“I’ll tell you what my opinion on the ordinance is. My opinion is that it is complete nonsense and that it needs to be torn up and thrown away,” said the scion of the, almost monarchic, Gandhi family.
As Gandhi said those words at the Press Club in new Delhi, more than a few jaws began to drop. Mine, yours and everyone else’s, who were watching the Indian political scene with keen eyes. Could this be the moment we’ve all been waiting for? A young, powerful politician standing up to the corrupt corridors of parliament? Maybe, maybe not.
There was something almost cinematic about the whole thing. A press conference was taking place and senior Congress leader, Ajay Maken was selling his party’s politics to the public. Journos were bobbing their heads, noting down tried and tested rhetoric. Suddenly! Ajay Maken gets a call. He then announces. ‘Ladies and gents! I hear Rahul Gandhi is coming here!’. Sending the entire group into a tizzy. Then….boom! Here you go, take a look.
A bit too dramatic for my taste. Although, let’s face it, this is the kind of PR the Indian public will devour with exaggerated hope and almost pitiful optimism. The Congress is trying to project that the ‘party line’ is not necessarily the ‘government line’. Thereby negating all the negative press that was being dropped (like cluster bombs!) on the head of the Congress. There were a few things about Rahul Gandhi’s statement that were curious to me.
a) He narrates how he got to the Press Club. Really? You were that proactive Mr. Hasn’t-taken-a-proper-stand-on-most-issues? Definitely, not rehearsed then.
b) The fact that he released the statement and then repeated it for seemingly dramatic effect.
b) Finally, if you watch the video carefully, Ajay Maken (who was vociferously defending his party’s decision, a minute ago) starts nodding his head to Gandhi’s words at the end of the video. (That was the only clip I found of Maken’s face in the background. You can find the full Gandhi statement here.)
This has ‘PR stunt’ written all over it. Yet, this could also be the Heir to the Throne having his own with his Mother. Almost like the moment King Geoffrey decided to stand up to his mum! (Game of Thrones anyone!?)
Only yesterday, I posted saying that one politician had decided to break ranks and speak his mind. Now, it’s starting to make sense. Millind Deora is also one of Rahul Gandhi’s closest friends. So, are we seeing the first signs of change in the Congress party? The future confronting the present and some who are clearly in the past? We all know that anything, but the present Congress, would be great. Yet, I’m not so sure the future Congress is all that pious as it is making itself out to be.