He is ready | Sanjay Jha

He is ready

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi gives his maidan speech as vice president at All India Congress Committee (AICC) session in Jaipur on Sunday. PTI Photo

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi gives his maidan speech as vice president at All India Congress Committee (AICC) session in Jaipur on Sunday. PTI Photo

At an unearthly hour of 4 am as India slept, one man was awake in the cold desert state of Rajasthan, in its spectacular capital city imbibed with tales of stunning history called Jaipur. In a few hours dawn would crackle through the dark blanket interspersed with stars, heralding a new day, Sunday, January 20th 2013. But for the young man it was to be an extraordinary day, one of his life’s most embellished. In a few hours he would be addressing a congregation of the brightest minds of a political party that fought for India and its freedom, and barring a brief hiatus, has shaped its political history. And he, 42 years, had made his debut in its dusty undulating terrains of enormous dimensions just nine years ago. But today would be different. In a few hours, he was going to address the Indian National Congress, and through the amplified medium of modern technology, the people of India as well as its Vice-President. He was fully aware that every word he uttered, every sentence he framed, the half-smile or a spontaneous thought, even an instinctive or an inadvertent stutter would be a subject of animated confabulation. But he was ready. Because he knew that beyond the perfunctory inspection of drawing room analysts, kinetic TV anchors, carping opposition and the constant pessimist, lay the real India, buoyant, young, restless, angry, impatient and yet, hopeful. The resilience of India was not just a fictional story born out of its multiple crisis, but ingrained in its character, the DNA of India. That then would be the quintessential theme that he would talk about, hope. A country of a billion and more people, getting younger by the day, battling explosive economic growth with rising economic inequalities and social tensions concomitantly, by no means an easy task. The world’s most populous democracy, complex and indecipherable at most times , needed to hear the stark truths, not the usual homilies, the empty platitudes. Hope, is the beginning of change, he thought. Rahul Gandhi was ready.

Just a few weeks ago in the maddening cacophony of an election campaign in Gujarat, Gandhi had said something that had got lost amidst more colorful provocations like a “ 50 crore girlfriend”. He had said that we needed the “ politics of love”. In a world that measures and evaluates everyone daily on materialism, statistics, valuations and appearances, it sounded grotesque, out of place, and as someone said to me, “ soft”. But practically all missed the point; Gandhi was in Gujarat which had seen a sinister state-sponsored attack on vulnerable minorities just a decade earlier. And for him, it was about reconciliation over revenge, remorse over retribution. Societies need to heal, and for that they need reassurance, strength and caring, not a policy of arithmetical calculation of religious communities populating the state.

At Jaipur, his politics of love took on an emotional scale, interspersed with a rare candidness about what lies ahead for the Congress, and more importantly, for the country. He knows that to resurrect the Congress to its halcyon days of heady single-party dominance of the Indian psyche would mean some sacrifices, adopting newer ways to overcome the lassitude and lackadaisical attitude that can invariably set in over years of governance. Status quo can cause an irreversible decline, Gandhi knew that. The intent is good, the talent is enormous, and as a leader he recognized that the Congress party needs to seize the moment, given its prodigious experience, landmark initiatives and bustling youth power. He called a spade a spade, a shovel a shovel, noticing with a tongue-in-cheek smile that despite their success they sometimes did not know how it happened, lacking as they did on an organized cadre and smart internal party processes. It was refreshing, a in-your-face self-examination fearless of the consequences of sharing some inner fragilities with the people of India. It was cathartic, the absence of cosmetics , the presence of truth. Everyone even in their households and corporate and government offices connected with him, don’t we sometimes wonder how it all works for us daily, as if by some divine intervention? And yet, the need to reduce heavenly benedictions for our success is primordial, isn’t it?

When he shared his deepest personal sorrow on the tragedies he saw when so young, I think he unloaded himself of a mighty emotional weight that he has carried, the pain of loss. We can empathise with someone’s anguish , but the sadness and pain is usually deep, personal, beyond reach. This was not a calibrated outpouring of grief, but a desire to let us know that we are all human. That hidden behind the power, fame and success lies hearts and heads that experience the same feelings we do. Gandhi is no exception, he is one of us.

Predictably, everyone branded it as Rahul’s “Obama moment”, but in fact, it was India’s “Rahul moment”; simple, down-to-earth, honest and straight from the heart. For a man whom many think is media-shy and communication averse, he involuntarily just stated the obvious, that to connect with the people, you sometimes need to go beyond a script, beyond fears, beyond the politically correct. There is no need to be avant garde or alpha, just be yourself.

Gandhi is a marathon man, never too thrilled with wins, and rarely to slump when down. He is aware of the loneliness of a long-distance runner, but what the heck, the journey is one to always look forward to. On your marks, get set and go…

(The views expressed in this column are the writer’s own)

(The views expressed in this column are the writer’s own)

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  • http://Website Delhi Djinn

    All good, if he delivers else it is thumbs up for the extortionist mafia that the government today is.

  • http://Website An Indian

    Can you please name good things done by Rahul that are in Public domain so far and for which the whole country can love Rahul.

    • http://Website T.K.JOY

      still need to go far away,the dynasty will not do anything,people needs results.

  • http://www.charismacareer.com Narendra Roy

    A marvelous piece of narrative explaining many things which can not be immediately understood during a speach. Even the speaker may not know it that awy when narrating an experience. It just jumps up from the rememberance.

  • http://Website Dr.Ganesh Pote

    Great Sanjay…what a article:-)

  • http://www.abhamb.com,www.successindia.in Abha Maryada Banerjee

    Nice one Sanjay, I cried as a citizen on the honesty of the speech..Look forward to changes and growth
    Abha M Banerjee

    • http://Website Kedar

      You will cry much more if he becomes prime minister or sports minister or dating minister!

  • http://www.outburstindia.com Pardeep K Gupta

    A balanced description of a new beginning in political power arena but a different approach of compassion and love being human and honest.

  • http://Website Shivananda Shahapur

    Lol! Are you kidding me? Its high time we citizens do something about all this. These politicos continue thinking that we are the dumbest people ever.

  • http://Website K


  • http://Website bolshoybooze

    HAHAHA… why dont u try stand-up

  • http://Website yajnas haj

    I know these remarks will be removed soon but i can’t stop myself.

    Mr Sanjay Jha, your literally take sycophancy and idol worship to another level. I am not surprised that Tehelka actually published this on their site, no one else would have. Mr Jha, have you got no shame, dont you see people look at you as a mindless — licking slave of congress and RahulG. Frankly…no made up facts here….Many of Strong Congress supporters cringe at the stuff you dole out periodically. Have some Self Respect. Dont bend so much. or better go see a shrink. Are you into bondage BDSM BTW? that would explain a lot

    • http://Website Latha

      He’s trying his best to get “sycophant of the year” award. Alas he has tough competition.

    • http://Website G.R.Srinivasa

      Totally agree. At the Jaipur conclave hand curchieves fell short and was told Sheila Dixit took Rahul’s hanky to wipe her tears.

    • http://Website rangamani

      Youtear his coat, tie ,shirt,and pant ,he will look like an insane person wandering on the streets of OLD DELHI.

  • http://Website wolf

    you know, i actually thought this was a brilliant satire. but then i saw the name of the author. sigh.

  • http://Website Aps

    I m crying for the last one hour without reading it , imagine what will I do once I read this shit from a shoe licker who tries to justify every wrong doing of the party he is associated with

  • http://Website Gudrun

    I don’t think India is ready for this chap…. Or ever will be. ( I hope)

  • http://Website narendar

    Is this called extreme sycophancy. I am surprised people actually like this stuff. wow.

  • http://Website ravin

    Sanjay Jha .. are you for like REAL?

  • http://Website mrindar

    JHA SAHEB….public ko pagal samjha hai kya?

  • http://Website Poonam

    Wow, you are simply marvellous. RahulG what loyalty you command from your subjects like Sanjay Jha.

  • http://Website Name (required)

    Lmfao at that “india’s Obama” moment…Even a nursery school boy could do much better and talks much fluent than this Buddhu R.G. did..
    And this author jha seems me completely dope . . .and its not only my personal , but whole Country thinks that way.

  • http://Website fanOfNone

    Yes, I get it. As a mother myself, I completely understand. You are a doting mom. You think your son is a genius. Even when his teachers, your neighbors, their grand-aunts, in fact, the whole world tells you that your boy has an IQ of a doorknob, you do not agree. He is your son, and you are firmly convinced that he is destined for great things.

    When he drops out of school, you blame it on the teachers. When he can’t get a job on his own merit, you think it is the employers who are at fault. You get him a job using your influence, he fails miserably at that too. You curse the cruel world.

    You cheer loudly at his smallest accomplishments. He takes a local train ride in Mumbai, you celebrate like he has summited Everest.

    He is 44, unmarried. He has no degree nor does he have a job. In fact, he cannot list a SINGLE accomplishment of his own. Naturally, sonny boy is a bit depressed. He is tired of the robot you bought him some time ago. He wants a new toy.

    When he asks for something, you never hesitate to give it to him. You will beg, borrow and steal, but you will get your precious boy what he wants! I totally get that. You are his doting mamma after all! Most mothers would have done that.

    Only difference is, while other mothers might buy their sons a motorcycle or a car, you want to give your son a whole COUNTRY to run!

    Lady, you certainly dream big!
    [via Shefali Vaidya on fb]

    • http://Website chandan gupta


    • http://Website arvind kumar

      You hit the nail on the (Gandhi) head :)

    • http://Website RB

      awesome.. Dam true, but What is Jha upto.?

    • http://Website G. R. Srinivasa

      Very aptly written.

    • http://Website mac

      spot on !

  • http://Website Mahesh

    Lmfao at that “india’s Obama” moment…Even a nursery school boy could do much better and talks much fluent than this Buddhu R.G. did..
    And this author seems me completely dope . . .and its not only my personal , but whole Country thinks that way.

  • http://Website Muhammad

    Oh man … This article must be the joke of the millenium

  • http://Website Sherlock Holmes

    I hope people are getting the humour and sarcasm that Sanjay wants to highlight. I liked it.

  • http://Website Gemmi

    I am surprised that a few guys even liked this piece of extreme chamchagiri.

  • http://Website Sharma

    Thanks Jha! I was feeling low the whole day but the laughter evoked by this piece made me feel so much better. Laughter is truly the best medicine!

  • http://Website KP

    Kitne aaye wahan se?

  • http://Website arvind kumar

    Seems like Mr Jha has taken leave of his senses…or actually it may just be smart ploy…a thinly veiled application for a better job in the Congress…we all know the Gandhifamily takes very good care of hangers on,retainers,flunkeys….if nothing else..there are always the Raj Bhawans to plonk…folks who’ve waited on the Gandhi Parivar..Good luck Mr Jha

  • http://Website Vishal

    Haha… Sycophants and the slave mentality in India would one day definitely make this man the PM of the country. I am hoping for it to happen because that will be the end of the slave party as he will destroy it with his extreme intelligence

  • http://Website Akshay

    Sanjay Jha. Your poor articles and sense of Indians shows your popularity on twitter. Rofl

  • http://Website Mohammed Khan

    Instead of RG’s Name I inserted my name and I never had felt so elated and confident about myself.

  • http://Website AaykarSuckretary

    Mr Jha your Income Tax evasion file is cleared. You no more have to pay the penalty and the Jail Term. Infact you are exempted from paying income tax for ever.

  • http://amritasinha.wordpress.com Amrita Sinha

    Sanjay Sir, The article is simply perfect. An outstanding description of the emergence of a new Leader in India. A person who represents the Indian patriotism and also is the embodiment of sacrifice. Simply Perfect. Kudos Sir :)

    • http://Website Kedar

      what sacrifice we are talking about here? going to rajasthan? or eating in dalit’s house?

      • http://Website Vincent

        Cut the guy a break, Kedar. Poor Rahul has to endure the sycophancy of little boot lickers like Sanjay Jha and read from the written script that is beyond his reading level. That itself is a enormous sacrifice for a special needs child-youth Rahul Gandhi.

  • http://Website Shiva

    Marvelous article. It is really nice to see how a politician of your standard clearly understand the need of youth and the thinking of superstar like Rahul. You Certainly missed few words in the excitement , words like “Phoenix” “Rising sun” “tireless worker ” should have been in this article. Listening to the young breed of active politician like Rahul is in itself a eye opening moment for Indian youth on top of the that reading an article about the speech from a great politician like you makes me think that “We Can”. oh! since you guys are new to Social Media let me add #Sarcasm for one time. Next time and all it won’t be there

  • http://Website ashish

    saw rahul gandhi’s speech !was good bt kept wondering why ppl had to clap for EVERYTHING he said ! even for the -ve things he said abt party

    rahul gandhi:My father said that only 15paisa of a Rupee reaches to aam admi. *Congress workers starts clapping !!* heights of sycophancy

  • http://Website RB

    Mr.Jha do u think we INDIANS r illiterate or cant we understand the language of RG? If U think “YES” then i’m sure RG cant be our icon to understand us. If U think “NO” then i think we don’t need a translator. Mr.Jha instead of wasting ur energy, ur mind to write such a good speech u would have written something about who deserves, like “sardar vallabhbhai patel”, “subhash chandra bose” or so on.

    In ur article the character is a clown n u narrated him as a blockbuster hero. sorry MAMU, now its time to get serious, time to call “MODI” in rule.

  • http://ab.com Hindustani

    Tired after a long days work, needed a joke. Brilliant Sanjay…you made my day

  • http://Website Girish

    Dear Sanjay, may I ask you if he is long distance runner, has he ever got a medal? Don’t make fool of poor people of India, has he taken participation in any debate? Seeing scams in the recent past, have you been given chance to involve your self?

  • http://Website Tackles

    Mr.Sanjay Jha,
    Prior to 1947 till independence Congress was a movement, after 47 it is one the political parties known as Congress (I).

    So please do refrain from harping about independence part…. rest is ok, as the sycophancy is the hall mark of the political setup to which you belong.

    People who have intent to “serve” the masses, the nation, do not require any post or platform.

  • http://na Vivek

    Lols… Sychopancy at best. Baba gandhi’s speec was too self centrred dat day.. Nd one who is mum on issues will speak as per the spoon feeders near him later.. Make him hv an opinion first nd nt living as d dreamer.. He needs to be more on ground nd real life.

  • http://Website Atulya

    Another Congressi sycophant aka wannabe Influence Agent/Lobbyist/Fixer is what Mr Jha is.

  • http://Website Raghav

    This is the most idiotic article i have ever read.. what credentials does RG have other than the fact that he was born into the Gandhi family (which itself is an adopted surname).. PMs in the past hv atleast had some background, some substance.. and what deep emotional sorrow and unloading of weight are you talking about.. yeah RG lost his father (who was corrupt btw) but he has lived like a king all his life and there are people on the streets even today, dying of hunger and unable to pay for their aging father’s/ mother’s basic medical needs while RG and Madamji fill their pockets.. How many young sons have lost their fathers thanks to the Gandhis..
    Mr. Jha, i understand you are obliged to talk pro-congress but there is a thing called a conscience.. you might want to get in touch with that part of you before u sell your soul to the devil the next time..

  • http://Website Tarun

    There were 2 times when India sprinted to economic heights .. Firstly, when MMS was the Finance minister and PVN Rao was the PM and second when Vajpayee was the PM. In short both the times when our country was spared of Nehru dynasty.
    So we all know what is in store for the future when RG becomes the head of state.
    Also all these comments and show of dissent does not mean anything for Congraass because they know that all that they need to do is dole our Taxpayer’s money to the poor, distribute ‘quarters and MG notes and lick minorities’ bottoms and THATS IT ..you have a 120 billion country to rule for another 5 years!!!

    • http://Website Tarun

      Oh yes .. BTW this speech was actually written by Preeyankaa Vadra and not by Mr. Jha’s yuvraj !!! She took the early morning flight the same day from Jaipur when this speech was to be delivered.

  • http://Website Vineet

    Dear Sanjay Jha

    By this article you reconfirm your high congressi sycophant credentials.

    You will soon get the RS seat from the Khangressi sycophancy quota.

    Keep on churning nonsense


  • shash

    We can understand the emotional disturbances of losing a father at young age but AICC seems determined to milk that cow forever. And not to forget the countless scams and controversies that plague his name. Sad to see such articles appear in Tehelka :(

  • Shree Pradhan

    I saw it on my FB Teheleka page and thought it is Teheleka’s article and I have respect for their write up MOST OF THE TIMES my curiosity got the better of me and I opened the article to read ‘WHAT HAD THEY FOUND WHICH MADE ‘RAHUL’ READY in their eyes. And horror of horror I stumbled upon this………..aggggghhhhhhhhhhhh…………..such STENCH of sycophancy!!

  • rahulgandy

    he is amul baby period.