A few days back when Mr Gandhi accused Modi of handing over Rs. 30,000 crore of defence forces to Anil Ambani, in the same breath, he also followed it up with a statement “Friends in the Air Force, the same amount could be given to you when you (pilots) die in a plane crash.” To many, this came across as outrageous and insensitive. There was a furore on social media at such a statement from Rahul Gandhi. To raise the morbid spectre of death right in the soldier’s face and then to picturise some monetary reward for it, many felt, is grotesquely cruel and downright inhumane. We already know how Congress has for years blocked the modernisation of our defence forces.
However, this is not the first time that the President of the Congress party has been accused of being insensitive. In other words, this is not the sole incident depicting the ‘soul-lessness’ of the prince of the Congress party.
To a question on 1984 riots at an event in the UK Parliament in August last year, Mr Gandhi had made the most bizarrely ridiculous statement “You say that the Congress party was involved in that, I don’t agree with that.” On a tragedy of monumental proportions orchestrated by none other than the then party in power when nearly 3,000 Sikhs were killed, which was confirmed and reported widely across the world, to say that Congress wasn’t involved is to add insult to the long-inflicted injury on the Sikh community. When a similar question was posed to Mr Gandhi at an event at the University of Berkeley in September 2017 by a student: “Why are certain politicians like Kamal Nath, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar being shielded by the Congress?”, Mr Gandhi had calmly avoided it.
Who can forget his infamous theorising or rather philosophising on poverty in 2013. At an event in Allahabad, Mr Gandhi had defined poverty as “…just a state of mind. It does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things. If one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty.” For the scion of the party which has ruled for more than 50 years in this country, to define poverty as a state of mind is despicably insensitive and remote from reality. Contrary to what Mr Gandhi said, the poor aren’t poor due to a state of mind they choose or due to lack of self confidence. It is because ‘Garibi Hatao’ has failed for decades now, despite being an electorally productive slogan for the Congress, that the poor are reduced to this ‘state of mind’.
To analogise death to monetary reward and that too for the soldiers for this country, or philosophise poverty from a position of power and privilege as a mere ‘state of mind’ while it is a lived reality for millions, does not come across as correct, let alone sensitive.
As we have documented in our earlier article Rahul Gandhi’s Limitless Fall, Rahul Gandhi has used his visit to ailing Goa CM Manohar Parrikar for playing politics over Rafale. The whole episode appeared as if Rahul Gandhi went on to visit Manohar Parrikar, not for courtesy sake or to wish him well but to create an alibi that “I (Rahul Gandhi) was there and spoke (Manohar Parrikar) to him and Goa CM revealed me the truth on Rafale.”