Indian politics is seeing a metamorphosis as the Pappu of 2014 evolves into the game-changer of 2019. From employment guarantee to income guarantee and the initiatives to connect with the people, Rahul Gandhi is certainly making sure that he be heard.
Kabir | The New Leam
When Darwin talked about the survival of the fittest as the rule of existence on planet earth little did he know that the rule could be as much suitable for the world of politics as it is for the natural world? You have to keep up with the times or else the times will not remember you, perhaps Rahul Gandhi took this more seriously than did anybody else in recent Indian politics.
His metamorphosis from an often mocked at Pappu to a truly humorous, calm and charismatic politician could compose of a revealing study in politics. Rahul Gandhi has truly risen from the dust of allegations ranging from those of dynastic politics, foreign blood, being a kid on the political map to even those targeting his character- whether or not he will really be able to stand-up to the much awaited need for an ‘alternative’ in the domain of Indian politics will remain to be seen but what cannot be denied is that he has renovated the image of a decadent and dead Congress to one which is politically viable.
Last week when he addressed an excited audience before the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, he came up with a political bombshell and said that his party would ensure a minimum income guarantee for every poor man in the nation. He asserted that his party would implement the minimum income guarantee to ensure that there is no poor man who goes to bed hungry in India. Rahul also attacked the Centre as he said that the promise of 10% reservations for the privileged castes made no sense at a time when there were no jobs to be reserved.
What would be the purpose of having reservations in a nation plagued by unemployment?
He changed the discourse from employment guarantee to income guarantee irrespective of religion or caste based affiliations. What we also have to remember is the fact that the idea of basic income is the first of its type idea to be introduced in Indian politics where the basic dignity of the poor people has been differentiated from the nature of employment that a person practices. This scheme is not linked in any manner to the jobs or the availability of jobs in any manner.
This is quite different an idea from the central government’s agenda of offering reservation to the upper castes in a milieu where there is a massive crisis in the total number of jobs available.
Rahul Gandhi asserted that if the PM could give ‘maximum income guarantee’ to 15 richest Indian, he could give ‘minimum income guarantee’ to each and every India. The Modi government made a promise in 2014 that millions of jobs would be created each year but clearly there is massive unemployment in the nation today.
The offering of an ‘alternative discourse’ to the poverty-unemployment crisis in India buy speaking about income guarantee and hitting at the exact point of disillusionment in the nation is once again a reminder of the fact that, Rahul Gandhi is doing the best he may to differentiate his politics from that of the Opponent. Whether such a scheme would be economically viable for the nation would remain to be seen but what is essential here is to understand that this would definitely lead to an obviating of periodic farm loan weavers that lead to the piling of huge economic debts on the nation from time to time.
People were speculating about whom the Congress would form alliances together with in both Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh but Rahul Gandhi shut down all the controversies by distributing responsibilities in Uttar Pradesh between Priyanka Gandhi and Jyotiraditya Scindhia and denied possibilities of an alliance with M. Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh.
What Rahul Gandhi has clarified through his various moves is that the Congress is likely to stand on its own barring some exceptions in some states. The Congress has won in three states recently and it is said this win was the basis of Rahul Gandhi’s choice. It cannot be denied that in recent months the Congress has become the dominant force as the Opposition and even if it loses in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, its presence cannot be negated.
The recent win of the Congress has allowed it the power to decide to go alone in general elections. What will remain to be seen is how Rahul Gandhi will deal with his state colleagues’ in Maharahstra where Shaad Pawar is a powerful leader, Bihar where Lalu Prasad Yadav has a stronghold, Kashmir where the Abdullahs rule and Tamil Nadu. The history of Indian politics reminds us that in Tamil Nadu and Kashmir no national party has thus far been able to form the government without the allies.
For the BJP too, the current hot winds in the weather of politics are tough to deal with as they are facing backlash in Northeast over the Citizneship Bill, in Uttar Prdaesh where the Apna Dal is staging protest, in the state of Bihar where we see Upendra Khushwaha and his Rashtriya Lok Samta Party ar breaking away from the BJP and in Maharashtra the Shiv Sena is being difficult to handle. Rahul Gandhi is working towards reviving the Congress with frequent media meetings, updates on the Rafale Deal and the frequent public appearances among youth. We hardly witness the fragile and diffident Pappu who was mocked at in 2014, surely we witness a metamorphosis in him.