Save Our Democracy! THE RAHUL GANDHI ERA HAS BEGUN! By Aravind Bhatikar

Unka Sankalp, Vipareet Bharat”
“Sab ka Naash, Sab ka Vinaash”

By Aravind Bhatikar

THOSE who watched the stellar performance of Rahul Gandhi as the Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha on July 1, 2024 will have no hesitation in declaring him “the man of the match.” There are many fronts on which he could have attacked the BJP but he chose the issues close to the heart of the aam aadmi in the country viz unemployment, inflation, MSP for farmers, women’s security, etc. He did not waste any time in highlighting corruption in BJP even though “the BJP washing machine” epithet, electoral bonds, writing off of corporate loans, etc, would have given enough grist to his mill.
In many European democracies including the UK, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) is looked upon as a waiting prime minister and his team on the Opposition benches as a “shadow cabinet.” The aam aadmi in India is already looking at Rahul Gandhi as the next prime minister of India. The minority government of BJP may not be lucky enough to complete its five years term. Even if it does, it is almost certain that the INDIA will form the government after the next election and that Rahul Gandhi will become the prime minister, unless he refuses to accept that leadership position.
Rahul Gandhi has an MPhil degree in Development Studies from Trinity College, Cambridge University, UK. Before that he was at St Stephen’s College, Delhi. After the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi at the hands of the LTTE, he moved to Harvard University and Rollins College, Florida, USA before moving to the Cambridge University in UK for post-graduate studies. He was a keen sportsman during his younger days and won many national awards in rifle shooting.
In June 2023, when Rahul Gandhi was invited by the National Press Club in Washington DC for a press conference, his performance at that conference made his leadership qualities obvious to the world. He was frank, fearless, mature, well informed and articulate. I had opined at that time in my article of June 6, 2023 (see WhatsApp Group Jagrut Goenkar and also Goan Observer weekly digital magazine) that we have now found an alternative to Narendra Modi. Now, more than one year later, most Indians are already looking at him as the next prime minister.
His take on crucial issues like paper leaks, unemployment, inflation, MSP for farmers, women’s security, apart from his advice to Speaker Om Birla and direct attack on Narendra Modi, BJP and RSS for their pseudo-Hinduism were frank and fearless. It left Modi-Shah and others highly confused and nervous, not knowing where to run for cover.
The BJP must have spent a fortune on media campaigns to destroy Rahul Gandhi’s public image. All that money has gone down the drain. When Rahul Gandhi was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 2004, he was 34 years old. Today, he is 54. He has been a Member of Parliament for the last 20 years, a decade more than Narendra Modi who became an MP for the first time in 2014. Narendra Modi is a far better orator than Rahul Gandhi but a prime minister of a country has to do much more than just speak and make hollow claims. This is where Narendra Modi has failed.
The highlight of Rahul Gandhi’s maiden speech in Lok Sabha on July 1 was Modi’s shrieking rebuttal against the allegation that neither Narendra Modi nor the BJP nor the RSS represented entire Hindu society. His jibe at the Speaker Om Birla for bowing down to Narendra Modi when the letter came to shake hands with him was as hilarious as the jibe at Narendra Modi for claiming that “paramatma” directly talked to him and that he was not a biological human being.
Rahul Gandhi’s path to prime ministership will not be easy. He has to guard himself and I.N.D.I.A. against “Operation Lotus of the BJP” and a no-holds-barred, perhaps even lethal, ambitions of a few powerful politicians.

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