशानिक लूट के गतिशील नया मध्यवर्ग जो भूमंडलीकरण के नब्बे से आज तक पैदा हुआ । उसी के साफ सुथरा सिंधिया सबको स्वीकृत होगें नई तकनीक जेपीएस टेक्नोलॉजी हैंडसम स्मार्ट युवा उदार लचीला स्वभाव ,,, जहां बीजेपी का अंतर विरोध जिसमे पिछड़ा मराठा गायकवाड़ पटेल कुनबी जो सिंधिया मीटिंग्स में खुद कह चुके है ये बीजेपी के मोदी के बाद केंद्र के नेतृत्व जिसमे संगठन में योगदान की कसौटी दादी राजमाता सिंधिया हैं ,,, ज्योतिरादित्य सिंधिया मोदी के बाद बीजेपी के संगठन के बल पर पीएम चेहरा है

  6. Sachin pilot is best leader in the congres party
    If Congress didn’t give him well respect he feel so bd

  7. Shivam ji only Congress can do what u have said, that is the reason for scindia exist from the party. Stop being a chamchaa of Congress, the party has lost its grace.

  8. Schidiya is super powerful neta with clean image comparing him with other Gandhi is totally wrong though artical is good but lacking in comparison of situations
    Mr Modi is a man of principal and always reward good people and see the history of schidiya family trusted sardar of maratha
    This royal family is always worked for janta

  9. Reading All Statement I Feel Modi Will Clucth Scindia And This Fool Will Have No Option But To Be Paralysed From Politics Like Others Who Are Governor’s In Various States

  10. Fatastic article! If only the arrogant Scindia had thought of this before he could have saved himself from becoming a caricature in the near future.

  11. Another Gandhi loyalist to the core.A frog in the well,can’t come out of Gandhi syndrome. Hats off to Scindia he has boldly raised his voice and come out of the Congress rut instead of rallying behind the joker Raga. Setting an example for other young Turks like Pilot to follow suit abandoning Congress for the good. Congress failed to recognize the potential in leaders like Scindia. Congress old bandicoots are
    more loyal to 3 Gandhis SG RG PG than to the nation for their own gains.
    Scindia undoubtedly will be an asset in the cabinet under Modi and Amit Shah to take BJP forward. That is the reality in store.

  12. Well, Scindia was caught between between the devil and the deep sea, so he chose to jump to the side with power. There’s only so much humiliation one can take. Of course, he’ll have to earn his stripes in rabble rousing and hate, or he’ll go the way of the folks in the margdarshak mandal, well before his time. Even Gen. Rawat had to make noises against the antiCAA protests before he could become the Chief of Defence Staff! Scindia has definitely lost his independent voice, and like Nitish Kumar, the threat of being shoved off will always be there.

    But, it’s really bad PR for the Congress, especially Rahul Gandhi. How is it that even someone perceived as close to him jumps ship so nonchalantly?! If he cannot even influence his friends, or back him when needed most, how will he run an entire country?!

  13. The former royal has to deal with a money bag, a foreign leader, mamma’s boy, dirty tricks department and a cadre that is depleted. And we are talking about an opposition party that will fight a well oiled machine like the Sangh 🙂

  14. Only TWO kinds of leaders…?
    How about dynasty created leaders…?
    Is RG2 a party created leader…?
    Or is he a dynasty declared ‘ leader ‘ ?

  15. Why should anyone bother about the political future of Mr. Scindia. He perhaps did not get to do what he had in mind for the Congress party. They are already facing a lot of internal rebellion. As rightly pointed out by the author, most of them are darbaris or i would go further and say chamchas. Sachin Pilot may be a semi darbari but not exactly a chamcha. Jyotiraditya too is not a chamcha for sure and was not taken seriously by chamchas like kamal nath and diggi. The end result is what we see.
    Quitting and setting up a new party altogether could have been an option for him. But at this moment the situation in MP is not favourable. There is ample evidence that states where the electorate is bipolar, a new party is hard and arduously long task to establish. The end results can be disastrous. Just take Raj Thackeray and his MNS for instance. They have been trying to get a foothold for more than a decade now. Still they have little luck. Whatever names one may call, Thackeray has held on to himself and is trying to drive his engine somehow. That’s commendable. But whether it is really worth the effort no one knows.
    Mamata did what Thackeray did, but with flying colours. The electorate there was bipolar in a different sense. She used the democracy versus communism card and became a second pole for the bipolar structure.
    Perhaps Scindia might have plans to go for a similar assault when the next MP elections are up (the ones after the current one), primarily to do off with Kamalnath and the darbaris followed by return to Congress!

  16. Basically what he is saying look at me Jyodiraditya I am loyal to the Gandhi family and you are not.

  17. It takes all kinds of people to make up a political party, while Scindia may not be an ideal politician, Congress is even less of an ideal party . Then of course ,rats do abandon a sinking ship , again a ship that has tappu as captain , is sailor made for sinking.

  18. What do you mean by “one day they will make him Varun Gandhi”? No need to think in terms of predefined boxes in one of which he must fit. Jyotiraditya is his own man, it’s upto him what he wants to become in BJP. Who knows, he may find enthusiasm & inspiration to become a mass leader, for which he didn’t find inspiration when he was in congress. Maybe he will become a hardworking minister and become known as someone who delivers solutions. The possibilities are endless but you aren’t able to think outside the box… so you are trying to box Jyotiraditya in one of your predefined boxes.

    • He is not a mass leader May be he wants an MP post and a minister of cabinet rank In BJp hr wants prove himself and surrrnder to RSs idealogy

    • This is not predifined box it’s intuitive analysis, a possible hypothesis. If what you say is possible what the writer says is also a possibility. Situation is quite variable and certainly not positively stable for Scindia

  19. Just look at the comments made by Mr. Chouhan, Mr chary and by Swarajya magazine. Scindhia is perceived as a threat or rival to many.

  20. There is a huge difference between Varun and Jyotiraj. Disagree with the above view. Jyotiraj is a capable guy and has a good future with BJP.

    • But let’s not forget Modi-Shah believe in “use and discard” philosophy and Scindia will get frustrated soon as their arrogance will be too much to bear for him.

      • You are completely wrong Mr. Dua. Modi always rewards who stands with him be it Ms Kiran Bedi or Ms Irani. Both Mr Modi and Mr. Shah are very good bosses to take good care of their team members.

        • Madam Bedi was with aap and in Anna movement and not with BJP . She just changed side and became a governor..
          What else she did…
          Please specify …

  21. The Congress sycophant starts again…Ill informed and biased as always. Scindia is the new bone thrown by Gandhi’s to the sycophants to chew upon, and this writer is an expert at that. expecting some more delirious barking till a new bone is thrown.

    • We should accept we all are sychophants by birth in someway and are habituated to display impulsive alignment to the avalaible darbars.
      Right or wrong today there are two darbars Nascent Modi’ s and brewed Gandhi’s.

  22. Man should be ambitious but should not be over ambitious. It may be the fact that he doesn’t want to Mamta or Sharad . But he would have Sachin . But he is not aesthetic politician or no legacy of that kind of tactical politician instead that he has chosen a National highway safety. Whichever let him rise more than Varun. As per Panchatantra he has become sandwich between NM& As . Alas what more bad luck of good future boy

  23. On the basis of strategy against MrScindia to nominate as Gen.Secy Uttar Pradesh, it was clear to many old guards that Mr.Scindia may loose Guna Seat. Same things were happened.The loose of Guna Seat was part of hidden conscipiracy. If you rememberd, Mr.Rahul Gandhi has already told after congress defeat that old Guards were only busy to adjust their wards.
    Press media have already clears that neither Mr.Scindia nor Mr. Digvijaya Singh in position to be an investor for all expenses, only Mr.Kamal Nath can do, so it is the clear. Due to this Mr.KamalNath succeeded in his plan.
    Any way In my view Mr.Scindia will leave BJP before Assembly election and form his own regional party. In MP Assembly election hold more than 150 meetings in many parts of State. He will not turn back in Congress till the continuation of bis rivals.

  24. It’s hardly 24 hours that Scindia has joined the BJP and the Lutyens, Congress backed media is out with knives to finish Scindia politically. Now we will see steady stream of articles criticising Scindia for all that he is and the criticism will not able since Scindia has rejected and once again exposed the much loved Gandhi family of the media. Now Scindia will become communal and the same author who till today found Scindia to be secular will now label Scindia as communal, bhakt, BJP fringe and what not. This is the typical anti BJP media in play. They will devise ways and means to express their own opinions and the common theme underlying the outburts would be to show Scindia as a villan. Shame on this dirty, below the belt supari journalism. Congressi dalals in the media can’t digest the fact that there are a lot of people like Scindia in the Congress who are much much smarter than Rahul.

  25. Another outcome is possible. Maharaj could become a good minister in Delhi. The Cabinet is arguably the least impressive one since 1947. Too many non entities. In fact, even some of those from whom much was expected are proving to be a disappointment. With Mr Scindia’s caliber, he could become an asset to the party and the government. Time to come out of this stale Naamdar vs Kaamdar debate. No harm in having a few people with genuine class and refinement.

    • Sir in Congress considering elite status he was allowed to speak in the cabinet meeting and party forum. In UPA era all were allowed to speak and PM was silent (or call maun). Under Modi, only he can speak and all others ministers are made to keep silent. Scindia, even if performs, he would not be allowed to outshine PM or others. As a matter of fact, by sending him he has been imprisoned for 6 years by which time his rival within from his royal seat would capture his base. He has been taken in for use and topple Congress government.

  26. There is one essential difference between Varun Gandhi and Scindia – the Gandhi dynasty is not a favourite dynasty in the BJP. The Scindia dynasty on the other hand has sentimental connection within the party and the RSS.

    • With Rajmata and vasundaraji and yashodaraji connection who have long association with BJP no body forgot how they were treated by Indira

  27. The name I read is ThePrint a trusted Modi hater, so vomiting all the venom on Scindia, Your owner Raul Vinci is sidelined. Varun Gandhi is a true leader under making, don’t be panic. You can’t question your sponsor Raul Vinci for destroying Congress on a national level. Grow up man , it’s New India … Jai Hind

    • Grow up man. I have been reading The Print for so long. They are neither in favour of the Government nor against them. They put out things objectively and Varun Gandhi and Maneka Gandhi both of them shot in their own foot, by becoming watermouths, or more accurately as guttermouths. The Print has always praised Modi and BJP at different occassions and have also criticized them when it was necessary. Start looking at things objectively. You can clearly make out the difference in The Print versus NDTV and The Wire, who keep bashing the BJP Government.

  28. I have started to grow a fan of your observations and analysis, Mr. Vij. Even though I am a Congress hater, for my own reasons, and more than often I don’t savor your hard critique of the current administration, still you doll out some thought-provoking material. Keep up the good work.

    • “started to grow a fan” ?? Hey, can you teach us how? I would like to open a Fan house, and make tons of money.
      “doll out” ?? Is he passing around dolls? Get yourself educated in English first, before you post such !@#.

  29. Sachin Pilot too could not win his Lok Sabha seat from Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot was made the party chief in Rajasthan, Scindia asked for the state president which was denied to him. Pilot has to only deal with Gehlot. Here Scindia was ousted Together by a wily politician and a money bag politician. He had no choice.

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