ByÂ Anwesha Sen Majumdar:
While I am writing this article, two major parties in India i.e the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress will probably keep the ‘aam admi’ guessing who will be their Prime Ministerial candidate, but they have enough sycophants and chamchas to make us aware of their unofficial choices.
So, it is left to the general public to safely assume that in 2014 there is a probability that we will see two national leaders: Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi fight it out.
Narendra Modi- a charismatic orator, CM of Gujarat under whose tutelage the state has grown to be one of India’s most prosperous. He commands a huge following among Gujaratis, who seemed to have forgiven him for the 2002 Godhra riots by consecutively bringing him into power.
Now, what is left to see is, whether India will elect him or in other words, forgive him for the state-orchestrated terror among the minorities? Will Modi be able to bring in his so-called land of ‘mouse-users’ under his reign of development? Interface studies and surveys have shown that most young urban voters agree that they are impressed with what he has done with Gujarat and his model of development.
However, Gujarat is not India, and therefore it will be a Herculean task for him to win over minorities, dalits and other regional communities. After all, Indians are notoriously famous for electing with their hearts and not with their brains.
Will he be able to shake off the blood stains of the Gujarat riots, an erroneous chapter in his political career, which has been the only reason why BJP has not declared him as the prime ministerial candidate; so as not to alienate coalition parties?
Will he be India’s better devil?
Next, we talk about India’s prince charming- the suave, cute, silent resolute; a tragic boy from India’s royal political family famous for eating with dalit; who Kareena Kapoor once wanted to marry- Rahul Gandhi.
The whole Congress seems to be built upon his shoulders, with his mother Sonia Gandhi practically running the country and the party, with the silent PM.
Here is a man who has been accused of being a youth icon, yet doing little for them. No one has heard him vent his opinions in public. I mean isn’t this what a hard, brash young guy like him, is supposed to do. A point has come where no one knows what has he done for this country. Even Amethi, his constituency, seems bewildered. Rahul Gandhi has been said to be a reluctant prince disinterested in politics. So much has been written about him yet we know so little of him. We hardly ever see him on national news channels or hear his views on anything. While Modi tells a packed SRCC auditorium how he will lead India, we don’t hear anything from him. Nobody even knows if he has the same girlfriend (apart from a lone picture in India Today with a foreigner girl).
From his body language you can tell he is not at ease with the public and he is in politics reluctantly.Â The fact that 2012 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections were a huge setback for the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress shows how out of touch he is.Â Even during the Anna Hazare campaign he hardly spoke to the public, especially being a youth icon. The only time we heard him say anything was in the Parliament, but till then the damage had been done.
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