Justice Markandey Katju: Rahul Gandhi’s speech in Indian Parliament

Justice Markandey Katju

By Justice Markandey Katju–

(Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own)

Rahul Gandhi’s recent speech in Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Indian Parliament) during the No-Confidence Motion proceedings on Manipur is being hailed by some as historic, as if it were a speech of Demosthenes, Cicero, Daniel Webster, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, or Martin Luther King, Jr.

In his speech Rahul talked a lot about his Bharat Jodo Yatra or Unite India March (complete coverage), which was irrelevant since the No- Confidence Motion pertained only to Manipur. I have earlier written about this Yatra and called it a gimmick.

Rahul then launched a furious and vociferous diatribe against the BJP government, accusing it of murdering India, and denouncing Prime Minister Modi as a traitor, a Ravan (the demon king of Lanka whom Lord Ram killed), who burnt his own kingdom by his ahankaar (conceit), and one who has thrown kerosene throughout India.

The motion of no confidence related to events in the state of Manipur. Therefore, so instead of devoting most of his time speaking on his Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul should have utilized it in giving hard facts and figures relating to the Manipur ethnic violence.

He should have spoken on how the Meitei-Kuki conflict originated, how it developed, what is the situation on the ground, and how it can be resolved.

Instead, he indulged in grandstanding; first, he did self-praise, mentioning how he walked from Kanyakumari in the south to Kashmir in the north, despite acute pain in his knee and enduring other hardships. He then said INDIA (the new coalition of opposition parties) was a voice (whatever that meant) for which he was prepared to give his life.

Finally, he launched his diatribe against Modi. And having ended his speech, he immediately walked out, like Pontius Pilate who said “What is truth?” and would not wait for a reply.

What was Rahul Gandhi’s real purpose in giving this speech? One can only speculate, but these points occur to me:

  • Rahul’s aim is to become the leader of the Opposition, not just a mere member of the Opposition alliance INDIA (which has recently been formed), so that he can later become the next Prime Minister of India
  • He wants the Muslim vote bank, which is particularly large in north India, and he wants it desperately in the forthcoming 2024 parliamentary elections.

I am no supporter of the BJP (in fact, I have often strongly criticized it for its communal politics), but Rahul Gandhi seems to me to be an empty-headed brat, who has no idea how to solve India’s massive socio-economic problems, but in whose head has been instilled the idea that he is the legitimate and rightful claimant to the throne of India as he belongs to the ruling dynasty.

He reminds me of that other clown, The Young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and I am inclined to believe he will have a similar fate as that other buffoon.

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