Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has decided to take a few weeks of leave to reflect upon the recent occurrences and the future course of the party. He has sought permission from party president Sonia Gandhi for introspection ahead of the leadership conclave due to be held in April, sources in the party said.
Rahul Gandhi was also absent on the inaugural day of the Budget Session of the Parliament on Monday.
So the leader is both in the scheme of things and out of it. And here we are expecting the grand-old party to make a turnaround in the electoral battles that it has been losing badly for some time now across the country.
Parallel between Congress and the Kuru family of Mahabharata
Seeing the Congress leadership's way of functioning, one can draw a parallel with the succession crisis that the great Kuru family of Hastinapur had once faced. In that family, as according to Mahabharata, Queen Satyavati had faced a massive difficulty when both the sons who were born from her marriage with King Shantanu died prematurely and the kingdom was left with an heir.
Bhisma had turned down Satyavati's plea even when succession crisis was acute
A helpless Satyavati then approached Gangaputra Bhisma, the eldest son of the late king to marry the widows of her late younger son Vichitravirya so that the succession problem could be overcome. But Bishma refused to oblige for he had taken a strong vow of not marrying and become a king himself.
Ved Vyas had come to Satyavati's rescue
Satyavati had to surrender before Bhisma's stern stand on the issue and had no other option but to look up to Ved Vyas, her other son fathered by Parashar, the sage. Ved Vyas followed the instructions and the succession issue was resolved with the birth of Dhritarastra, Pandu and Vidura.
Is Rahul Gandhi the Bhisma in Congress?
The current situation in the Congress hints at something similar. Party chief Sonia Gandhi looks to be a Satyavati while Rahul Gandhi a Bhisma.
Although we don't know what strong pledge the Congress vice-president has taken that makes him look a reluctant personality in political affairs even when his party is going through one of its worst phases, but he is certainly making his party suffer by not leading the party from the front.
Like Bhisma, Rahul Gandhi too looks not interested in position
He says repeatedly that he is more eager to look after the party's organisation, something that resembles Bhisma's pledge to guard the throne of Hastinapur all his life without actually sitting on it.
It will be interesting to see what special moves Rahul Gandhi makes to change the Congress's fortunes for the better after his sabbatical concludes. Bhishma, too, had failed to make any difference in the Mahabharata once the clash over the Pandavas and Kauravas became imminent and had to perish under the burden of his promise.
Will Priyanka Gandhi be Sonia Gandhi's Ved Vyas?
As for Sonia, there is not much options like Satyavati had. She can only look up to Priyanka Gandhi to succeed her as the leader if Rahul Gandhi continues with his mysterious moves. But Priyanka Gandhi has also not shown much interest outside the confines of Rae Bareli and Amethi so far.
So is there any hope for the Congress to settle its succession problem?