Perched between the forties that are behind and the fifties that beckon, surely Rahul knows what he wants.

Waiting Waiting What Rahul Gandhi Stalin and Prince Charles have in common
news Wednesday, September 09, 2015 - 20:20


Prince Charles, Stalin (the Tamil politician and not the Russian one) and Rahul Gandhi have something in common - almost. Stalin’s appa and DMK strongman Muthuvel Karunanidhi is 91-years old and very much in command. The Karunanidhis manage to remain in the news by hook or by crook.

Queen Elizabeth just became the longest-reigning monarch in Britain’s history beating her great grand mother Queen Victoria who sat on the throne for 63 years and seven months.  The sun has long set on the son’s receding hairline and by all indications, neither he nor his wife want to go beyond ribbon-cutting events.

As for mamma Sonia Gandhi who is also called the high-command of the Congress party, it appears to be the other way round.  Figlio ji (puttar ji) is neither emerging nor eclipsing and this makes him daily news even when he is absent. It also makes permanent courtiers-in-waiting of some of the best minds in the Congress party that has governed India for more than 60 years. Wouldn’t have mattered much, the other palace guards we mean, except that the party is very much in need of new thinking and new energy. A communication or media strategy cannot help sell what is inert.

In the case of Prince Charles, where he sits or stands doesn’t really matter and as far as Stalin is concerned, he has been standing next to his father, but closely indicating that he is ready to pounce on the seat anytime. But obviously jittery about how his offer may be taken, he also keeps repeating like a parrot, “Kalaignar will be next CM.’

That permanent smile on his face could also be a smirk.

Figlio ji’s flights in and out of the country and whistle-stop speeches through India keeps the film rolling, but once the show has passed, it is back to boredom. There’s a deeper problem. Palace intrigues have only contributed to the confusion that nobody knows anything, which, in simple language means the blind leading the blind.  For years we have been hearing that Figlio ji will be elevated and then more elevated, and then even more elevated which gives one group of Indians vertigo while others wonder how he would look in a spaceship.

Cartoon by KN Balraj

Cannot be easy, that much we agree. Recent reports say if he takes over the Congress party, it will split. Maybe that is a good thing. We can then tell chalk from cheese or milk from water as a saying in Hindi goes.

The waiting, waiting is not only tiresome, it also makes figlio ji, the man who could once lead India look ridiculous. Perched between the forties that are behind and the fifties that beckon, surely he knows what he wants.  If not, all the jibes and cartoons and some very unkind remarks will begin to look increasingly real.