The ghost of Indira Gandhi haunts a stagnant Congress

Ajay Maken today announced that Priyanka Gandhi will campaign in only Rae Bareli and Amethi while managing campaign for Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi nationwide. And just like that we are back to parading the Indira Gandhi lookalike in time for elections.

Time for Priyanka

<strong class='StrictlyAutoTagBold'><figcaption class=Priyanka Gandhi looks like Indira Gandhi" src="https://aamjanata.com/wp-content/uploads/pgandhi_xal8hy.jpg" width="336" height="275" /> Priyanka Gandhi at a recent Congress meet

To go from

Priyanka Gandhi's normal look.
Priyanka Gandhi's normal look.

to

<strong class='StrictlyAutoTagBold'>Priyanka Gandhi</strong> looking same like Indira Gandhi

Time to go from the pixie cut she seems to prefer to an bob-cut transition something, though either she never gets long enough to achieve Indira's very 70's style bob or there's a careful blend of what is hep today mixed in. Get the curling irons out, for heaven's sake. Make sure people notice the wavy hair and high forehead which she normally seems to prefer to cover. The right side parting remains. I wonder if she will get a streak soon, as people's memories of a 3 decade dead Prime Minister fade.

Of course, anyone can campaign, and there are family members campaigning for other politicians as well. None of these family members become news releases of their own, unlike a certain flashback wannabe. Priyanka Gandhi's resemblance to Indira Gandhi has been overused to trigger a sense of "rightful PM" feeling, and I suppose there is nothing illegal about it.

The larger problem here is a Congress Party that has become so entrenched in its dynasty obsessed ways that they fail to register a changing world. Not content with wrapping a western bahu in a sari and getting her to fit a mold we are trying to drag Indian women out of, get bitiya to act like she is living in her grandmother's era, including fashions that were probably hep on her grandmother at that time, but now are just money saved on getting a good blouse stitched.

Over and over, this pattern repeats. Over and over the party "admits" that there is a need for change and goes back to do the exact same thing.

There seems to be an institutional inability to accept powerful women, without hiding them behind the one powerful woman who had more balls than the lot, who died long ago. Who is Priyanka Gandhi? Who cares? She is Indira Gandhi for a party that firmly refuses to enter this century.

In a time when the Congress is desperate to be seen like it understands this century and the people inhabiting it, what more powerful icon for the urban vote and women's empowerment could it have been than the NORMAL Priyanka Gandhi with sassy hair and her own very confident style? Forget the people, the Congress seems unable to get its leaders out of the bahu-beti-bitiya rut.

The idea of leaders leading seems to have completely passed these jokers by, as they change people from who they are to what the people want to see. Compare this with an Indira Gandhi who had no qualms being photographed smoking or winning a war or declaring emergency. Whether her controversial actions were liked or not is another matter, but she was HERSELF, not pretending to be someone else to give people what they wanted to see. That is why liked or not, she was a LEADER. Which bitiya Priyanka, as a pale ghost haunting the Congress will never be. AND if she succeeds by some miracle, she will be succeeding in endorsing stereotypes of women as they were in the previous century - a setback for women power in a place like UP - for votes.

Brutal defeat in the Delhi Assembly elections had Rahul Gandhi going into a stream of consciousness kind of speech that spanned feelings of immediate defeat in the beginning with intent to do what AAP did toward the end, rambling gracelessly to the point he probably didn't realize that for Congress to do what AAP did, he'd have to let go of the mike first.

Unprecedented for Indian politics, the aftermath of the Delhi Gang Rape had women from the Congress Party complaining to Sonia Gandhi about sexual harassment by politicians in the party, where big headlines were made of Sonia Gandhi's firm resolve that no sexual harassers would be allowed in the Party. Limelight gone, not a thing was done to deliver on this promise.

Rahul Gandhi has spewed endless nonsense about party democracy and moving away from dynastic politics without realizing that it is still him speaking.

And now, as elections approach, you see again the complete incomprehension that people do not want to see dynastic politics. Back comes Priyanka Gandhi, who had asked to be called Priyanka Vadra, but like the changed hair parting, high forehead and sudden interest in curls, I suppose Gandhi sounds better for election time announcements.

There is nothing wrong with this. It is not illegal to be so completely senile that you simply cannot comprehend a changing nation. That you see nothing wrong in reinforcing stereotypes of women bound to dead traditions in a coutry where women are trying desperately to claw their way into an individual identity, just to get votes of people who like to keep things as they were in the past. But if you call yourself a progressive party after this, you are not just retrogressive, you're illiterate to boot.

It is just sad to see a party born before the nation, that fought for independence and led the country through most of its life fear change so much that it would rather go into oblivion worshiping its cliches than risk the change it claims to see the need for at every turn.

Just answer me this. Why isn't Rahul Gandhi dolled up to look like Feroz Gandhi or Nehru?

Join the Intellectual Anarchy!

3 thoughts on “The ghost of Indira Gandhi haunts a stagnant Congress

  1. Kumar

    But is it not **far better** by not going out in front as leaders and getting all the flak from public ? Only the control needs to remain with the dynasty. The actual PM for day to day work can be any loyal person. But the PM must be a really loyal person who is efficient.

    Reply
  2. Monica

    Once police reached Indira Gandhi's house to arrest her. She sought time to change into a white sari purposefully. That incident speaks volume of how leaders work on their clothes which ultimately helps them have a clean image.

    Reply
  3. hemen parekh

    Transforming India

    Here is a PARTIAL list of initiatives that may transform India - if successful

    But let not " Fear of Failure " prevent us from undertaking a " Out of Box " thinking

    In a democracy , people have a right to differ

    Hence , many will not agree - but they must have their say

    In the end , there is only ONE WAY to find what works - and what does not

    BY TRYING OUT !

    MY LIST ( not in order of importance or priority ) :

    > Food Security Bill

    > Connecting 2.5 lakh panchayats thru broadband

    > Aakash Tablets for 220 million students

    > Lokpal Act / Delivery of Services Act ( " Magic Wand " App ? )

    > Bank Transaction Tax / Demonetization of Rs 1000 currency note

    > Aadhar Identification Card

    > Electoral Reforms / Right to Recall ( " VotesApp " mobile App ? )

    > CAG audit of Private Companies using Government resources

    > 4G Wireless Internet all over India

    > Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor

    > Amritsar-Delhi-Kolkata Industrial Corridor

    > Natural Resources Allocation Policy

    > Political Party's Funds under RTI scrutiny

    > Social Media based marketing

    > Liberalization in FDI ( Entire economy - not just retail )

    > Direct Transfer of Subsidies to poor

    > Government funding of Elections

    > Interlinking of Major Rivers

    > " India Post Bank " with 139,040 branches in Rural areas

    > Bank A/C for every adult by 2016

    > Divestment / Closure of loss-making / bleeding PSUs

    > Imparting skills to 500 million youth ( NSDC )

    Here are my own suggestions :

    > BLACK MONEY

    * As incomes climb ( for an individual or for a corporate ), reduce taxation
    rates for each higher slab ( reverse of present system )
    Eliminate incentive for tax - evasion
    Reward honesty / efficiency / productivity

    * Introduce Amnesty Scheme for black money declaration
    No questions asked ( re Source of funds ) for investment in specific
    Infrastructure Bonds , with tax - free interest for 10 years

    > JOBS

    * With ever-increasing mechanization / automation in every sector of
    economy , there is no way , we can create 12 MILLION new jobs ,
    either in Organized or Unorganized sectors , year after year

    Our only hope lies in creating " SELF - EMPLOYMENT "

    To generate massive self - employment , provide generous , low interest
    loans and " Tax Free " income (up to Rs 5 Lakh/ year) for self-employed

    * Create an " Online Job Exchange " to replace 943 existing physical
    Employment Exchanges , with 42 million current registrations

    Call it " GLOBAL-RECRUITER "

    Require ALL job-portals of India , to RSS feed into Global-Recruiter ,

    # Every single job advt posted everyday( including current )
    # Every resume posted everyday ( including current )

    Make these jobs and resumes " searchable " from ALL the job-portals ,
    irrespective of , on which job portal , these were posted

    After matching " JOBS " with " RESUMES " , Global Recruiter to send out
    daily Job - Alerts on the smart phones of the jobseekers , thru a mobile
    App , " MY JOBS " - against which , candidates can apply from mobile

    Make it mandatory for every Smart phone and Tablet sold ( or given away
    free ) in India , to pre-install " My Jobs " App

    And , most certainly , those 9 million Aakash - 4 tablets for which tender
    opens on 28th Jan 2014

    Will Narendra Modi / Rahul Gandhi / Arvind Kejriwal etc , incorporate these , in their poll manifestos for April 2014 election ?

    * hemen parekh ( 15 Jan 2014 / Mumbai )

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.