About four five days ago, in response to Rahul Gandhi’s speech, a congress stalwart described him as a “youth icon” and “hope for the future”.Yesterday , in an interview, Priyanka Gandhi said that the congress party shall decide who will be the leader when asked whether or not her children shall join politics.
It seems that the congress party suffers from India’s Olympic syndrome. Just as a billion strong population scampers for a bronze medal, a 100 year old political party cannot look beyond one family for leadership primarily because a largely emotional and a rural illiterate population thinks in terms of personalities rather than issues. It is really sad in an era of information revolution and mass communication. Mahatma Gandhi would have become popular five times faster today because of the kind of work he did among the people.
Sunil Gavaskar’s son shifted to Bengal to prove himself. Amitabh Bachchan’s son had several flops before being pronounced the rising son. One wonders how such a judgement can be made in politics before words like “youth icon” can be used. There are heirs of state and local politicians with political ambitions. The former managing director of a multinational said recently that it is not unusual for the son of a great political leader to become a good leader himself but nature rarely distributes talent that way. Political legacy should not be held against them- Jyoitiraditya scindia and Omar Abdullah sound very articulate and intelligent but can they walk the talk and also ensure good implementation because that is where the catch lies when one considers Rajiv Gandhi’s words as prime minister that only 15% of the funds actually reach the poor.
The issue is more of political accountability rather than dynastic politics. How does one determine whether or not a political heir is the rightful aspirant?. The issue is not “when the sun should fall” but should be of “Whether the son should rise”? All spheres of human endeavor require talent and politics should be no different considering the larger stakes involved.