New Delhi, Jan 21: The childish Congress has got a new leader, who is claimed to be emotional and mature. But, Rahul Gandhi's formal assertion as number two in the party is fraught with contradictions.
It is a contradiction because the party, while targeting youth and the urban middle class, props up a family name and promotes dynasty. This is a cruel joke on the youth demanding merit as the criterion for success and rewards and the educated middle class should not be fooled by emotional speech.
Rahul Gandhi himself acknowledged this and echoed the concerns expressed by his mother on Friday in which she underscored the need to respond to the "more aspirational and more impatient" youth and urban middle classes. Rahul posed a question, "Why are the youth angry?"
"They are angry because they are alienated from the political class. They watch from the sidelines as the powerful drive in lal battis (cars with red beacon). We need to meet their urgent demands of jobs," he said.
At the Jaipur meet, the childish chuckle of leaders in the age group of 60s to 70s clamouring for a leader in his 40s was also amusing. The party leaders, some of whom have been chief ministers, wanted Rahul as their leader as they have no confidence in winning the elections and also the squabbling party leaders need a unifying force, more importantly, a theme to fight. The so-called grassroots politicians have forgotten their roots and they think that Gandhi name will ensure victory.
Having taken on the civil society and breaking it with slyness and strategy (remember quota movement, Anna anti-corruption fast and rape protests), the Congress on Sunday redefined aam aadmi in its Jaipur Declaration as "representing the poor and the middle classes" and the party president Sonia Gandhi constituted a group in the party to boost the electoral reforms process, especially political funding, to regain the confidence of people.
The Congress has finalised its prescription for the next Lok Sabha polls at the Jaipur meet, with the party signaling a shift in its priorities by laying greater emphasis on the urban middle classes and youths in view of the changing demographic profile of the country.
"There is a young and impatient India which is demanding a greater say in the future, governance, decision making, administration and politics. The answer to this is completely transform the system. We have to rethink the systems and we have to transform them completely," Rahul said at the Jaipur speech.
But Rahul Gandhi himself is a contradiction the Congress needs to explain to the constituency it wants to capture, especially the millions of merit seeking middle class, educated youth and retain the power.