Kurta–Pyjama Versus Suit-Boot
The desperation shows. The Gandhis have lost unbridled power that they had without any accountability. Now for 16 months they have been out of power. The sycophants somehow rant they did not lose, victory was snatched from them. And the villain was Narendra Modi. A mere tea seller daring to snatch their birth right to rule India! Their language remains the same, they used while in power. The other day when Sushma Swaraj was attacking the Gandhis she read out a tweet from Lalit Modi saying he was asked to go to Italy and meet Sonia’s sister. Things were settled with her, alleged Modi. Hearing about settlement with her sister, the usually impassive and cool Sonia rushed in the well and shouted, she would not allow such allegation.
Just note the words, she ‘Would’ not allow it. Royal genes linger for long. Margaret Thatcher after over a decade tenancy of 10, Downing Street had got so used to living there that she often told her driver to turn into the gates of 10 Downing Street. So if Sonia considers herself royal we cannot fault her. But this explains the aggression with which Rahul Gandhi has been attacking and abusing Modi.
Recall during the election campaign in 2014 Rahul said if Modi was elected 22000 would be killed. How did he reach that number one has no idea, nor possibly Rahul himself? But poor Pappu, much derided, has at least proved the Bard, William Shakespeare wrong. He said what’s in a name which must have made Rahul laugh. It’s his name which has made him prime minister in-waiting.
And the right to assess performance of Modi government in its first year and he dared to give him zero. It was blasphemous but Rahul Baba since his mysterious sabbatical, in his aggressiveness, has often crossed the line of decency. But one thing in which he has been consistent is that he has never talked about policies, his own ideas of what he wants to do about the country and the people. So that people could have learnt what a failure Modi has been. Whether people believed him or not is very difficult to say, but on the disruption of Parliament 80 per cent voted against such a tactic of Rahul.
He has now found, possibly on the advice of a practical joker or one who wants Rahul to look like a joker that the route to power is through one’s wardrobe. Rahul Baba believes that kurta-pyjama is in fact government of the people. This is what he has been telling his constituents in Amethi. We say more power to his political philosophy. But Shakespeare could never think of all this, possibly because he did not have the IQ of Baba Rahul.
The other day Rahul told villagers in Amethi, “We want your sarkar. Shirt ki sarkar, chappal ki sarkar, kurta-pajama ki sarkar. And we will show it to you.” Well, his government of shirts, kurtas and bush-shirts for 10 years had shown that with such desi attire one can scam worth over lakhs of crores. No one can believe that in such clothes they can stuff so much money. Most of the Janata does not know that such money has special route to foreign banks like Credit Swiss.
Rahul Baba’s brain has seemingly not kept growth with his age or his guile is hidden behind his safed kurta pyjama. He might not know that there was a phase when Congress men stopped wearing Gandhi Topi because people would taunt those who wore it and called them chor. And it’s rather condescending to think the villagers of Amethi do not know it. Some of the elders could have shouted at topiwallahs.
On Land Acquisition Bill
“It took us two years to get the land bill and the NDA govt murdered the bill in a few days. Nobody (in the government) cares about the poor or the farmers. They will just go and take away land. You have said there’s no need for social impact assessment. We asked for one.. to know how it will impact farmers.. how they will be affected but you say there is no need for it,” he said.
“The government is in a hurry to get this bill passed. Someone filed an RTI to find out how many projects are pending due to land issues. Your own Finance Ministry has said eight. Only eight. There is no shortage of land with the government then why do you want to grab more?”
“Land is not acquired in Bundelkand or Rajasthan. They want places near cities.. near Noida. There’s gold under your feet and these people (govt) want to steal it from you.”
“This government is anti-farmer, anti-poor. This is a ‘suit-boot ki sarkar’. At one time leaders like Advaniji and Sushmaji were standing where I am right now and they said the same things I was saying. Now they are on the other side and I wonder what has changed.”
Warning the government of not going ahead with the proposed legislation, Rahul said: “We will take to the streets if you go ahead with the new bill. This ‘suit-boot ka kaam’ will not go on. I was told that robbers come in at midnight, silently jump through the window… but the biggest thieves come during the day… and they come wearing a suit.”
On Net neutrality
“Over 1 million people are fighting for net neutrality. Like they are snatching land from farmers, they are taking away the rights of internet users. They did not answer my question, just gave a roundabout answer.”
On FTII Crisis
“This is just not about you; it is happening across the country. A person who is mediocre has been put on top of people who don’t want to be mediocre. The RSS and its wings promote mediocrity. I have seen this everywhere.”
On Sushma in Lalitgate
There are many people who do humanitarian work, but Sushma Swaraj is the first such person who does so silently. I want to ask Sushmaji only one question, how much money she and her family received from Lalit Modi. How much money has she received to save the symbol of black money and why she helped him on the sly.
Today, he (PM) does not have the guts to sit in the chair and answer our questions. He does not have the guts to face us. These people are not showing you the right way. These people are harming your interests. You should speak out as the country wants to hear you. Maine inse chunaav haara, par lagaa bande mein dum hai…lekin ab lagta hai bande mein damm nahi hai.”
“Before the elections, Modi ji went to Haryana, Punjab, and said OROP will be done immediately when they will come to power. It has been one year now. The soldiers are crying and threatening to launch an agitation. They are asking the government to disclose as to when the OROP would be implemented…..Modi ji says I am busy doing yoga, ask me later.”
“Had the food park been set up, it would have changed the fate of farmers. By cancelling it, the Modi government has dealt a blow to farmers. He has snatched it from them and not from me. We will put pressure on the government to get it back.The PM went to the US, Canada, China and Mongolia, but has not visited the houses of hailstorm-hit farmers.”
“The move of BJP-led government has affected farmers and labourers of Amethi and 10 neighbouring districts. The Centre wanted to take revenge from me, but the move has affected farmers. If we talk of farmers and labourers, I will give zero out of 10 (to the Modi government)… (But) if some industrialists and corporate houses are concerned, I will give 10 out of 10.”
But then Bhaiya is seemingly busy abusing Narendra Modi and he has no time for what he might have heard is known as History. Hasn’t Rahul seen his father in a Jodhpuri suit? Hasn’t he seen pictures of Panditji in Sherwani and three-piece suit? They often wore these dresses. In fact the villagers of Amethi would tell they do not remember seeing Panditji in a kurta Pyjama. Even CPN Singh and Kishore Deo in Manmohan Singh cabinet wore Jodhpuri. Pranab Mukherjee also wore bandhgala jackets. True, Rahul wears kurta pyjama, if he takes a jhola he would be perfect commie, passing off as a journalist. But his three-in-one incarnation, could not help scams worth hundreds of lakhs crores. Either Rahul should concede what he is trying to do is to showcase the Congress as the party that is pro-poor, which has always been the Congress’ professed mantra, whether they have lived up to it or not. That means, he needs to paint the BJP as the party in the pocket of industrialists. Clothes, he hopes, can become a handy symbol for different ideology (ies).
Narendra Modi offered him a golden opportunity to do that by wearing the infamous uber expensive Modi-nama suit. It made him the butt of social media jokes. Rahul, usually not known for great political astuteness or having even average IQ started hammering away at the “suit boot sarkar” without realising that it will be of no use politically. Elections are far away. In fact it gave Modi an opportunity to make amends. Modi also has done a rhetorical course correction. His Independence Day speech said Reuters “sought to shed an image that he governs for big business, vowing to help the poor and create jobs.”
In 2014, when he first addressed the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Modi used the word “poor” 18 times in his speech. In 2015, it popped up 42 times. And he unequivocally stated off the bat “there is only one mandate of this ‘Team India’ and that is all our schemes, all our systems should benefit the poor of this country.”
Rahul’s problem however is that he’s hanging onto the lapels of that one suit-boot quip for his dear life. But he is mistaking a clothesline for a lifeline and runs into the danger of it boomeranging on him because all quips, like clothes, eventually wear thin from overuse, will boomerang.
“Suit-Boot” is not necessarily viewed with unremitting suspicion in the country. Many want their children to get a “suit-boot” job and sacrifice enormously to get them that opportunity. So the repeated taunt suit-boot ki sarkar will not have the kind of effect on the voter as Rahul expects.
Voter wants to know policies for development of the country and those which create opportunities for jobs.
In the end, neither a kurta pajama nor a safari suit mean that much because what Rahul Gandhi really needs to persuade voters, when it comes to Modi, is that his suit-boot sarkar is of the capitalists. This is an almost impossible task.
Many other facilities are also planned, like subsidising the third crop of vegetables and fruit. So suit-boot ki sarkar is doing much more than the pseudo desi. In Amethi Gandhi had a very small gathering which should have made him understand that people were not interested in whatever he might say. But anyway he went ahead, “They have changed the parameters to measure GDP growth and it is being questioned.”
Referring to the prime minister’s latest announcement of a Rs.1.25 lakh crore Bihar package for changing the face of Bihar, Gandhi said the prime minister moves from one promise to another. “Modiji speaks, people listen and he moves on to the next promise.” He said the prime minister thinks the world lives on dreams but people shed their sweat to earn a living. “A kind of joke is being made… They are not giving respect to people.” Gandhi said if the government makes any move to exert pressure on farmers and labourers, the Congress would oppose it. “If they take a step ahead, we will force them to retrace by two steps.”
Gandhi recently led the Congress attack on the government during the washed out monsoon session of parliament.
The Congress had pressed for resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over their alleged help to former IPL chief Lalit Modi, who is facing Enforc-ement Directorate investigations. The party also pressed for resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the Vyapam scam.
At his constituency Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again by repeating his “suit-boot ki sarkar” jibe against the government and promising a “kurta pyjama sarkar” that will meet the aspirations of the common man. Interacting with people in villages, he accused the Modi government of working for the benefit of just “five-ten” individuals. “I want you to fight this battle in Uttar Pradesh and the rest of the country. This government is not of just five-six people, not of Modiji’s friends. This is our government, of farmers, labourers, youth, women,” he said.
Mr Gandhi said the Congress would bring pressure on the Modi government to fulfill all its election promises, including the one to bring back black money from abroad and deposit Rs 15 lakh in each Indian’s bank account and about providing jobs to the youth. “Does anyone here wear a suit and boot?” he asked and went on to say that people who wore suits and boots were seen in places like Delhi. “We want the government to be yours, of people who wear shirts, chappals, a kurta-pyjama sarkar,” he quipped. Mr Gandhi recalled Mr Modi’s pre-poll promise on implementing one rank,one pension for ex-servicemen. “Now, he is silent on the issue and ex-servicemen are sitting on a hunger strike in Delhi. They want the Prime Minister to listen to them,” he said. Mr Gandhi said the Prime Minister only made speeches and there was no action on the ground. “He will continue to speak and, because the government is elected for five years, we will have to keep listening to him for another four years,” he added.
But Amethi people know agricultural sector is in focus of Modi. Over 50 lakh crore has been allotted for improving irrigation which will help produce three crops. The Public Distribution system is being improved and now state would be the buyer. This means elimination of middle-men who cheat farmers and cause huge losses to them.
Many other facilities are also planned, like subsidising the third crop of vegetables and fruit. So suit-boot ki sarkar is doing much more than the pseudo desi.
Sartorial preferences would thus not help Rahul. He can hang all sorts in his wardrobe. What will win him power if he builds enough trust in the people that he can deliver on his promises. Rahulji start by making people believe you. Word of caution; It needs a bit of IQ.
By Vijay Dutt