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I sleep on Rahul’s charpoy. I am safe

The ultimate insider calls for sweeping changes to the system—could anything be more exciting?
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First Published: Thu, Jan 24 2013. 02 37 PM IST
When Rahulji spoke about power, he almost brought tears to my eyes. ‘Power is actually a poison,’ he said. Photo: HT
When Rahulji spoke about power, he almost brought tears to my eyes. ‘Power is actually a poison,’ he said. Photo: HT
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Updated: Thu, Jan 24 2013. 08 03 PM IST
I have been a Congress worker ever since Rahul Gandhiji spent a night at my aunt’s mother-in-law’s nephew’s co-brother’s home.
However, I was not able to attend the party’s Jaipur Chintan Shivir, since our family was at that time being evicted from our ancestral land in Haryana by a very large builder who said he had bought our entire taluka from Rahulji’s close relative. He was obviously lying, but the police and other officials would not listen to us. We even went to the opposition people, but they told us that their leader had been sentenced to 10 years in jail for some scam, and were all joining the Congress now.
So I am temporarily staying at my aunt’s mother-in-law’s nephew’s co-brother’s home, and sleeping on the same charpoy that Rahulji slept on. And I heard on the TV in the local Congress politician’s home (I couldn’t see because I was only allowed to stand outside and listen, since the politician is from a higher caste) that senior leaders wept when they heard Rahulji’s speech. So I went to a cybercafe with my PhD uncle, whom no one in the village speaks with, and downloaded Rahulji’s speech. I know Rahulji won’t read this, but I would like to say something here. I have never seen a cybercafe where they ask my caste, but now people tell me that sitting here for long is not safe from government action, especially if you have a sense of humour. But I don’t have a sense of humour. I read so many jokes on Facebook about Rahulji, and don’t find them funny. I am safe. I sleep on Rahulji’s charpoy.
He spoke about how the Congress stands for every Indian, whatever caste or religion (which is true, it doesn’t care, as long as we vote for it). He said the Congress did the glorious bank nationalization (at which my uncle, whom no one in the village speaks with, said that that was just so that Indira Gandhi, Rahulji’s grandmother, could control the country’s money) and the IT revolution (my uncle is mad, he said: “Next what? Congress will take credit for Bollywood and Dabangg also?”). But then Rahulji spoke directly to me. To me.
“The voice of a billion Indians today is that they want a greater say in government, in politics, in administration. This can’t be decided by a handful of people behind closed doors who are not accountable to them. They are telling us that India’s governmental system disempowers instead of empowering.” My uncle is very irritating. He said: “Who closed the doors? Who owns the doors? Who cut the trees to get the wood to make the doors? Who bought the locks?” And then he whispered: “Can we go to a porn site now?”
“Why do a handful of people control the entire political space?” Rahulji asked. “Power is grossly centralized in our country. Every single day I meet people who have tremendous understanding, deep insight.” “Maybe he talks to himself and thinks he’s meeting people,” said my shameless uncle. “And then I meet people holding high positions but no understanding of the issues at hand.” “He talks to himself,” my uncle muttered. “Very multifaceted personality. That is good. India is complex. Can’t you do a Google image search for Madonna?” This is why people avoid him.
“Why is our youth angry? Why are they out on the streets? They are angry because they are alienated, excluded from the political class. They watch from the sidelines as the powerful drive around in their lal battis,” said Rahulji. “Ask him where he was when you were being tear-gassed for protesting about the Delhi rape,” snorted my uncle, who I must apologize for, really. Sorry. “Was he in a lal batti car or not?”
All our systems, Rahulji said, are designed to promote mediocrity. Success in these systems, he said, does not come through building, but by excluding. It comes not by pushing people forward but by holding people back. This, I thought, was absolutely true. “The answer is not in running this system better. We have to relook at things in the system and we have to transform them completely.” I was heady with excitement. This was it! But my uncle said that when Rahulji spoke about systems, he (my uncle) could only think of iPhone and Android. “This new Nokia system is also excellent,” he told me. “Do you know any hackers?”
When Rahulji spoke about power, he almost brought tears to my eyes. “Power is actually a poison,” he said. “The only antidote is to see it for what it is really is and not become attached to it. We should not chase power…we should only use it to empower voices.” But my uncle is beyond redemption. “It’s easy for him to say, because he never had to chase,” he said. “I want that poison, if he gives it to me. Now show me some nice women’s pictures.”
Then Rahulji spoke more about hope. “Without hope you cannot achieve anything,” he said. “You can have plans, you can have ideas, but unless you have hope you cannot change anything.” “Oh, now I know,” said my uncle. “He has been reading Barack Obama’s speeches. That’s it. This whole speech is an Obama speech.” My uncle is a really bad influence, who I shall fight very hard. “Obama made those speeches to come to power,” this villain told me. “Rahul runs the country, he should be able to search YouTube better. Obama speaks different stuff now.” Then he leaned towards me and said, “Now can we watch Obama Gangnam Style?”
I wanted to throw him out, but I didn’t because the government is watching all cybercafes.
Comments are welcome at theirview@livemint.com
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First Published: Thu, Jan 24 2013. 02 37 PM IST
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