There is no denying to the fact that emotions play a vital role in Indian Politics. People get emotionally attached to a particular leader or party. Several times in the past, the ruling party and its leader even though did better than their contemporaries lost elections due to people’s emotional attachment to a particular party or leader. But this is not the only aspect of being emotionally attached to a leader. When a person follows somebody and is strongly influenced by that somebody, the person starts learning a few things, it could be the way they work, or the way they behave or the way they think and so on. This aspect has far deeper and long-lasting impact on the society as a whole and an individual as compared to simply a party losing or winning an election.
Storytelling is a good way to communicate, but it also reveals the thought process of the storyteller. Recently, Mr. Rahul Gandhi narrated a story in the speech he made at OBC Sammelan. Excerpts of the speech became a sensation in the meme world. But there was a lot more to the speech other than the ignorance(if he did not know the facts) or politics(if he knew the facts and misleads just for his personal gains). This speech revealed his inherent nature, the real Rahul Gandhi.
As I started listening to his speech, every few minutes he would say something where I would think as if he was making a confession. In the beginning, he spoke about foreign fashion designers laughing at an Indian fashion designer. The very first thought that struck him as a reason for this was the skin color as “racial discrimination.” This is the royal prince in him thinking. Everybody perceives events with their own prejudices. If I were there, I would have thought maybe the models were not that good or the clothes were traditional Indian which they were looking at for the first time and found funny. He thought the way he thought because he as the scion of a royal family has always seen people getting discriminated against by his family members in their “family business” which happens to be ruling India. Anyone who does not come from a royal-political-connected-families class does not get a fair place if a place at all in the party. It may just be a coincidence that there is a bevy of leaders in Indian National Congress which fit in the above mentioned class. Coming back to the thought, although today this thought of his looks harmless but soon his party and followers will repeat it again and again and again. This might actually lead to an instance where somebody misbehaves with a foreigner in India or a foreigner gets offended and mistreats an Indian abroad. It would become a popular narrative and would be added to the list of “death of democracy” project. It would take a form of a type of truth; it could be post-truth, contemporary-truth or any other sort of truth.
A few minutes later in the speech he implied that a fashion designer is not a fashion designer but infact a tailor in reality. Fashion designers are not tailors, there is a huge difference in their work. A tailor takes measurement, cuts, sews, take directions and repeats these actions. However, a fashion designer uses his creativity, and imagination, creates a novel design; it is in his job description to not repeat the designs. I was not at all surprised that he said so but it is surprising that none of the fashion designers or artists or intellectuals pointed this out.
Then came the “shikanjiwala”, “dhabawala”, mechanic and so on. The worst part is not that he made the analogies he made in the speech, but the worst part is that he is trying to inculcate a feeling in the minds of his listeners that if the government invests in them they would become big companies and franchises. The people who would believe him, might take huge loans and then realize that investment alone does not make a business big, things like creativity, novelty, innovation, imagination have a high importance in making a business big. But by that time they would realize that they were misinformed, mislead and followed a wrong role model they would be in huge debt and people like RaGa would be doing politics on them.
He says, “during Congress’ era we would say anything, even something utter rubbish and the people would say its fine just speak; but now we cannot say things which we feel like.” The irony is, he still speaks utter rubbish and his party still say its fine and he blames BJP and RSS for it. He forgets that, in his era as against the era of other Mr./Mrs. Gandhi(s), there are devices that can record audio/video which could be transported to far-flung areas. People who aren’t physically attending his speeches also have access to them. Since the data rates are quite cheap for past few years and people use it to the fullest and do all sort of things on the Internet which is why he feels the heat and allegedly cannot say the things he feels likes. Never the less, on a lighter note, he could still blame the BJP for the availability of cheap internet.
Once I was done with the complete speech, there was only one question left in my mind. “why would he draw such analogies and come up with such a controversial story in the first place?” there could have been way better stories that would meet his requirements. Mr. Gandhi’s tactics are not working, he is president of a party just because of his name. He has no ideas, opinions, philosophy or stand of his own. He has to do something to protect “his family business”. In order to survive this existential crisis, he starts copying the one person he thinks talks sense and is doing good, i.e. the prime minister of India. He tried to copy the “pakoda” vendor statement of the PM. But somebody should tell him that a person needs at least some intelligence to even copy successfully. What prime minister meant by his statement was that it is a source of legitimate income for them, they are self-employed. Mr. Gandhi ended up saying that they would become business giants and honchos if they are funded.
My only questions to the young citizens of India is “Why would somebody want to follow Mr. Gandhi? What can a person possible learn from his personality?” Unless he is trying to be The Alia Bhatt of Indian Politics, he is the worst role model or to say a wrong model to follow.