Dynasty tag has never been as big a liability as in today’s aspirational India. More so at the national level. In states Scindia and Pilot still command respect. But Gandhi surname has taken a beating. Some argue it is not so much the surname but ‘Rahul’ who is the reason. A weak dynast leader in a non-cadre based party has taken the party to the depth of 44 seats — enough of the bashing. What I want to discuss today is how Rahul can shake off the dynasty tag? Without giving up the party President post of course. Well, there are a few dramatic steps that he can take. However, I suspect he will not.
First, he can distribute all of his family wealth and property to the poor people of India. It would give a strong signal to the nation and bring a lot of respect for Rahul Gandhi. We are a nation of emotional people. And nothing fools us better than sacrifice and hardship. I believe Gandhi will never do it. He is not someone who aspired to lead the party. I met him personally 12 years back when he visited IIT Guwahati, and I was an undergrad student. He is a good chap with different dreams. He was so cheerful and felt at home with students. He was like one of us. He extended his stay and interacted with the students. I felt at that time and still do, he just wanted to live a normal life in a foreign country with his girlfriend (he talked to us about his girlfriend). But was thrust into politics. Anyways, moving on.
Second, he can pick a serious issue and follow the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi and go on a hunger strike. It is so powerful a tool if done at a proper time for a proper cause. In modern times, it helped propel Kejriwal and Mamta Banerjee to the CM post. Pick some agrarian distress issue or some other mainstream cause and go on hunger strike. Just don’t pick any minority or security issue. They rarely work for liberals. Again, it takes serious will power and drive. I am certain, Rahul Gandhi will never go for it. If he ever decides to do it, with proper management, it has the potential to bring the Govt. to its knees.
The third is the Modi way. You have Govt in key states of MP and Rajasthan. Pick one and dedicate one year of your life to the progress of the state. Bring about unparalleled and visible change to the state. Set it up on the path of Ram-Rajya. Nothing speaks better than hard work. Rahul will never be an orator like Modi or Indira. He hasn’t made any administrative difference. Working towards the prosperity of a state will be what will set him apart. Again, it requires dedication and serious work. Not something Rahul Gandhi would opt for.
I can suggest more ideas. But none would be a shortcut like NYAY which Rahul’s advisers have suggested to him. Good luck Rahul Gandhi. You are a good guy but not quite a politician!