Sometime back Rahul Gandhi the gen-next politician from the Gandhi kin started with his ‘Discovery of India’ voyage. The day he began with his journey the media and the political circle began their scrutinizing and in no time it became talk of the tinsel-town. From political pundits to columnists, from blogs to newspapers everyone talked about his trip and they found the whole exercise pointless.
For some it was waste of time and energy, for others a just a publicity gimmick. Some called it political rallies and some a desperate measure to woo back congress’s lost vote banks. Some bright minds even came up with the suggestion to read his great grandfathers book ‘Discovery of India’ and save his time and energy. Still he continued with the trip and every other day he was giving security personnel a skip to meet people personally. He spent nights at the house of poor, he gave speeches, he talked about the problems of backward classes, he criticised the failed policies of state governments and off course about the welfare steps of centre. He was all over the media and sent many ripples throughout the entire political circle and everyone was apprehensive about the trip especially the BSP supremo who openly ridiculed discovery of India.
Personally speaking am not sure about the political skills and capabilities of the Gandhi family’s latest offering. Looking at his small and uneventful political career the only quality or extraordinary thing which he posses is the name Gandhi. Except it, till date I have not seen even a glimpse of a great leader. Leaving the political skills aside, then on the personal intelligent level also the man has not shown anything out of the box. Setting up on a voyage that is not making any sense to most of the people might strengthen this belief. But in my opinion this is the only step till date by Mr. Gandhi which I found as a smart move.
When Rahul Gandhi began his discovery trip, people said why an Indian needs to discover India? Foreigners do this. Is Mr. Gandhi foreigner to his own country, how things are done here and what are its evil ways? Will this help him to become a better leader? Then history says all the great leaders at some point or the other have done discovery of India.
In the entire history of Indian politics there are only two leaders whom I appreciate, one Mahatma Gandhi and the other Mr. Advani. Till date Mahatma Gandhi has been the only true mass leader. His acceptability among the masses was immense and his potential unmatched. To some extent even the man himself was unaware of his huge following and respect which he enjoyed among the masses. The day Mahatma Gandhi stepped in India the first thing he did before getting into Indian freedom movement was a trip around the country. Discovery of India was the first and the foremost thing on his agenda, and I believe the most important step in shaping his political moves and career.
The other person Mr. Advani may not be the leader to match the stature of Mahatma Gandhi, but he is a politician par excellence. He is the only person who understands his politics and his every move has many meanings than anyone can interpret. He might not be enjoying a mass following like many other political leaders. He might not be having a very good image in the eyes of the media and he might appear to be communal in nature to many. But like Mahatma Gandhi gave an altogether new direction to congress, this man provided the country with an alternative to congress. If the credit for BJP’s rise can be given to anyone than undoubtedly it is Mr. Advani. The day this man began rising in the political arena and started giving others a run for their money was only after his famous first ‘Rath Yatra’. This ‘Rath Yatra’ was nothing but discovery of India.
In his memoir ‘My country My life’ also Mr. Advani has said ‘for a genuine mass contact programme, there is nothing better for a political leader than a road journey. It enabled me to talk to the people, meet them, and establish that special emotional connection which is the soul of democracy.’
Whosoever advised Mr. Rahul Gandhi to set up on this trip or if this was his own decision, undoubtedly it will help him to evolve not only as a politician but as a person too. The extent to which he can tap the advantage of this discovery trip totally depends on his personal intelligence and capabilities. Although no matter how much political benefits he will be able to reap from it, it will surely make him a wiser politician, better leader and an able administrator.