Poverty is a State of Mind… & Other Sorry Misinterpretations

So here we have a young (by Indian standards) politician, who has been lampooned and bullied on the social media, whose every utterance and word has been misinterpreted, quoted out of context and torn asunder by the armchair experts whose lives begin and end on Facebook or Twitter. His surname has been turned into his biggest liability. His family has been chastised. Questions have been raised on his education. And most worryingly, simple truths from his mouth have been converted into deceitful lies. Sad. What has the young political scion of the India’s oldest political party – which leaves behind a legacy of leaders and prosperity – done to deserve this? What have we accused him of? And what exactly did he say…

Poverty is a State of Mind…

Is it a goddamn lie? Have poor people not been accustomed to believe that poverty is good for them?? Are they not ordained to live in poverty, dependent on the state for their basic needs??? Here, we have a semblance of change being brought about in the way poverty is perceived. And what do we get instead – ridicule. “Thank you” everybody. Bring on the “Psychologists for the Poor” jokes, but sadly, the joke is on you.

India is a Beehive…

Our very own favorite white-bearded mass-murderer took it as a personal responsibility to tear this quote out of context. He went about railing “India is our Mother. Not a “Madhumakkhi ka Chatta”..” Seriously, we have this dumb interpreter to be our future PM? Is India not a complex being? From t=0, India has been a picture of chaos. And underlying this chaos are layers. Layers which give meaning to this chaos. This makes the entire system analogous to a beehive. Rahul was right. And sadly, the educated twitter trolls got it wrong. No debate. No argument. Just pure trollin’..

IF India is a computer, Congress is the default OS…

So he was talking to the Congress Workers. He was there to motivate them. And he made an absolutely acceptable statement. Congress has “Democratically” ruled India for a majority of the period since independence. No other political party understands the pulse of India better than the Congress. And as a default program, Rahul believes that his Party is best at understanding the pulse of the country – to ensure that any progress is seamless.

Jhansi of Rani…

Yes. A Slip of the tongue. But what is offensive about it? I would rather find “Kutte Ka Bachcha” more offensive – even if that was a slip of tongue. Evidence and post-interview behavior suggests that it was not. 11 years after his defining moment, this is the the mindset, attitude and language skills of the Opposition’s prime candidate. No wonder, friends have turned into foes quicker than the speed of light.

His Education…

Since when has the education of a politician been a prerequisite to lead the people? No one knows the educational qualification of NaMo. No one bothers to even ask. What we instead have are photoshopped images of Rahul Gandhi’s educational documents, floating around on the internet. Well, his educational qualification has been declared via sworn affidavits to the Election Commission. If there are doubts about his education, why are they not raised at a proper forum? Why is the principal opposition party silent? It is because there is no scam there worth even a dime. But it suits the armchair critics to raise questions and keep the embers of doubt burning.

Politics by Way of Eating Food in the Houses of Dalits …

Horrors of Horrors – he ate food in the houses of the poor, the farmers and the untouchables. How can he commit such an abominable and ghastly crime? We had politicians (Of all parties, including “Congress”) competing to divide the people on the basis of region, caste, creed and religion. And suddenly a kid, an elite Doon-School alumni “Baba” came out to ruffle the rules of the game. He erased the lines and showed that caste lines can be redrawn. Picture a rural casteist oppressor whose sees the scion of India’s ruling political party sitting and dining with the powerless and the meek. He gets a wake-up call. And the wake-up call goes to the poor oppressed too. If politics is about signals, this was a powerful symbol. Nothing signifies the impact of the symbol more then the way the gesture was rubbished by the pundits. He was not snatching the food from the poor; he was realigning the paradigms of casteist dynamics. Something which the “insulated from real world” arm-chair sound boxes just don’t get.

He Never Took a Stand on Issues like Delhi Gangrape etc etc…

What do we expect him to say – The obvious? That he finds these crimes ghastly, inhuman and despicable. Or were we expecting him to come out with statements like “I absolutely welcome such crimes and hope that these criminals keep up the good work…” Would statements from him have made the situation better? When the Home Minister, the Prime Minister and the President had spoken, what was the need for him to speak absolute nothings for the sake of the cameras?

Where was he holidaying partying at the time of Uttarakhand Floods?

 Next time, please remind nature to call up and strike at a time when the politicians are all reachable for their soundbites and aerial surveys. Cant, right. That’s the trouble with disasters – they strike unexpectedly. Unless of course, we consider the “Boys Who Shout Wolf” every day – the perennial disaster alerters. Rahul – well, we are talking of him, if you did not get the drift yet- was out of the nation. He came back when the magnitude of the disaster became clearer and his coming posed no hinderance to the rescue and relief efforts. Not so for the disaster tourists turned politicians, who came like Rambo, saved a million people with a couple of phone-calls, and then flew back to count the potential votes.

(Note: Of course you knew we were talking of him. People who read this blog are very receptive… 🙂 )

Rahul has his follies. He has his faults – maybe more than we expect. We call him a reluctant leader, who is being pushed to become a Prime Ministerial candidate. Maybe it is true.But a lot of criticism is misdirected. Definitely not a #PAPPU, as coined by the cyber-troll right wing of Communal Republic of India.

Rahul lost his Dad and Grandmother to violent deaths in childhood. Leaders who lost their lives while serving the people of India. A consequence of the decisions that they took with the collective wisdom of the Cabinets of those times. Rahul has lived a life more shaken and consequently more sequestered from the society. His Mother was concerned for him. Would your mother not be? He has still made a brave decision to come back and do what his father could not. That is a strong motivation. He has been tagged as immature.Image But remember, he has tried hard to understand this country. His understanding is today better than what we see or understand. He has democratized his Party’s Youth Wing – no mean feat. He has given calls for politics of positivity. And in the face of an abusive opposition, he has maintained decorum and calmness not usually expected in the slugfest of Indian politics. He has not been arrogant. He has not projected unbridled hunger for power. And he is acceptable to all sections of the society – except the numb, hate-filled Right Winged hordes. The Congress bungled up over 9 years. But that is no reason to bully someone, who has his heart in the right place. He has been realistic and accepted the challenges. Something which the people do not really appreciate, but which they should. There will be no magic wand. And no “Hero on Horseback” melodramatic solution to our countries woes. Solutions exist, and we will have to wrestle, grin and stay united to get over these troubled times.

No one remembers Inspector Francis Induwar. The brave officer was beheaded by the Maoists in 2009 – an indefensible crime. He died protecting us. Who empathized with his kids? No political points scored. Just mentioning – that Rahul is not what he is often made out to be.