Monday, January 30, 2023
HomeOpinionRahul Gandhi’s liberal supporters do him great disservice

Rahul Gandhi’s liberal supporters do him great disservice

A liberal echo chamber assures Rahul Gandhi every day that he’s the best thing that happened to India — and votes don’t matter.

Text Size:

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election campaign, Rahul Gandhi would stand on the stage and ask, “Chowkidar?” The crowd would say “Chor hai!”

This was, perhaps, the first time in his political career that Rahul Gandhi had managed to find a way to create an interactive connect with the rally crowd. He was clearly excited about it — he insisted the slogan was ‘working’. As surely after a survey showed that Rafale or corruption were non-issues, Rahul Gandhi thought he was able to read ‘the people’ when they responded to his slogan.

Even a novice politician would understand that the rally crowd are your own supporters and they will respond to whatever call they have been asked to respond to. It does not reflect public opinion.

There is a liberal echo chamber around Rahul Gandhi that constantly assures him that everything he’s done is a great act of moral righteousness. Not since Mahatma Gandhi have we had a leader who has the courage to say what is morally correct. This liberal echo chamber performs the same role as the rally crowds of 2019 — they mislead Rahul Gandhi into thinking he’s doing what he needs to do, instead of telling him that he’s actually committing political suicide.

This liberal herd of sheep would go after the naysayers. If you said Rafale wasn’t working, they’d say you were a Hindutva supporter. If you said NYAY was launched too late, they’d ask you how much money you’ve taken from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). If you said NYAY wasn’t being explained and communicated well to voters, they’d say you deserve Narendra Modi.


Also read: How Mayawati, Priyanka or Akhilesh could defeat Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh in 2022


The more he loses, the more they support him

These liberals basically perform the same function as Rahul Gandhi’s data analyst Praveen Chakravarty who designed an app that was mistakenly using the feedback of Congress workers to think this was broader public sentiment — and many of those Congress workers on the app were fake.

Contrast this to how Democrats in the United States are behaving right now. Joe Biden has a comfortable 10 percentage point lead over Donald Trump in myriad surveys. He’s leading even in most swing states. And yet, Democrats are so afraid of becoming complacent that they are not believing these surveys. “For the Democratic operatives who lived the Clinton disappointment up close, even the slightest flicker of positivity can cause them to recoil,” reports CNN.

In India, we’ve seen quite the opposite. The more Rahul Gandhi fails, the more love and support he gets from his liberal echo chamber, like a mother getting over-protective about her bullied child.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during his visit to riot-hit Brijpuri in Northeast Delhi | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during his visit to riot-hit Brijpuri in Northeast Delhi | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

Also read: The real Bihar election will begin after the results


The last refuge of the loser

Ideology is the last refuge of the loser. Since the 2019 defeat, when it became clear that 2014 was no black swan event, Rahul Gandhi has decided to use ideology as a cover for his political failures. He can’t win elections, his liberal echo-chamber says, because he doesn’t pander to majoritarian instincts. In other words, all electoral politics is majoritarian. The people are evil, they don’t deserve Rahul Gandhi.

It must be stressed that this is a post-2019 phenomenon, because Rahul Gandhi was very happy to try realpolitik before that. Since 2016, he had made it a practice to visit one temple after another before every election. He was positioning himself as a “janeu-dhari” “Shiv bhakt”. Now, suddenly, realpolitik is bad.

“The shameful truth is that many Indians don’t consider Dalits, Muslims, Tribals to be human,” tweets Rahul Gandhi. No politician who wants to win people’s votes tells them they are bad. Certainly not at a time when the people are swept away by a nationalist upsurge. Modi tells people they are great and Rahul tells people they’re bad. Who’s likely to win votes?

This is not to say that the Congress shouldn’t fight caste or communalism. But the way to do it in electoral politics is persuasion. Electoral politics — if not all politics — is about persuading people to agree with you. Even a social reformer has to persuade. And you don’t persuade anyone by saying they’re just bad people. This is like Hillary Clinton’s “Basket of deplorable” mistake.


Also read: When words lose meaning: Indian politics as a clash of visuals


Rahul Gandhi’s Lefticide

Rahul Gandhi’s echo chamber is instead comparing him — with a straight face — to Mahatma Gandhi. They’re praising his courage to speak the truth no other politician will. This is why no other politician is doing as badly in politics as Rahul Gandhi.

With due apologies to Bertolt Brecht, the Rahul Gandhi fan club is basically saying, ‘The people don’t have faith in Rahul Gandhi. Let us change the people.’

It is true that some of the most influential leaders in Indian politics spoke the truth to the people about their own ills: Mahatma Gandhi and Jayaprakash Narayan are two names that come to mind. They saw themselves, for the most part, as social reformers. They could afford to do this because they didn’t contest elections. Rahul Gandhi can’t become a new-age Baba or Guru and also want to do well in electoral politics. The two don’t go together. Electoral politicians present themselves as being representatives of the masses. Only if you are an activist, NGO-wallah, a serial PIL filer or a social reformer can you afford to posit yourself as standing against the people.

But Rahul Gandhi won’t see this. He will point you to this liberal echo chamber, just as he did to the 2019 rallies, and say, look, it’s working. When asked about votes, his liberal echo-chamber will tell you it is more important to be morally correct than to win votes. It is best not to win votes if you have to be communal and casteist and pander to the base instincts of voters, they say. This is an example of Leftist suicide. May we call it ‘Lefticide’.

‘Lefticide’ is an old habit of Indian Leftists. For decades, they have tried their best to pursue ideological purity at the cost of establishing a mass connect. This is why Leftists have become irrelevant in electoral politics. Rahul Gandhi’s liberal echo chamber is taking him in the same direction. These liberals who lead Rahul Gandhi away from mass politics should be held responsible for enabling Hindutva.

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

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

39 COMMENTS

  1. Damn… This article wants to project Rahul as person with moral and liberal values that fights communalism of BJP? So I want to ask to the writer since when the polarisation of Muslims in India for decades became secular? Just look at his recent speeches 🤷‍♂️. He loses elections than be blames EVMs and EC and never own the defeat and change his strategy. His statements in assam like I will take money from gujarati traders and give it to people and SARE MODI CHOR KYU HAI, CHOWKIDAR CHOR HAI are liberal and moral? My ass!!! He went to kerela and says North India people are NASAMAJ bcoz Amethi didn’t vote for him this time? That is display sheer ego and arrogance. His alliance with AIUDF is secular? Stop imposing your version of secularism down on other people throats… No wonder Modi is invincible even after this pandemic.

    The writer says Rahul talks about bad things and Modi talks about good things of people but the author himself is talking about an imaginary good side of RAHA. Even I used to think that he is innocent but in the last 2 years I have stopped believing that. He is not liberal icon or secular leader. He is just a political opportunist that has no idea about Indian politics.

  2. “Modi tells people they are great and Rahul tells people they’re bad” – This is absolutely true. BJP or modi, for that matter, is not what is making India fascist or one party country – its Congress. Somehow they are taking the term “opposition” literally and opposing everything Modi/ BJP does. It’s like the kid who cried wolf. They’ve discredited themselves so many times, it doesn’t matter if they speak the truth now – everyone (even some among their own party) will think its just routine statement and has no merit.

  3. Yes, these liberals and secularists surrounding RG are doing more harm to the image of RG, than the propaganda of BJP. They give him selective advice and make a him look like a joker. Take for instance the happenings in Hathras and Rajasthan. Although both incidents are gruesome, but they asked RG to focus on first and ignore the second. And all know Rahul has no mind of his own.

  4. The very premise of the article where this author assumes “whatever Rahul Gandhi is speaking is truth, but he shouldn’t speak it for his own good” is utterly laughable. Man, you belong to the same echo chamber of the people that you accuse off.

  5. Whatever may be the logic, the inescapable conclusion is that Rahul Gandhi is a great ASSET to Modi in particular and the BJP in general. BJP followers and supporters are very happy for RaGa to continue to rely on this ‘Echo chamber’ and his sycophants.
    But the interesting fact is that EVERYONE other than RaGa knows all this. And RaGa will always remain “The Emperor with no clothes”.

  6. To say Rahul is liberal and stands for liberalism is cooked up story. An objective person and a bystander see Rahul as ” twitter troll” and gains power through the money of the dynastic rule. He has never articulated a policy either in parliament, in public or has written any significant article. His speeches are hate filled and under the belt on others. He exhibited zero principles- He joined extreme communal parties – Siva Sena or Muslim league to gain power. He uses the ” death ” politics any time of the day and religiosity than any one . He falling down while going to Hathrass UP recently is worse than the cheap politics of third rate politician. If he is the face the India liberalism than good luck with that.s

  7. I, for one, happy with what Rahul Gandhi is doing, discrediting dynasty, as dynasty politics is bad for India. keep it up up Rahul Gandhi

    • “Dynastic politics is not good for india” hasn’t been proved yet. Looking at the performance on all fronts by the current dispensation, feels more like the opposite is precisely true.
      Vajpayee era stands miles apart. May be that nostalgia is giving this opinion that dynastic politics is not good.
      In fact dynasty has served india very well or we extracted the best from the dynasty. Nehru delivered on agriculture, indira on pakistan, rajiv on technology, MMS/sonia on poverty alleviation

  8. no sir , it is other way around . He is destroying the careers of many good persons aspiring for a career in politics . He himself knows very well Congress is practically dead . Congress has no future, But is cheating them by assuming that good old days of mass-corruption will return soon.

  9. As usual studded with gems from Shivam Vij like “ideology is the last refuge of the loser” and RG “lives in an echo chamber.” If ideology is the last refuge of a loser what does that make the BJP-RSS with hindutva ideology? If RG lives in an echo chamber due to supporters completing his slogans, what would you call ” hum paanch aur hamare pachaas?”
    Truth is – time decides winners. The time is right for the right wing to be winners – just as the Congress was the winner in the past. India has seen many winners – British ruled for 200 years. Atleast RG has the satisfaction of saying that he was, he is and he will remain the principal opposition to the BJP for the foreseeable future. No one else seems to have even the guts to try. And that is the saddest advertisement for Indian competitive democracy.

    • This is the most sane observation. People offering free advice sound too patronizing. If the media plays along with NM on rafale scam and says, this government’s strength is clean governance, does that not sound artificial.

  10. rahul Gandhi is the ‘reason’, the cause, of the decline. Looking for a reason for the reason is not reasonable behaviour. All of what vij has written may be rational , whom we vote for is not rational, if it were so would one vote for somebody who is unable to speak any Indian language and whose mother tongue is Italian. Rahul Gandhi is unfit for politics, but he tried, now it is time to call it quits.

    • When did he speak in language other than hindi !! it is another matter if you plug your rss filters in the ears what he says may sound italian

  11. every day this man writes a worthless article and mr shekhar gupta whom i hold in great respect publishes it the basic thing is that the middle class which were very reluctant to vote has started to stand up in queues to vote and they are asking for account of there taxes they regularly pay taxes but can not send there childrens to school cant get treatment in hospitals becuse they are so pathetic they dont get ration from pds but they are the majoe contributors of fund to these schemes there children cant get government jobs but they had to pay taxes for salary bills of inefficent and corruput governement officials this is where modi is bringing in change with modicare being first of them and many more such will follow in every sphere and one thing why no bomb blast in laty 7 years when on every alternate days there used to bwe one

  12. the article states the truth. but it is half the truth. the remaining half is that Rahul is an incapable idiot. He would fail even if does realpolitik. on top of that, he is a compulsive liar. there are plenty of examples of his being both, foolish and a liar. and yet, above all, he has a smirky , misplaced superiority complex

  13. Poor Rahul Gandhi may take consolation from the fact that at least in one respect he resembles the great physicist Albert Einstein; and his bete noire Modi, the legendary comedian Charlie Chaplin. In 1931 Einstein and Chaplin emerged together from a movie theater to be greeted by a huge cheering crowd. Chaplin remarked: “They’re cheering us both. You because nobody understands you, and me because everybody understands me!”

  14. Liberal and intellectual means opposing anything and everything the BJP does or says they are basically hangers -on with no political base of their own, surviving and growing on the leakages of fund flow system of the parties.
    If generation of politics since independence has been based on cast, religion and money making to sustain it and win. Without genuine intellect it is difficult to imagine and accept that it is possible to win without money making while in power. Hence “CHOUKIDAR CHOR HAI”
    Congress has huge properties all over the country, it the party were to disintegrate who will get all the properties, if possession is 90% ownership the answer is ob

  15. Wonderful analysis ! ,need lot of courage to write imaginative political analysis .
    But don’t be worse than Arnab’ s style journalism .
    Hope next week it will be Modi ..
    You are a terribly confused journalist .
    The quality of a journalist is having constancy in ideas that he speaks of .
    You also got trapped start writing from a catch word stricken . This time “Echo Chamber”
    You find it easy to attribute to Rahul ..
    No one believes Rahul is a great politician , But what you accused is not true .
    Be more truthful .

  16. No whereabouts of the author. Suspicious article.

    I don’t support Rahul Gandhi politics but whatever you want to call it, he’s raising the real issues that affect common man when other “opposition leaders” don’t dare in current Indian political scenario

  17. When Macron in France starts to sound like a RSS ideologue , you know there is a real present danger to India from Islam , just 70 years ago we have lived it, if we empower Leftist liberals and Congress we will live partition days again ..

  18. Whatever he is saying is correct. We have degraded as a society as a whole. Bring anyone from the 90s through a time table, and he will not believe that India has become like this. Democracy is a rule of majority. And you cannot deny that large section of the populace has become majoritian. If you still believe people are voting only based on their conscience and demand of roti-kapda-makan , you need a reality check.

  19. The author of this article is the biggest supporter of Rahul and the Gandhi family and thus the liberal echo chamber himself. Why is he blaming others.

  20. The liberals are not doing disservice to just RG, they are doing a disservice to India. There line of arguments and white washing history. Picking up issues selectively. They are ideological blindness is costing everyone.

  21. Just for the record, other politicians who did not just play to the gallery include one MK Gandhi. At a less recognized level, the young George Fernandes also did so. Like them or hate them you can’t say they were not politically successful. Rahul Gandhi is very unlikely to be as successful but that is not because he occasionally chooses to speak truth to the power of popular opinion.

  22. “Shoe I am “you STUPIDO.

    1) We are right in clubbing three different communities together. One has always been a blind voter for us as we allowed their population to grow unchecked and the fundamentalist beliefs flourish..The second group who we have divided from their HINDU origin and tried to proselytize promising them
    ” ROME RAJYA ” . SEEMS TO BE FAVOURING
    ” RAM RAJYA ”

    I HAVE VISITED HATHRAS AND IGNORED BALRAMPUR. GIVING CORRECT MESSAGES TO OUT VOTE BANK .

    You have survived on corruption and nepotism we promoted . Don’t you forget
    ” You STUPIDO ” .

  23. Gandhis need to be dispatched away from politics for the sake of the Congress, the opposition and the country.

  24. The democrats in the US taking up rights of African Americans comes of as legitimate. They have suffered. In India, trying to take the cause of the Second Majority community (the Muslims) back fires. Why? They were the oppressors. When a majority of the population is oppressed for years and you want to stand for the other side, you have to resort to whitewash history. Make it palatable. This is why the liberal movement in India is failing. They are trying to take the cue from the west trying to stand for second majority rights, that logic is not applicable in India. If you go to South Africa and stand for White rights by claiming Apartheid did not exist!!!! That is what the liberals in India are doing.

  25. SHivam has been trying to send his job appication to Congress for years and I admire his pursuasiveness. One day ! Shivam One day you will get the job but — Maybe that would be the day your new bosses would already have beome like Blackberry of today

  26. Just a couple of days ago there was a column in New York Times titled “Trump Has Called His Supporters ‘Disgusting.’ Do They Care?”. Thye answer to thee question is, ‘No, they don’t care, they vote for him anyway’! Some quotes from the column below:

    “Several people who have dealt extensively with Mr. Trump have suggested that he takes a dubious, even disdainful view of his most loyal followers. He takes them for granted because he knows they would forgive him for anything: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.””

    So then, how do you explain “The people Trump despises most love him the most,” ?
    ““The people Trump despises most love him the most,” said Howard Stern, who hosted Mr. Trump on-air for years, in May. His voters, Mr. Stern said, are people he would not want in his hotels. “He’d be disgusted by them,” he said. “Go to Mar-a-Lago, see if there’s any people who look like you. I’m talking to you in the audience.””

    “In his recent memoir, the longtime Trump fixer Michael Cohen described the contempt with which his boss would speak about evangelical Christians, perhaps the president’s most durable corps of supporters. After a meeting with a group of pastors in 2011, Mr. Cohen says Mr. Trump asked him: “Can you believe this [expletive]?””

  27. Good article and the truth that someone needs to tell Rahul Gandhi just look everywhere when one leftist comments something against government 30+ people reply him back some give them threats, some give abusive words some would tell them you are wrong and when we from right wing comment we get minimum 10 likes minimum 2 comments yes you are correct and 1 or 2 leftist telling you are wrong

  28. any suggestions or only tirade against those who are committed to ideology. true. may be that it dosen’t work. pragmatic one must be . isn’t it? but will you spare RG even if he becomes pragmatic. if he visits temples ridiculed. when he hits the nail that majority of indians have become , especially the urban middle class savrnas, , regressive and discriminate against dalits , tribals, and muslims is he not telling the truth. not pallatable. counsel. easiest thing to do. sermony. journalistic freedom. to berate without moving a finger for any issue. cool comfort of AC room.

  29. Whatever the author is blaming Rahul Gandhi for, the author has been doing the same thing for ages. The same author has written articles castigating the Indian people especially the hard-working middle class for their vote preferences. All leftist activists on Twitter have been doing the same, demonizing the middle class. Keep on doing, today the middle class is powerful enough to change governments. As you might have seen in 2014 and 219. Even Congress in 2009, won on the vote of middle class.

  30. You cant win votes by telling you are an idiot and I am a god thats why vote for me. We dont live in king era anymore.

Comments are closed.