"Those who go to the temples, worship the goddess, refer to women as daughters and mothers, molest women in the bus," the Congress vice-president said.
What was he exactly trying to convey? What has temples and worshipping of the goddess have to do with molestation of women? It is not only an oversimplification of facts but also shows religious minded people in an extremely bad light. Rahul Gandhi has proved yet again why political success eludes him in most cases. The man mostly fails to connect to the common man's heart because he has no clue about how to do it.
Temples and women's molestation: Implications
Connecting temples with women's molestation has two serious implications. The first is political. Rahul Gandhi represents a party which has mastered the art of pseudo-secularism by appeasing the minorities over the decades for a few more votes. For him and his party, expressing a negative point related to the majority community is a popular formula to establish 'secular' credentials and he did exactly that by drawing a link between the temple and dishonouring of women.
If religion has something to do with increasing crime against women, then why not also target other communities? Or does Rahul Gandhi fear that taking names like mosque and church could harm his beleaguered party's future poll prospects? It was an atrocious kind of minority politics that Rahul Gandhi played while eyeing to take on an opposition which is known for its majoritarian ideology.
The second implication is social and it was also an example of minority politics, although in a different sense. Rahul Gandhi showed during his speech that it is the women vote-bank which he is targetting to make up for the massive erosion the Congress has been facing in elections over the last few years.
Worshipping at temple has nothing to do with BJP, Rahul Gandhi should have known
The Congress leader said the party would strive for women empowerment and urged the people to change their mindset. Sources said Rahul Gandhi's pro-women project would be launched after the Maharashtra elections but according to a section of the party, how much would that be helpful if the Congress suffers another blow in the next election?
Did Rahul Gandhi try to match Pm Modi's I-Day speech?
Rahul Gandhi perhaps also tried to match the Independence Day speech given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi this year. Modi stressed particularly about women's safety and that the upbringing of the men should be given a new thought. It was a speech which had touched a lot of hearts and perhaps Rahul Gandhi was wary that his 'out-of-the-box' thinking about backing the women could be hijacked and hence decided to make it a point during his Wednesday speech that he is more genuinely concerned with the welfare of the women.
But whatever may be the calculation behind the pro-women speech, Rahul Gandhi is yet to cover some distance before mastering the art of oratory. For the moment, his verbal presentations do more damage to the party than not.