Saturday, March 25, 2023
HomeOpinionThe Rahul Gandhi Defence League is obsessed with the wrong problem

The Rahul Gandhi Defence League is obsessed with the wrong problem

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In denial that Rahul Gandhi has an image problem, his supporters can’t see beyond Hindutva.

Speaking in Baghpat on the eve of a Lok Sabha bypoll in next-door Kairana, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did no Hindutva positioning. 

His 50-minute speech was a long list of what he sees his development achievements are – from housing to LPG cylinders, from MUDRA loans to road construction. He attacked the opposition and most importantly, promised OBC sub-quota (for most backward OBCs or MBCs). 

The western Uttar Pradesh region is one place where Hindutva polarisation worked wonders for the BJP in 2014. Keeping Kairana’s Jat voters in mind, he could have resorted to Hindutva. Yet, he limited himself to promising to look into the woes of the sugarcane farmers, who are mostly Jats. 

On the same day, in an address on the NaMo app, he said the distribution of LPG cylinders under the Ujjwala scheme had improved the lives of Muslim women, who have to wake up early to cook sehri in the Ramzan season. 

Narendra Modi is not renouncing Hindutva, but there is, so far, no indication that it will be his main calling card in 2019.

No competition

There is only one national party that believes in Hindutva, ie., the BJP. There is only one regional party that does so too, the Shiv Sena, but it can’t even win its home state on its own. There is simply no competition for the Hindutva vote-bank. If the BJP alienates Hindutva, the core constituency has nowhere else to go.

But, to win elections, the BJP needs a lot more than Hindutva polarisation or jingoism. It presents itself as the party of governance, it uses caste, and it builds on to the cult of its leader, Narendra Modi.

If Hindutva polarisation alone could make the BJP win elections, L.K. Advani would have become the prime minister in 2009. In that election, he made the recent memory of the 26/11 attacks the main issue, accusing the Congress of being soft on Pakistan and refusing to hang Afzal Guru for ‘Muslim appeasement’.

If Hindutva alone could help Modi win elections, he wouldn’t have re-cast his 2002 image. We would never have heard of the Gujarat model of development, and vikas would not have been the main campaign point of Modi in 2014.

Rahul Gandhi Defence League

But India’s fuddy-duddy liberals remain in denial. They can’t see anything other than Hindutva. They speculate Modi will use Ram Mandir or go to war with Pakistan or do something spectacular like bring back Dawood Ibrahim from Pakistan. 

If any of these things were so easy, Modi would have done them by now. But the hand-wringing liberals and the Congress acolytes and the radical Left can’t see beyond Hindutva. There is no GST on screaming ‘Hindutva, Hindutva’ all day, because GST can be applied only on value created.

Even the Congress party understands that Hindutva is overplayed. With his temple run, Rahul Gandhi has managed to irritate the BJP because that makes it harder to call the Congress anti-Hindu.

The liberal intelligentsia has come together to form a Rahul Gandhi Defence League (RGDL) because what other option do they have? A key mistake of the RGDL is that it continues to think that Hindutva polarisation is the make or break issue in Indian elections. It’s a sad commentary on how far removed they are from the reality of the common man.

Voter persuasion

Indian voters elect politicians who they think are best placed to deliver them prosperity. If Modi has fallen short on that promise, they will see what other options there are. If there’s a better option, they’ll go for it. 

A year after Delhi’s voters gave the BJP all 7 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, they gave the same party only three of the 70 seats in the Delhi assembly election. They gave the rest 67 seats to the Aam Aadmi Party because Arvind Kejriwal managed to convince them that he’d do a better job of improving their daily lives with amenities like bijli and paani.

If Rahul Gandhi can convince voters in 2019 that he’ll do a better job of running the country and delivering development and economic prosperity, they will vote for him. 

In Karnataka, many expected the Congress to emerge as the single-largest party. Modi’s rallies – an act of voter persuasion – took the BJP past 100 seats. Despite Rahul Gandhi’s campaigning, voters did not give the Congress another chance.

The job of persuading voters is not an easy one. Few voters actually get to meet and talk to top leaders. Their sense of the leaders is through the media, and that’s where image becomes important. Modi understands this, and that’s why he works so hard at a hyper-communication strategy.

Rahul Gandhi deserves better

May be Rahul Gandhi will make a great prime minister, but he has to first persuade voters to make him the prime minister. The Rahul Gandhi Defence League is in denial that he has an image problem. When you don’t even acknowledge a problem, how will you solve it? 

Why was Karnataka not moved enough by Rahul Gandhi’s rallies to vote the Congress back to power? Before you could ask if Rahul Gandhi has a poor image among voters, the RGDL will scream Hindutva! Hindutva! It’s an old trick of the Congress party and its supporters to label all criticism as Hindutva. That’s why they are on the wrong side of history. 

The Rahul Gandhi Defence League is uni-dimensionally obsessed with Hindutva polarisation to the extent that it happily becomes the other pole of this polarisation and actually aids it. 

Modi uses NaMo app to grab attention, but the RGDL says Hindutva! Hindutva! Modi masters the caste calculus but the RGDL says Hindutva! Hindutva! Modi talks endlessly about his welfare schemes but the RGDL says Hindutva! Hindutva! Even Rahul Gandhi deserves better than these deracinated liberals. 

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  1. Vij, it is not Modi’s magic that did karnataka, but the Reddies money bag which did it, most of the time the Modi jaggernut is only a cover up for the Shah underground machinations, hipocrasy of the electorate is to the fullest during eldction time, it is no sacrosanct today!

  2. The author very smartly shields Rahul Gandhi from criticism. The problem is in Rahul Gandhi, Aperson who cannot even write 5 sentences in a visitors book without reading them from his phone will lead the country?
    Please spare us.
    He is a failure

  3. If Rahul Gandhi is irrelevant then why the BJP is so worried about him? Why is the author worried about the obsession of RG?

    It is plain and simple, you guys want India to believe that he is wrong, he doesn’t talk about development but the general public knows it all.

    If Modi wave was such a hit all over India then why the BJP in Karnataka didn’t manage to get a complete majority? BS Yeddyurappa managed to get 110+ in the 2008 election and became the CM without any Modi wave. But what happened now? with Modi wave and hundreds of BJP ministers, leaders from all around India and yet the BJP couldn’t get a clear majority.

  4. at the age of 47 no one knew who modi was, before 2013 70% of india did not know who modi was, can only feel the jealousy of some for rahul , he is a fighter who has seen the body of his father in hundred pieces and his grand mother getting shot and the humiliation of his mother being called a non indian when a indian feels proud for some one even being a MP in US ,UK or canada , he has faced the humiliation of being called by all names, guys dont worry he has lot of fire with him, just wondering what will happen to those people who just hate him so much personally, when he becomes a PM. There cannot be a worst form of racism than which says some one should not be in a profession of his familiy and he is there by peoples choice and not his choice alone , we dont find that criticism for corporates ,RSS or BJP. Modi is finding it so difficult to defend his legacy of 4 years but rahul has to defend a legacy of 70 years and by all means he is doing it better. I find it strange when some one says a leader is responsible for administration may be lot of understanding is required as to what leadership is all about. inspite of all the criticism the acceptance for Rahul will keep growing and more the negetive comments the more he will mature and more the faith on him will increase, From Ram to pandavas got their strength from humiliation. So much of personal humiliation on his capabilities will only make him a stronger person and he is clearly demonstrating that on the ground. one last question how much of administrative experience did Donald trump had. so conclusion it is just trying to hate for the sake of hating.

  5. RGDL can’t talk beyond Hindutva, because they have no agenda or ideas of their own. UPA’s track record is abysmal compared to the programs & initiatives launched by NDA. Agreed most are still WIP, but atleast a beginning has been made. RGDL keep complaining about issues, without any constructive suggestions

  6. Why are bhakts flocking here to comment? or are you guys paid IT-cell (as beautifully exposed by Dhruv Rathee) alerted by a detect-rahul-gandi-name algorithm?

  7. यह राहुल की इमेज प्रोब्लम ही सिर्फ नहीं है- उसकी तो क्षमता का प्रश्न है- कांग्रेसियों का मां-बेटे की दासता स्वीकारण भी एक प्रश्न है, जो लोगों को समझ में नहीं आता।जब आप सीताराम केसरी को कांग्रेस के मुख्यालय से उठा कर बाहर सड़क कर बिठा सकते हैं, तो ये मां – बेटे में ऐसी क्या चीज़ है,जो कांग्रेसियों को इनके कारण इतना अपमान सहना पड़ता है। और आप लोग सहते भी हैं।
    परिवार से लिंक होना तो कोई खासियत नहीं है,मेनका और वरुण भी इसी परिवार से हैं उन्हें तो परिवार के होने का आजतक कोई लाभ मिला नहीं दिखा।

    कोई कांग्रेस जन जनता को समझायेंगें कि माजरा क्या है,यह मां-बेटा पार्टी से उपर क्यों हैं ?

  8. To convince the common people about what and who is right is a serious business and none is concerned of the commoners. At the time of election political bosses make too many things and after elected they forget everything they committed and the people also ignore everything. If Rahul has to reach up to the highest level he has to change his strategy from the bottom level.

  9. The point on LK Advani is gold,which many people fail to realise.If they think Hindus voting BJP only on Hindutva is a perverted reasoning.

  10. RGLD is not doing the job right. Indians were fooled last 40 years by the propaganda of corrupted congress spread by the bought news media. With internet and Viral media, Indians are well informed now. RGLD strategy of Blaming Modi or using Hindutava is not bought by Indians any more. If RGLD wants to do the job right and defeat Modi, then, come with following agendas:
    1. In depth plan for cleaning the corrupted congress, Start with Nehru dynasty family member and all other goons like Chindabaram, Manishankar, and others.
    2. How to fight terrorism. In depth plan,
    3. How to strengthen the army and boost Army Moral.
    4. How to improve economy.
    5. Good proposal of progress in India.
    6. Foreign relation improvement
    7. How to fight Pakistan and resolve Kashmir problem
    The main reason Rahul or congress party is not willing to do any of these because congress and Nehru dynasty had no interest in the country except to rob and rape India.
    Nehru dynasty had a record of robbing India. In comparison with Modi, Fake Gandhi family can not disclose their assets including overseas hidden wealth.
    RGLD is also think that good old days propaganda approach will still work. They are wrong. Indians are tired of blame nonsense. Kejri was very big on the blame game. RGLD should learn from what happen to Kejri. If RGLD does not deviate from blame game, then, there is no hope.

  11. Rahul Gandhi as PM will be a joke on India. He hasn’t learn to hold one single ministry or any responsible position in government or opposition. Only post he got is by inheritance. He doesn’t have any leadership quality, and doesn’t respect his own party PM.
    In a fair competitive job interview he want get a clerk’s job in any MNC without bribe or influence.
    Don’t underestimate indian voters. Rahul and company is good for getting BJP majority in any election.
    Rahul can’t debate any subject of governance against Smriti Irani let alone NaMo.

  12. This particular portal “The Print” alongwith “The Wire” does not even know how to write a communcal post. I really did not understand what the stupid writer is trying to write here? I would suggest, even if you have to write something communal and against Hindus and Hindutva, first get some facts. Take some learning from “Shankhnaad”. Shankhnaad is a webportal which is pro-hindutva but whatever it writes, it associates with factual examples. Unlike “The Print” which just writes BJP and NAMO does polarization on the basis of Hindutva, without any facts whatsoever, check the posts of Shankhnaad. This is just a suggestion, if you want to follow.

  13. Rahul is half Italian, 25% Parsi, and 25%, the main aim of their family is to eradicate Hinduism.

    • A minor correction, Rahul’s grand father, Feroz ‘Gandhi’ was not Parsi but a Muslim, the son of Nawab Khan. Gandhi name was given by Mahatma Gandhi to hide the Muslimness and its repercussions on the Party followers. So, no 25% Parsi, but Muslim. Reference several biographies of Indira Gandhi by the noted historians.

  14. The writer is confusing the reader. Hindutva is a national devil. Constituency wise it can’t be defined .
    It has multiple issues as evils. performances and promises currently incumbent issues before the BJP

  15. The leftists fail to note that after all India is a democratic country that normally governed by the majority. And, the Hindus make up almost 80% of the population. So, catering to the needs of majority in a democracy could not be labelled as Hindutva per se. Ironically, the same leftists crowd does not call the governments of nations such as Pakistan, Indonesia, UAR, Saudi Arabia as Islamists when they run their countries to serve the rules, customs and traditions of their majority Muslim populations. When BJP root to serve the majority, which were intentionally neglected by the successive Congress governments for the sake of vote-bank-politics, it is branded as Hindutva Party. Can we use the same logic and say that the long rule by Congress was an ‘Islamist Rule’ as they neglected the majority in favor of a communal minority? Once you accept the democratic form of governing system, whether one likes or not, the majority will drive ruling. Ofcourse, it does not mean neglect of minority issues. But, to address yhe majority issues, without causing harm to the minority interests, cannot be branded as ‘Hindutva’ ideology.

  16. Ask a Pakistani from the yester years of Partition and they will call India by a different name: HINDUSTAN. Whether we like it or not, the country that we live in was to be the country for Hindus and Pakistan for Muslims. Even MK Gandhi cannot deny that. I can understand that the Ghandy family originating from Persia and Italy have to fight that or they loose their serious footing in India.

    • Hindustan doesn’t mean a land of hindus. It means the land across the Indus. And hinduism was further derived from that. So really hindustan doesn’t mean a country for hindus. It refers to all the people regardless of religion who lived across the Indus.

  17. I have never read anything more revolting than the possibility of Rahul Gandhi becoming the PM. First let him be a the head of a Village Council to get some administrative experience and start from there.

  18. Biggest problem is that they want “democratic monarchy”, with Ahaziesque (completely-unfit due to being mamas-boy) Rahul as the “monarch” — and decided on such a stupid course despite of at least twice having the evidence that the Nehru-fauxgandhi die-nasty was NOT required as leadership (honest and excellent Shastri, Hardingesque*** Narasimha Rao).

    *** meaning similar to erstwhile POTUS (1921-1923) Warren Harding

  19. more than hindutva , rahul talks on corruption and i wont be wrong to tell that he talks on bjp corruption more than any one, the media which is the direct beneficiary of govt add sleeps under the carpet , he talks about idea of india, he talks about farmers,youth, dalits,jobs and he talks about SME. the writer is so jealous with the rise of rahul that he is remotely finding some reason, not to worry he will one day a PM whom everyone will like to call him as their PM

    • What Rahul and Priyanka need to do is start using their real family name. GHANDY, a Parsi family name of their grandfather and not a Gujarati Vanya name from Saurashtra/Gujarat; Gandhi. That would be being truthful. Then we can talk of corruption.

    • Where do you delusional people come from ? Because its not planet earth. One day he will be PM ? Why? What has he achieved to be “PM”? Even if Modi was not in the race almost 60% of India wont vote for that clown as PM. To be “Prime Minister” one has to show some ability – Rahul Gandhi has none. He can’t win elections, he has NEVER governed and he has not a single Bill in Parliament that he sponsored. What delusional madness gives you this idea that he “will be PM one day” ? His “talking” is meaningless – vomiting the talking points given by some minders means nothing – he doesn’t know poverty, he doesn’t know hard work, he doesn’t have ability and he doesn’t have intelligence. I will NEVER vote for him or call him “prime minister” – I can scarcely believe Congress supporters call him their “leader”.

  20. That 2019 will be about a lot more than Hindutva is good to read. For an incumbent seeking a second term, the starting point is presenting an honest, impressive Report Card, which lends to promises made for the second term. 2. The conventional wisdom is that the next election will be presidential in nature, a Modi vs Rahul / everyone else affair. That may not hold true. If the opposition can manage to keep most seats a straight fight, each state will become a building block for the final result. It would have been better for the BJP if it had an impressive array of outstanding CMs.

  21. “May be Rahul Gandhi will make a great prime minister”. Forget it, Sir. We do not want the country to be romanized (and bofored).

    • Only in the alternate-reality where Ahaziah was a long-reigning top-quality king (reality, as shown in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles, he was an evil mamas-boy who lasted less than 2 years, after which his utterly-evil mum misruled for 7 more) could he at all exceed G. Nanda in quality!

    • Get a Bible (either vernacular or KJV-English) and read 2 Kings 8:25-10:36 and 2 Chronicles 22:1-9 for the ACTUAL quality (that of Ahaziah as a king) which Rahul as PM would be (hint — G. Nanda was a far better PM than Rahul can even aspire to be)!

  22. Sadly Mr. Vij fails to understand that those who he calls “The liberal intelligentsia” have no problems with Modi per say – they have a problem with aggressive and violent Hindutva that Modi is spreading – both overtly and covertly. The so-called RGDL is very clear about the problem: it is Manuvaad and we are against it.

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