Ever since Rahul Gandhi has got the whiff of Rafale deal, he has been going nonstop. He has alleged involvement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rafale deal corruption.
Indian Media which thrives on allegations has given enough and more coverage to these accusations. Rahul Gandhi has come up with a slogan “Chowkidaar Chor Hai”.
Even after all these, he does not seem to be making any headway with the general public. Yet, he refuses to let go of Rafale deal charges on Narendra Modi.
India is facing a lot many issues – jobs, rural distress, agrarian crisis etc. Narendra Modi has many chinks in his armour. Yet, Rahul Gandhi, apart from passing mention to these topics, comes back to Rafale as his main weapon.
What could be the reasons?
Mera Baap Chor Hai
Rahul Gandhi was 19 years when VP Singh toppled Rajiv Gandhi with Bofors scam allegations in 1989. It would have been itched in his mind that his father lost the elections due to these corruption accusations.
Rahul Gandhi knows that Indians, at large, remembers Rajiv Gandhi the most for his connection to Bofors scam. Rafale accusations give him the opportunity to paint someone else – Narendra Modi, also the most hated figure for him, with similar accusations.
He knows that he will never be able to clear his father’s image in public memory. How to rectify the situation? Sully someone else. So that everyone becomes equal in Indian politics. So that nobody brings up Bofors anymore with reference to Rajiv Gandhi.
Seemingly to Rahul Gandhi, Rafale deal allegations is the sure-shot way in which he can clear the name of his father and the blot that the Gandhi family carries.
The mistaken belief that Indian public still cares about corruption
In 2014, Narendra Modi made some noise about getting back black money that is stashed abroad to India. He undertook demonetization to drive out black money and understood the learnings. Arvind Kejriwal made a career out of fighting corruption and became a Chief Minister, though not sure how much the things improved in reality. The voters do not even remember any of these in 2019.
The fact is that Indians have accepted corruption as a way of life. Even for Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya, the classified scamsters, the maximum that Indians care for is about a shrug of shoulders and some memes.
Corruption is not a rallying point for Indians anymore, the way it was in 1989. Just that, Rahul Gandhi is still under the delusion that corruption charges will get the blood of the Indians boiling in 2019.
Narendra Modi and corruption charges do not go together
There is certain imagery of corrupt individuals – lifestyle, conduct, belongings, foreign holidays, family connections, the family itself etc. Unfortunately for Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi does not fit any of the stereotypes of the corrupt individual, leave aside a corrupt Indian politician.
Apart from Rafale scam claims, Rahul Gandhi has to show some trail of illegitimate gratifications received by Narendra Modi. He has none.
In absence of the above two and the decades of his public lifestyle, there is one thing that Narendra Modi gets absolved of, undoubtedly, is corruption charges.
Rahul Gandhi’s understanding of other critical issues
To raise issues of jobs, rural distress, farmers’ plight etc there is some homework required, some granularity, some application, some serious thoughts. Whereas, making allegations is a fun task.
It goes on to show how and where Rahul Gandhi’s awareness and preferences are with his persistent Rafale accusations.
A bloated ego to admit that you are barking up the wrong tree
Even after investing so much of time and efforts by Rahul Gandhi, Rafale deal accusations are not generating any traction with the general public. Yet, he marches on none the less. The left-liberal elite and media are also in its own bubble that by repeating Rafale slander, they can contribute to the downfall of Narendra Modi.
These people are supposed to have their ears to the ground and know the pulse of the citizenry. Yet, they continue in their own ivory towers unable to see the reality on the ground.
Rahul Gandhi is going to continue with his Rafale rant. After all, emotions trump logic.
And the emotion that he is trying to overcome is “Mera Baap Chor Hai”, apart from other assorted reasons.