Rahul Gandhi - Reinvented
I live in Chennai, a massive city in the south of India. My state Tamilnadu is of the size of Germany. It is comparable to many small Scandinavian or European countries in terms of social and human development indicators. Even though we are part of India, the south and north are utterly different in economic and social development. In many ways, I am more concerned and interested in the Chief Minister of my state, than the Prime Minister of the country.
I am not a separatist voicing out a USDR (United State of Dravidian Republic) like Catalonia is asking from Spain. I am just stating that the central government of India has a lesser influence on the development of Tamilnadu compared to the state government. But because of the constitution of India, the need to vote for a member for Indian Parliament, more importantly, to know how many South Indians are in the Ministry or how many new trains are introduced in South India, I am curious about central government — just kidding 😜.
Our current PM Narendra Modi is from the right wing party came to power in the promise of growth. Growth, the magic term that entices all business and people yearning for a change. But his government, IMO, is a disaster in many fronts. That is not my point today. During the last election, Modi smashed the opposition party, which was led by Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul was naive and made a comic of himself by fumbling with his public relations. Modi was a master of optics and managing perceptions. But in just five years, Rahul, who got mocked as Pappu, has learnt the tropes. Not being a great administrator, but being astute in managing his public image.
In a recent public interaction with college students in Chennai, Rahul shows that he has come of age in the politics of India. Shrewdly allying himself with strategic political parties in other states, a good team to manage his social media and the public perception he is ready for the election battle in 2019.
He has a consistent and extremely reachable message to the public. Bashing the easy targets like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, he says that he is against crony capitalism. When asked about Robert Vadra, he calmly replies but in a Trump-style diversion, talks about Modi's corruption in Rafale and defending with Ambanis.
When asked about Kashmir, with so much of balance, he trumpets about the Manmohan Singh government's action in the valley. Smartly invokes that he is a part-Kashmiri.
When asked about why he hugged the PM Modi, he suavely replies saying he spreads the message of love, inverts the perception of his idiot image on its head and deftly portrays Modi as a monster.
Yes, I think, he is ready to take on the public battle with Modi this year. Last time Modi and Amit Shah were the experts in managing the perception. This year, we have Rahul to giving them good competition. I am going to enjoy this election with popcorn because unlike last time; this is going to be a fun one.