Rahul Gandhi is like a student ‘eager to impress the teacher’
Politicians can be a pain when in office and can be bigger pain when not. And the former US president Barack Obama is a bigger, a lot bigger pain for Rahul Gandhi right now. Rahul Gandhi, who is yet to succeed in his political avatar, did not need this favour from Barack Obama, but he did. Barack Obama described the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as having a “nervous, unformed quality” about him, “like a student eager to impress the teacher but lacking aptitude and passion to master the subject.”
Writing about India and Rahula Gandhi in his memoir ‘A Promised Land’, Obama has penned his impressions of several American and world leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Vladimir Putin. Of all Rahul Gandhi got the harshest of treatment about whom Obama says he (Rahul) has “a nervous, unformed quality about him, as if he were a student who’d done the coursework and was eager to impress the teacher but deep down lacked either the aptitude or the passion to master the subject.”
This has made Rahul Gandhi a super political capital for the opposition in India and Congress haters all over the world. And the Congress party and the Gandhi family has a long fight on the hand to earn political capital for their unsaleable’ political face who has made an art form of travelling in reverse gear each election.
Unsurprisingly, the Congress party leaders and their Coalition partners (the NCP and Shiv Sena in Maharshtra) have been dismissive of the comments.
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, to dismiss the comments questioned Barack Obama’s knowledge about India and said that a foreign politician cannot give such opinions on Indian political leaders.
“A foreign politician cannot give such opinions on Indian political leaders. The subsequent domestic political discourse on Obama’s remark on the Congress leader is distasteful. We won’t say ‘Trump is mad’. How much does Obama know about this nation?” Sanjay Raut said.
Congress leader Tariq Anwar said “Obama and Rahul Gandhi must have met briefly, probably 8-10 years ago when he came to India as US President. To assess someone in few meetings is tough. Rahul Gandhi’s personality has changed since then, he has gained a lot of experience.”
Taking a different line of attack, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted: “… we don’t comment on individual’s views in a book. In the past, a leader has been called ‘psychopath’ and ‘master divider’ by people and agencies. We didn’t acknowledge such comments.”
Surjewala was referring to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “psychopath” in 2015. Last year, the Time magazine had described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as India’s “divider in chief” on the cover of its May 20 issue. The article was written by Tavleen Singh’s son Aatish Taseer fathered by Pakistani politician and businessman Salmaan Taseer without marriage.
To be fair to Rahul Gandhi, Barack Obama’s comment cannot be taken as considered opinion as they hardly dealt with each other. His fleeting reflection is confirmed when he writes equally meaningless gibberish about Soni Gandhi.
On Sonia Gandhi, the memoir says how “we are told of the handsomeness of men like Charlie Crist and Rahm Emanuel, but not the beauty of women, except for one or two instances, as in the case of Sonia Gandhi.”
If the comment has any merit or message , it is for Shashi Tharoor – pleading for a deep, long hard and analytical introspection for his political future if he has to stay loyal to the sycophantic, dynastic and politically bankrupt party he is part of.