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An open letter to Mr. Rahul Gandhi

By: Bandyopadhyay Arindam
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Dear Mr. Rahul Gandhi,

We know that you are no ordinary person. We have been repeatedly made aware that you are India"s uncontested Prince, the future Prime Minister of India, the perceived messiah of the Congress Party, the leader who is supposed to take India to the future, the quiet revolutionary who, it is felt, will be the king.

Being a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family, you are almost automatically credited for any successes of the Congress party in recent times, which could be even remotely connected to you. This includes the recent 2009 Loksabha Election, despite rising suspicions of misuse of EVM machines used in the elections.

Thus it is no surprise that you are the darling of the Indian media. Hardly a day goes by when your statement or picture fail to adorn the news or electronic media. Your spending a night at a Dalit"s house draws huge acclaim. Yours breakfast break at a local restaurant kitty party easily brings delight to our media.

The recently selected Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, perhaps in deep gratitude, perhaps even before he took his oath, went overboard to promise to make you the Prime Minister in 2014, with total disregard to our democratic electoral system. To be fair, one has to mention that at least, on the records, you have declared that you are not interested in PM"s post right now. However one cannot blame the Andhra CM, since even our esteemed "Mr. Clean amidst all scams and dirts", ever-loyal Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh, himself a selected PM, had without hesitance, declared I"ll make way for Rahul whenever the party calls for it.

Thus it is not unexpected that you will start to feel invincible and assume that you have the right to give opinions, meant to mesmerize the Indian public. Perhaps your confidence is further hyper inflated by the coterie of followers and adulators that surround you and the so-called huge or massive rallies, organized by your party for you and boosted by descriptions in great flair, by the media.

For a person, thrust on to the limelight as an MP and the AICC secretary, by virtue of your sole qualification of carrying the "Nehru-Gandhi" gene, it is almost comical when you want to change the system of dynastic politics. You are quick to remind us of the supreme sacrifice that your father and your grandmother have done for the country but there are many Indians who will remember them equally, if not more, for their roles in some of the darkest episodes of our country, like the Emergency, the anti-Sikh riots, the Bofors scandal or the Bhopal tragedy.

And I do not want to embarrass you by dragging the many blunders of India"s first Prime Minister, Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru, who proudly claimed to be the last Englishman to rule India, from the 1962 Indo China war to Kashmir to declining the permanent seat at UN security council.

You seem to insist that only the Congress party could unite the "two Hindustans"- one for the rich and the other for the poor. One would like to know, if you have any clue as to who can claim the most for the making the "two India". By now, you must be aware of the recent report which says that post-independence (1947-2008), India lost 462 billion dollars through tax evasion, crime and corruption and that India"s underground economy has been estimated to account for 50 percent of the country"s GDP - 640 billion dollars at the end of 2008. Perhaps you meant something different when you said that only poor can take India ahead but it sounds like a justification as to why Indians have been "deliberately" kept poor even after over six decades of Independence.

Isn"t it ironic that your party keeps on renewing the slogan for Garibi Hatao every few years?

True it is none of your fault, but history says that India was under the reign of your family directly for 37 of those 62 years in question. Perhaps you may be gloating at times, as to how cleverly, even now, your mother continues to be the de-facto ruler of the country, controlling a Shikhandi Prime Minister, despite scams like Commonwealth games, Adharsh, 2G Spectrum popping up almost regularly.

Don"t you think that it is actually us, the Indian people, who sacrificed so much to accept your family in the power for such a long time?

Being portrayed as a young leader (perhaps to cover up for your naivety), you are frequently reported to have urged the youth to join politics. Perhaps you expected the Indian youth will automatically be like the servile, Congress coterie that surrounds you, but I hope after the incidences in Darbhanga, Bihar and Ahmedabad, Gujarat, you will have some second thoughts before taking them for granted and insulting their intelligence with baseless and biased opinions.

That should be a lesson for you just like the one you had, after you had accused the Bihar Chief Minister, Mr. Nitish Kumar for not doing enough for the development of Bihar. The voters of Bihar made it very clear that they do not agree with you.

The voters also did not like the Congress style of politics in Gujarat as the results from the repeated Assembly elections and the recent Municipality elections proved. True to the Congress heritage of vote bank politics, you had tried to woo minorities by comparing Narendra Modi with Mao Zedong. Your mom, Sonia, once did the same mistake with her infamous "merchant of death" phrase and had to pay the price.

If the actual news of the recent elections ever reaches you, penetrating the clout of sycophants and the shield of SPG guards, you should be aware that even the minorities are fed up with Congress" minority appeasement policies. In the Gujarat zilla panchayat and municipal elections, Muslims in large percentage voted for Modi"s party and out of 247 Muslim candidates fielded by BJP, 118 were victorious. The same was true in Bihar where there is evidence to suggest that Muslims have voted in favour of the BJP-JD(U) alliance which won 40 of 51 assembly segments in seven minority concentrated districts of Bihar. If you are wondering why the Muslims "betrayed" your party, Mr. Gandhi, then you should also know that according to the report of the UPA-appointed Sachar Committee, the per capita income of Muslims in Gujarat was the highest in the country and Muslims in Gujarat have the best education and highest bank accounts as compared to their counterparts in other states.

"The Congress has done nothing to improve the lot of the Muslims.... " was the frustration of the president of the United Muslim Front Mr. Abu Qaiser, of Bihar.

The same sentiment was echoed by Babi Sama, a Muslim, BJP-elect. "A stage has now been reached where the development oriented initiatives of Narendra Modi are drawing the Muslim community towards the party....... both Hindus and Muslims desire development. When they see it happening, people are likely to be drawn towards the party behind it".

The Gujarat state did not win the prestigious 2010 United Nations Public Service Award (UNPSA) for "Improving Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness in Public Service" without its merit. Despite efforts of being censored by mainstream media, you can still see the list of acclaims that the state and its leader have got.

That should be the message for you and your party, Mr. Gandhi. For too long, Indians have been fooled. They have been kept hungry and illiterate so that they are dependent on crumbs offered by the government and political parties, for the price of their vote. For generations, they have been promised "roti, kapada aur makan" before every elections, but they received nothing but injustice, humiliation and disdain after that. You have asked the youth to come and join and change politics. But politics cannot be done when one is not sure of even two square meals a day.

India today is rising despite the government and its politicians. Indians are asking questions and demanding answers. Globalization has opened their eyes - they understand what they deserve, identify much better as to who can give them that and do not hesitate to throw away the rests. Ask the Lalus and the Mulayams of recent times, and they will verify that.

So instead of depending on cheap gimmicks like spending tax payer"s money on frugality tours with your convoy or comparing the nationalistic RSS with the banned extremist outfit, SIMI or actually glorifying Mao by comparing him with Narendra Modi, please do some introspection.

Here is a word or advice from an aam aadmi. Stop depending on the projection and protection by the Indian media for your success since the media has lost all its credibility. Instead connect directly to the public. Learn from the experience of your mom when she realized, albeit the wrong way, that "public sab jaanti hai".

So do you want to start on some real developmental work on your own? How about starting from a small municipality ward in Amethi area?

Bandyopadhyay Arindam

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