Friday, 19 August, 2022
HomeOpinionSachin Pilot's anger is misplaced. Ashok Gehlot isn't the enemy, Congress culture...

Sachin Pilot’s anger is misplaced. Ashok Gehlot isn’t the enemy, Congress culture is

Pilot should have quit the Congress long ago because there is no real future for young, capable leaders as long as the Gandhi family feels threatened by them.

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Sachin Pilot has finally declared war on the Congress. This was long waiting to happen, ever since the Congress top command chose veteran leader Ashok Gehlot over him as Rajasthan chief minister after the December 2018 assembly election. Pilot made no bones about his resentment or of being short-changed. Since then, he has done precious little to cement his position as a politician or administrator, sulking all the time, targeting Gehlot and turning into a rebel without a cause.

Sachin Pilot should have left the Congress long ago — for his long-term political growth —, not because of his rivalry with Gehlot, but because of the top leadership of the Congress which is selfish, directionless, insecure and over-controlling.

Also read: Rahul Gandhi to launch video series to counter ‘hate-filled narrative’ spread by news media

Chose the wrong target

By making Gehlot his central target, Sachin Pilot risks coming across as being petulant, over-ambitious and narrow-visioned. Instead, had he decided to question his party’s leadership for its ineptness, and reluctance to allow young and capable regional leaders to grow, Pilot would have shown courage and conviction, rare in a party where everybody competes to display their loyalties to the Gandhis. Pilot’s revolt should have been for principles, and not for power.

Sachin Pilot — a second generation, committed Congress leader who is a dynast, but has not taken his entitlement for granted — had all that it takes to set an example. Unfortunately, the young leader ended up squandering that chance, and now appears to be someone who is only interested in the CM’s chair. In politics, ambition is natural, important and fair. However, in his obvious quest for power, Pilot has lost sight of the all-important optics and the bigger picture of building a lasting legacy as a politician.

Also read: How and why Ashok Gehlot ‘baited’ Sachin Pilot to turn rebel

The grounded, hard-working dynast

Sachin Pilot is no regular dynast. His entry in politics and rise at a young age may have been made easier because of his last name and lineage, but he hasn’t been the typical, let-me-take-it-easy, Lutyens’ Delhi entitled politician.

The 42-year-old has worked hard, toiled on the ground and not been afraid to immerse himself in the grime of grassroot politics. Not even his biggest detractors would deny how hard he had worked in Rajasthan, shifting his base to the state and nurturing the party there. Jolted by his own electoral loss in 2014, Pilot took nothing for granted, turning into every bit the rooted, committed politician he is today.

Given his hardwork and relentless statewide campaign ahead of the 2018 assembly election, it was only natural for Pilot to feel disappointed when Gehlot was made the CM. The problem, however, is how he allowed himself to get completely consumed by the turf war with Gehlot.

Also read: BJP is sceptical about Sachin Pilot’s numbers, says it’s ready to play a ‘Test match’

The futile years

Sachin Pilot’s anger and energies since the 2018 assembly election win have been completely misplaced. Gehlot isn’t his enemy, the Congress culture is. The internal war in Rajasthan is but a manifestation of the rot in the Congress party.

Ashok Gehlot is a seasoned, well-respected politician with a very strong hold over the party organisation in Rajasthan. He was not an unlikely, or questionable choice as the CM. However, the Congress, especially then party president Rahul Gandhi, could have taken a leap of faith and chosen youth and energy over age and experience. Many, in fact, felt the decision was unfair to Pilot.

But once the call was taken and a beaming Sachin Pilot stood next to Rahul Gandhi and Gehlot to show all was well, the Rajasthan deputy CM’s trajectory could have been different. Sachin hasn’t really been able to damage Gehlot, neither politically nor in terms of his image. To bolster his slim majority, Gehlot won over six MLAs from the Bahujan Samaj Party, further strengthening himself politically. Administratively, the death of kids at a Kota hospital did dent his image, but his seemingly competent handling of the Covid crisis has made up for any other lapses in his 18-month-old government. Of course, Gehlot has played every bit the cussed leader too, cornering Pilot time and again and barely giving him any breathing space.

But, what does Sachin Pilot has to show for himself, except for stepped-up intra-party bickering? He hasn’t shone as an administrator or done much to further strengthen his political base.

Given the immediate trigger of Pilot’s revolt is the notice that has also been sent to the chief minister and others by the Rajasthan Police’s Special Operation Group in connection with the arrest of two BJP leaders for their alleged attempt to bring down the Gehlot government, the desert drama only resembles a family soap opera.

The rot in the Congress starts from the top, and runs deep, and that is what Sachin Pilot should have rebelled against. Pilot should have quit the Congress because there is no real future for young, capable leaders as long as the Gandhi family feels threatened by them. Pilot should have moved on because the party’s leadership cannot ensure electoral wins and does not quite care till it continues to call the shots. He should have found a new home for himself because everybody, including the Congress’ voter, feels irked by the self-absorbed, crabs-in-a-barrel culture of the party.

Whatever trajectory his political career takes henceforth — given his capabilities and hardwork this is likely to be an upward one — Sachin Pilot has lost that one golden chance of making a bold, much-needed statement.

Views are personal.

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  1. Keep Mr Sachin Pilot s/o late Rajesh Pilot in congress by giving him honour and top responsibilty to tackle the present sensitive political situation against anti- democratic , anti-authoritarian regime . They are the appropriate future leaders of the country …..
    So called Congress high command ( policy makers) should immediately understand this fact. The present political development in Rajasthan is not mere incident . The young leaders in congress should be given more and more responsibilities on them .

  2. HOD, Head of Department post in some universities is by rotation. The incumbent remains in the chair for 3 years, and I think an Assistant Professor can also become HOD. In politics, since elections are held every five years, the CM or PM post should be for 2.5 years. After this tenure there should be NECESSARILY a change. This will keep all the cabinet ministers always interested in their work, because everyone will have a possibility to get the top chair.

  3. I don’t understand how leftists who are against privilege, can support these ultra privileged dynasts. Hard-working my foot. What experience does he have to be the CM? This is the same as Uddhav Thackrey in Maharashtra. Such a shame for a 1Billion + Indians to be ruled by these Shehzadas.

  4. As biased as ever from The Print. Who cares about what specifically is wrong. Regardless of what is wrong, Pilot needs to get away from Congress. He is too brilliant a politician to be in that mess.

  5. Unfortunetly, Congress is DEAD. Khatam. It is OVER. Its time some new party with centrist leaning rooted in Indian ethos is found to replace this rotten party.

  6. The last 3 times Congress formed the Government, there was a non Gandhi family member who was Prime Minister (Manmohan SIngh, Ik Gujral, PV Narasimha Rao). I wonder why Sachin Pilot felt he could not reach that level in the party. A disgruntled employee who leaves for another company (party in this case) will never be considered equal or part of the cartel in BJP.

  7. Success in politics, requires huge amount of luck. All politicians who believe talent and hard work are enough are living in a fool’s paradise. Pilot I believe is childish in his rebellion. All gamblers know this, you cannot win most of the time. So you must be patient and bide your time to win big. Is this strategy sure fire, in politics and gambling, there are no sure strategies. A B Vajpayee ,lost many a elections he should have won ,manmohan singh was PM for ten years without the ability to win a single election.It is immature in the extreme to believe that a gambler ‘deserves’ to win or somebody ‘deserves ‘to be the CM. Ask L. K. Advani.

  8. One of the most objective assessments one has read in the last few days, in the best traditions of Print. 2. The crafty old desert fox baited the trap and the impetuous young lion walked right into it. One wishes Fighter Pilot the best in his future endeavours. 3. The Gehlot government now has a radar lock on it. There will be no moral opprobrium when the BJP moves in for the kill.

  9. “Sachin Pilot — a second generation, committed Congress leader who is a dynast, but has not taken his entitlement for granted”
    How did the writer reach this conclusion? There are no certificate courses for good dynast and bad dynast. Either Sachin Pilot stays as a dynast and plays politics or jumps ship to either the BJP and becomes one among many or launches his own outfit – halfway measures are not going to work.

    I think for Sachin Pilot personally BJP is the only option – Jagan Mohan won because of YSR dynasty and the original Congress got decimated in residual Andhra because of support to Telangana – Rajasthan is not such a case. Another option is AAP – but he will have to float or sink with Kejriwal’s whimsical politics.

  10. Congress party is party of dynasty, by dynasty, for the dynasty . In a democratic set up it no crime to follow the profession or vocation of father or grand -father by the sons and daughters of their fathers. , but it should always be based on the basis of personal liking, ability and academic and professional qualifications . Unfortunately for many of second-third generation descendants of old congressmen, the stronghold of the present Sonia & sons — the present owner of the Congress private limited is too much repressive . It disrespects talent. it disapproves talent. it disapproves any democratic discussions within party with the sole aim of clinging to and controlling party apparatus for its present generation and coming generations.

    This ideology and practice of mughal period is not to the liking of new generation of voters in 21st century.

    India is / had been a society which very much follows and expresses differences of castes, creed, religion, region and express in many ways, but when it comes to nation interests it is one and only one. Economic growth of last two decades, spread of education, migration of a big chunk of population from villages to cities and from under-developed states to developed states of India, has helpful in developing a one pan-India identity of Indian voter. This generation of voters, thanks to explosion of IT , internet , use of mobile phones , advent of social media is not devoid of information and can understand different views and acts and reacts to current politics in a way that is in alignment with the requirements of India in 21st century. The present incumbent leadership of Congress party is not recognizing this. In this way they are knowingly destroying the life and careers of many of younger of congressmen below the age of 45 , who will remain just slogan shouters for the dynasty and may not be in a position to get any political office in years to come if they kept themselves stitched with this dying party under the leadership of present presiding family . If any of Sindhia or Pilot caliber chalks out liberation from the clutches of present high command of the Congress party, it will be not only good for them personally for their career , but may prove to be blessing for the state they represent .

  11. Hasn’t gehlot too consistently discredited pilot ? Wants a future ground made for his son ? Nothing’s black & white

  12. Poohi is a CONGRASS journalist. Let’s state the facts. MADHAVRAO/RAJESH/RAJESEKHAR were challengers to mother till they were not. JYOTI/JAGANMOHAN/SACHIN were challengers to son till they are not. Rent a journalist will NEVER speak truth. That’s guaranteed.

  13. Smart, talented and nationalist young leaders like Mr. Pilot are always welcome in the BJP.
    The other alternative is to continue to stay in Rahul bubba’s shadow and fetch tea for Mrs. Priyanka (apparently her major qualification is that she is Indira’s grand-daughter).

  14. Avatar Dr. Urvashi Sahni ( Educationist, Social Entrepreneur, Womens Rights Activist - Asoka Fellow) Lucknow, India

    Agreed! He should form his own party – rally around all the disgruntled young Congress leaders and be the challenger to Modi, that Rahul can never be. He should either do that or oust the Gandhi Dynasty in the Congress and revitalise it.

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