Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters Rediff Newsdesk
Will the real Rahul Gandhi please stand up?
What is the Congress vice president's politics? Since he rarely if ever grants media interviews -- except to roll up his sleeves and tear into a legislation after the Union Cabinet, his party's core group and the UPA partners have all signed off on it -- the only available basis to form an opinion on his politics are his utterances, made at various points in his life.
However, in Gandhi's case, that's where the problem starts. For you see, over a period of time he has demonstrated a unique knack to express out-of-the-box ideas. Which leave those trying to pin him down and fix him into one box tearing their hair.
But no, we are not known to give up so easily. So here's trying to make sense out of his many statements.
Disclaimer: This is a satirical piece. Readers are requested to take the content with a pinch a salt.
Imaging: Reuben N V and Uday Kuckian
Text: Rajorshi Sanyal
Please click NEXT to see the non-violent Rahul Gandhi…
Avatar 1: Gandhi following Gandhi
The Congress vice president was in Sabarmati ashram earlier this week where he declared to the world his political idol -- Mahatma Gandhi.
"It’s always an honour for me to come to the ashram. I am a follower of Gandhi and his ideas. Thank you," Rahul wrote in the visitor's book at the ashram.
Now, please click NEXT to see the violent Rahul Gandhi…
Avatar 2: The Bill Killer
The Congress' prince may or may not be a big fan of Quentin Tarantino’s movies, but the ruthlessness with which he ‘tore apart’ the Cabinet-cleared ordinance on convicted lawmakers, and paved the way for a rather embarrassing withdrawal of both the ordinance and the bill, re-imposed his clout on the ruling party -- perhaps at the cost of the prime minister’s reputation.
Critics feel Rahul has now got blood on his hands.
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Avatar 3: The adivasi sipahi
In August 2010, following the rejection of environment clearance to a huge bauxite mining project in the Niyamgiri Hills, Rahul Gandhi told thousands of tribals in Lanjigarh, “Our voice reached Delhi and you saved your land. I did what I could, but this is your victory,” recollecting his words from an earlier visit, “For the tribals of Kalahandi, there is a sipahi in Delhi named Rahul Gandhi.”
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Avatar 4: Cleanser of dirty politics
Be it addressing Parliament when the Lokpal debate was at its peak or when the President was just about to sign the controversial ordinance on convicted lawmakers: the Congress vice president has repeatedly said that he’s here to cleanse politics and the system.
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Avatar 5: Sapno ka saudagar
While addressing a rally in Baran, Rajasthan, in September, Rahul Gandhi appealed to lakhs of his rural supporters to “dream big”.
“We (Congress) say the poorest should see the biggest dreams and not just be on the fringes, marginalised and helplessly watching the rich flying in aeroplanes and travelling in big cars… If the poor cannot see the biggest dreams, then we are not interested in politics. Our politics is to further your dreams,” he said.
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Avatar 6: Psychiatrist for poor
Without a doubt, Congress leaders have atrocious definitions for the poverty in a country they have ruled for years. But many were shocked when the party vice president came up with his theory.
Speaking at a function in Allahabad in August, Rahul said, “Poverty is just a state of mind. It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty”.
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Avatar 7: The 'I-know-the-truth' intelligence sleuth
In December 2010, whistle-blower website WikiLeaks released a cable which quoted former US Ambassador to India Timothy Roemer saying that Rahul Gandhi once told him that “the bigger threat to India may be the growth of radicalised Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community”.
Needless to say, the BJP was outraged by his statement.
But can we REALLY blame Rahul Gandhi? After all, those were the years when he was extremely close to Digvijaya Singh!
Please click NEXT to see Rahul, the raconteur…
Avatar 8: The storyteller
Being the sole envoy of aam aadmi, Rahul Gandhi loves his rustic conversations with the ‘Real India’ during his countless visits to the interiors.
And those stories are not to be left behind in those muddy lanes -- Rahul brings them back to the urban power centres and regularly lectures the ‘Prosperous India’ about the spirit of rural India.
Thus Girish the carpenter, Kalavati the widow from Vidarbha, are some of the unforgettable characters in the Rahul Gandhi narrative.
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Avatar 9: The Amul Baby
Octogenarian Left strongman from Kerala V S Achutanandan didn’t take lightly Rahul’s remarks on his advancing age ahead of the 2011 assembly polls in the southern state. And the former chief minister shot back at a rally in Pallakad, “Everyone knows Rahul Gandhi is an Amul baby and he has fielded Amul babies in some constituencies (in Kerala)”.
In no time, Rahul-baiters had lapped up the remark.
Finally, please click NEXT to see the Real Rahul Gandhi…
Avatar 10: The Yuvraj
For trolls on social media networks and other critics of India's ruling family, Rahul Gandhi is just that. Yuvraj, the prince, the heir. Royalty, you see, can never leave our political discourse.
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