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Ram Jethmalani is a senior politician and eminent lawyer.

Final solution: Disaster named Rahul

Khurshid stated the sordid truth by highlighting that Rahul has failed to provide ‘ideological direction’.

Rahul Gandhi leaves after the filing of nomination papers by UPA’s Vice Presidential candidate Hamid Ansari at Parliament House in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

he theatre of the absurd around Rahul Gandhi is stretching itself so intensely that even the cliché is breaking down. The theatrics have started again with breakneck speed. The same dramatis personae, the same sequences, the same denials, but this time the finale appears full of possibilities.

I am talking about the periodic Rahul alerts, directed, I presume towards the sitting and notional Prime Minister. Since the last four years or so, the nation has witnessed what appears to be a determined and orchestrated campaign by Sonia Gandhi and her dedicated sycophants and mouthpieces, such as Digvijay Singh, Salman Khurshid, Janardan Dwivedi, to build up a sustained momentum of pressure within the Congress party and government to get Rahul Gandhi closer to the Prime Ministerial throne of India.

I say throne, because that is how the nouveau royale of the Nehru-Gandhi-Maino famiglia perceive themselves in India. They cannot, for obvious reasons, claim this privilege among the nobility in Europe, even Italian. So India, with its white worship, is the best bet to fantasize and propagate their illusory royalty. And the trained and tested sycophants in our country, adept at this skill for centuries, do everything possible to reaffirm their fantasy, while extracting their own pound of flesh in the transaction.

Spare us, oh, please spare us from having to endure the repetitiveness and boredom of the stale old script inflicted upon us for the last four years. It predictably runs like this. First, the privileged and specially anointed sycophants/mouthpieces articulate to some branch of the media that Rahul Gandhi must move closer to the Big Chair. Then there is a farcical scolding meted to these sycophants by some other chosen spokespersons of the Congress, who state their disassociation from the remarks, and pretend to distance the party from them. Oftentimes, as witnessed during the last four years, these periodic alerts are followed by the Prime Minister stating in his most gratuitous tone that the time is indeed ripe for Rahul Gandhi to move into higher political responsibilities. And then, the curtain falls to get the props ready for the next act.

This time the script had a slight difference. To begin with, Salman Khurshid, the Anglicised and Oxford educated Law Minister, uttered some strange language. One would not only expect him to have considerable mastery over English vocabulary and its appropriate usage, but would also expect him to know the comfort levels of English that the aam politician can absorb with clarity, instead of hurling mysterious metaphors or complex words of Italian origin. He stated that the root of the problems plaguing the Congress was the lack of "ideological direction" from its next generation leader Rahul Gandhi. "Until now," he said, "we have only seen cameos of his thought and ideas like democratising elections to the Youth Congress. But he has not weaved all of this into a grand announcement. This is a period of waiting." He continued that "we need a new ideology to meet contemporary challenges ... to be given by our next generation leader Rahul Gandhi to move forward. We have to be clear about what we want to go ahead with in the next elections... The fact is that he is undoubtedly and unquestionably the number two leader in the party. Yet he has not taken up the mantle or accepted a functional responsibility. He is so far not willing to accept the number two position. In such a situation, we have to wait. This is a waiting time." He continued with rather supercilious judgment, which undoubtedly must have had the right blessings, that "In UPA II, governance and politics have all got intermingled. The political props have got mixed up. It's a scattered situation. The stage has to be set up again and only the Congress president can do it. She is the one who has the stature. The Prime Minister can then run the government, but he cannot set the stage."

Bravo, Mr Khurshid, you've explained it all to us with complete honesty — all that is contradictory and dysfunctional in your government leading it to nowhere, as well as your sycophancy and your slavishness to dynastic rule. You don't need an Opposition to tear you down. You've done it yourself. You can say whatever you like to deny your statements, that you were quoted out of context, or that they were misquoted — two tired clichés that have also become an integral part of the theatre of the absurd — but you have stated the sordid truth.

I realise that you got trapped in your use of the rather pretentious word "cameo", and had to spend considerable time to wriggle out of it before your own party and the media. The dictionary suggests that the word "cameo" has several meanings, namely, a medallion, as on a brooch or ring, with a profile head carver in relief (you couldn't have meant this); or a single brief dramatic scene played by a well known actor in a film or TV show (did you mean this?); or a short literary work or dramatic sketch (not likely that you meant this). It also says that "cameo" is from Italian "cameo", of uncertain origin (surely, you couldn't have meant this).

Anyhow, this time the Prime Minister, a significant dramatis persona in this theatre of the absurd, has not yet spoken his usual script, that he is waiting anxiously for Rahul to join the government, words that have the unmistakable and sinister overtones of the classic children's poem, "Will you walk into my parlour, said the spider to the fly." This time it was Rahul's mother Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Congress, with her nouveau royale fantasies who spoke out and enlightened our country that Rahul Gandhi alone will decide on whether he will play a larger role in the party. Digvijay Singh, who had retreated into the wilderness for a while after the great UP dream was shattered, decided that he must not be beaten by Salman Khurshid at what was hitherto his monopoly. He made it a point to pipe up and say, "I am absolutely sure that Rahul will play a much more proactive role in mainstream of Congress party. Let the Presidential and Vice Presidential polls get over."

Mr Khurshid, you are a wealthy gentleman and a fairly successful member of the Bar. Why are you trying to surpass Digvijay Singh in this squalid competition of sycophancy? I feel ashamed of you.

And finally, the failed prince has reiterated on 19 July, that he would "play (a) more proactive role in the party and the government. The decision has been taken, the timing is up to the leadership." The dying Congress party has found its Final Solution, but the Prime

Minister has not yet spoken. In my next piece, I will discuss Rahul's qualifications for his hereditary entitlement to being India's Prime Minister.

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