Maa da Laadla has come of age at last!
Wah! Kya baat hai!! The Congress Party has finally found its ‘Item Number’. Rahulbaba is out of his pram and has shed his diapers, finally. He is now a MAN! And what a dishy man. Pure eye candy. A real Himbo who does not need to flaunt a six pack gut – but he sure flaunted his guts!! I loved the way he shot his mouth off at the press conference this week and in one stroke catapulted himself to the numero uno ‘It Boy’ position. He was exactly what the doc ordered in this pheeka, unsexy election.The critics and pundits can go to hell. He got them by the b***s - and they know it!They can mock his ‘immaturity’ and make fun of his naïve remarks. But, let’s hand it to the greenhorn – he’s done it!! I have received countless emails from complete strangers gushing over the guy. A young lady ecstatically announced, “ I want to marry him – he is so drool-worthy.” I said to myself, “ Oh oh… watch out King Khan….here comes competition”. Rahul Gandhi is officially ‘Cho Chweet’ – a card carrying member of the Hotties Club. Moily was bang on for once when he described Rahul as a Youth Icon. We know what it takes to become one, right? Oomph. Nothing more, nothing less.Rahulbaba’s biggest plus point is his age. Nobody knows or cares about his qualifications – school\college dropout?You know what? It doesn’t matter a damn. The magic has worked. And that’s all that counts. Rahul Gandhi came across as a good chap – simple, uncomplicated and sincere. A semi Mr. Clean. This is very rare in politics, especially in India, where we expect netas to look and behave like thugs. If they are educated, sophisticated, articulate , erudite and refined – well, that’s too bad. For them. So many careers have gone down the tube, because those men were seen as being far removed from the hoi polloi. Too high brow, too cerebral, too cunning. And therefore suspect. Rahul was the unknown factor – seen more as a shy, modest, reluctant and let’s face it – dumb - heir apparent who was ‘doing it for mummy’ – much like his own father Rajiv, who also famously did it ‘for mummy’ after being air-dropped into the hot seat due to tragic circumstances. But the public at least knew a little about that Prince. We were aware that he had managed to hold down a day job as a pilot for a commercial airline, that he was a shaadi-shuda father of two cute kids, married to a gorgeous-looking Italian lady who preferred to stay out of sight. We also knew ‘Mummy’ preferred the younger son, Sanjay, whose fiery personality and naked ambition made him the perfect fit as her successor. But history had its own plan – and Rajiv became India’s unlikely Prime Minister. He was written off before he even started. Too young, too raw, too inexperienced. Till he went to America and addressed his first important press conference. Bingo!! Perceptions changed overnight… the world took him more seriously. And so did we!
What an amazing coincidence that it took another press conference to ‘reveal’ Rahul to his own countrymen. All of a sudden, Rahul Gandhi was perceived as his party’s biggest trump card. Never mind that his detractors chose to interpret his outspokenness as desperation. Never mind that seasoned journos read defeat in that speech. And never mind too that political analysts mocked the shallow, superficial content of his responses and said he sounded like a gauche schoolboy, not a future prime minister. They are all completely right! And that is precisely what did the trick for Rahul. He sounded like anybody else – the guy next door. Not a hardened politician indulging in doublespeak. His comments were commonsensical, even nonsensical. But he spoke from the heart. And he appeared heart breakingly vulnerable, too.All these ‘negatives’ worked in his favour. Viewers watching him calmly take tough questions and wade trustingly into dangerous waters, responded with sympathy and admiration. The overall verdict was positive, and I was astonished by the sort of reactions his unrehearsed, unscripted, indiscreet and gullible comments about the Left, Right and other weird alliances generated. A senior publisher who happened to visit that afternoon was gob-smacked by the impact of that single tv appearance. He kept repeating, “ Rahul spoke a lot of sense… he spoke on behalf of millions of us when he talked about growth. It gave us hope that if he does become the p.m. soon, he won’t waste his time and ours by indulging in negative politics. His solutions may have been over simplified, but they were practical. We could relate to what he was saying.” This assessment coming from a person, who as a young man , had left a pregnant wife behind in Mumbai, jumped onto a train headed for Amethi, and worked tirelessly for Rajmohan Gandhi (who lost – of course!), made me do a double think about Rahul Baba’s future. Like his father, Rahul looks trustworthy. The operative word is ‘looks’. But that’s the beauty and tragedy of politics, whether in India or elsewhere – so much depends on perception. Richard Nixon ‘looked’ a crook. JFK ‘looked’ a gentleman. Both were crooks. Berloscuoni ‘looks’ a rascal, behaves like a rascal and is a rascal. Ditto for Sarkozy. Gordon Brown resembles a butcher\baker. While Obama, like Rahul, is America’s ‘Item Number’. Sex appeal is hard to deconstruct or ‘explain’. There is really very little difference between sex appeal and voter appeal. We imagine we select candidates\parties using the rational, logical side of our brains. But the truth is, we vote with our hearts. For better or worse.
In politics, timing is everything. Which is why our mighty political pundits are confused, even annoyed at not being taken into confidence about the Rahul coup. The timing of his coming out party seems off. Very off. But is it? Why now, they demand.When the party’s fate has been sealed? Why not earlier when his presence would have made some difference and influenced voters?According to me, the timing couldn’t have been better calibrated. I think his press conference was very shrewdly timed to confuse the enemy and throw the opposition off balance. See how they ran… watch how they scrambled. Listen to Jaitley, Karat, Nitesh spluttering with rage, and you can gauge the panic. Sadly, the truth is that are no issues involved in these elections .It’s all about the numbers game. The kind of numbers one has been hearing ( 10,000 crores offered to Amma for her support when it comes to the crunch and a prime minister’ s name has to be thrown into the ring), are shocking and obscene. Those trillions lying in foreign banks have not been hoarded there for nothing. Of course, no party is interested in naming names – who will cast the first stone at the glass Lutyen’s bungalows? But at least the people of India now know exactly where their hard earned money which politicians have systematically looted over the years, is sitting. It has been stashed away for buying the prime ministership, and other similar emergencies.If enough noise is made, we can (and must) see some of it back in the country. There are no saints in this dirty game. But Rajkumar Rahul has emerged as a worthy heir to the throne. The dowager queen must be happy. Mogambo khush hua!
This appeared in the Asian Age\Deccan Chronicle over the weekend.
The final countdown is about to begin.
I think the Congress is in trouble. Truly an Ulta Pulta Alliance.
I am almost certain Uddhav Thackeray will become the next Chief Minister of Maharashtra - North Indians and other 'Outsiders' can relax.
I still think Mayawati will make it. Long live pink polyester.
Highheelconfidential ROCKS!! Even when they trash me. Just for the record - I do have problem feet and can't wear closed shoes!