Rahul ‘Shunyata’ Gandhi; Mandal vs BJP; U-19 Triumph

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Opinion Watch

Rahul ‘Shunyata’ Gandhi

Bharat Jodo Yatra concluded in the motley presence of Congress allies and snowfall at Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium, Srinagar. Rahul Gandhi has announced his arrival to an audience that is yearning for alternative leadership with message of love.

Several dailies have sought to lay out challenges for Congress ahead. The likes of The Hindu, The Telegraph, The Hindustan Times and The Asian Age have argued that the test of the arrival of Rahul Gandhi lies in the upcoming elections. The Asian Age has given the verdict that after the end of the Yatra Rahul Gandhi has buried ‘Pappu’. The BJP had invented ‘Pappu’ to almost dub Rahul Gandhi as a politician with low intelligence. The daily has also claimed that the first beneficiary of the Yatra emerged to be Bollywood (Pathaan of Shahrukh Khan opened at screen after Prime Minister Narendra Modi admonished film-bashing brigade in the BJP). The daily also stated that the labour of the BJP spokespersons to counter Yatra shows its success. The daily, which is owned by Deccan Chronicle, has also asserted that both Rahul Gandhi and Congress haver gained success.

Indeed, Rahul Gandhi defied notions that he runs away from country and lacks seriousness. He pulled diverse crowds. In Srinagar, he brought relief to former CMs Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. He talks of ‘Shunyata’. He has cast himself as a devotee of Lord Shiva. Wearing t-shirt in freezing weather, Rahul Gandhi sought to send out the message that he is a true devotee of Lord Shiva. He had taken deeksha last year from a Lingayata seer last year in Karnataka. But the road ahead will indeed call him to work on narrative, for love alone may not be enough.

Mandal vs BJP

Povertarian politics refuses to die in some parts of the country. The heirs of the identity politics in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have sought to whip up caste politics by taking refuge in Ramcharitmanas. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav with their respective silence have sought to encourage the rabble-rousing of Chandra Shekhar (Bihar minister) and Swami Prasad Mourya.

The Pioneer in an Editorial has called the episode as the attempt of the SP and the RJD to revive Mandal politics. The Noida-based daily has stated that silence of Bihar CM and Yadav in UP amounts to “running with the hare and hunting with hounds”. The daily has stated that the people should be ready with more politics of sentimentalism.

But it must not be forgotten that Bihar lies resting at the bottom of all social and economic indicators. Yet, the politicians of Bihar remain busy with caste politics. The state is spending Rs 500 crores for Caste Census. The people of Bihar still migrate in waves, because the ruling politicians are caste-blinded and look buffoons before industrial leaders. Ramcharitmanas survived Aurangzeb. The epic needs no lesser mortals to fight its battle, for its immortal.

U-19 Triumph

The Hindustan Times has richly applauded the feats of the Under-19 women cricket team, which lifted the inaugural World Cup. The daily compared the victory to the feat of Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open. The Indian girls lost only one match, and smashed out all other rivals to lift the trophy.

There is no dearth of talents in India, as U-19 team had players who lived in shanties and their relatives had to buy inverters to charge phones to watch their matches. But they need freedom from predators to excel and not sit at Jantar Mantar to beg for respect.

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