I cannot understand all these kvetchers and grumblers. Is two weeks so much to ask for when the task of reviving a party on life support is in your hands? I think not. Yet, to hear all those mumbling in the bitter twilight, one would think that if poor Rahul were to take a little sabbatical, the party’s fortunes could sink any more. And has his mother not told the faithful that he needs time and that he has a reason. And she forgot to add, yours not to reason why, yours but to do or die. The only problem is that the dying season is upon the Congress.
The problem with all these prosaic politicians is that they are pedantic, they simply don’t invest in the art of thinking. Now our Rahul is a right regular Rodin when it comes to thinking. We saw the careful thought he puts into things, when he rushed helter skelter to Bhatta Parsaul and discerned several rapes and murders there. And all this based on a rather bizarre pile of ashes. Well, move over Benedict Cumberbatch, you have competition for the role of Sherlock Holmes. We also saw how carefully he considered his words when he talked of the ordinance shielding convicted lawmakers terming it rubbish. Displaying further his felicity with the language, he said the ordinance should be torn up and thrown away, stopping an astounded Manmohan Singh in his tracks.
And as for all you Cassandras who think he is a space cadet, his remark about Dalits needing the velocity of Jupiter to escape their lot in life took a lot of deliberation, so much so that that it went right over the heads of most people with the speed of a lunar rocket. So, now that he must take on the labours of Hercules in political terms, the lad needs a little time away from all those who look to him for answers. It is not as though he is stealing away under cover of night. His mother and indeed the mater familias of the party has said he should go. And I bet you that you could not show me a Congressman who could refuse a gentle diktat from Soniaji in a month of Mondays.
So, put a lid on it till the poor boy comes back. And yes, he is still a boy as you may have noted, a nice well-brought up boy who still asks him mum for permission before stepping away from her apron strings. Following the renowned guidelines of parenting and child rearing as delineated in Dr Spock, Sonia has kept her boy firmly on the right side. When after the spectacular defeat of the party, he tried to step out of line and speak to the media at the mother-son press conference, a sharp hiss from his mother had him scuttling away. Now tell me which of you can exercise such power over your progeny, even when the progeny is in his forties. Top marks to Sonia for her parenting skills.
I think the young man should not go to any hole in the wall place to ponder and reflect. I can’t see you going to Muzaffarnagar or some such hellish place to gather your thoughts. No, a salubrious vacation on the Cote d’Azur or the Costa del Sol would be in order. Nothing like a few pina coladas and the lovelies in less than nothing to get the intellectual juices churning. And before you can say Rihanna, our boy will be back brimming with ideas on how to get the grand old party back on track. Some of them may sound a little outré but we need some shock and awe to kick-start the revival process. We can reconstitute the party by giving the faithful different designations more in tune with the times. We could incorporate a few Caribbean tunes into our chintan shivirs. Diggy could sing stand up for your rights as the opening invocation. And let’s hope the hordes don’t take that too literally. I think we are in for good times, a refreshed Rahul who will fashion the party in his own image. The worshipful will be delighted. It will mean two days of work, or visiting Dalit homes, and two weeks of vacation for contemplation and consideration. Oh, and they will get all this at just Rs 250 a year to be deposited in used one rupee notes at the nearest party office.
(Views expressed by the author are personal)