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Rahul Gandhi`s redemptive speech

Updated: Jan 21, 2013, 14:11 PM IST

Where was this Rahul Gandhi for eight long years? He was passionate, articulate and connected with the country like no politician had in a long time.

His instincts seemed decent and sound and besides the Congress faithful, who were predictably moved to tears, lots of mango people who had given up the idea of the Congress heir as a blank screen, were pleasantly surprised.

Trouble is one speech does not make for leadership. Is Rahul Gandhi now prepared for the long haul, an engagement with ideas and policy, and articulating it to a pesky 24/7 media which he has shunned with imperiousness till date.

Objectively, while the passion was there, can Rahul Gandhi really portray himself as a rebel against the lal batti syndrome while having ridden in that particular limousine all his life? While, a distancing act from the battered UPA government is natural, does it really wash?

I was happy with what I heard but longed to hear the big idea that would transform India. What Rahul Gandhi believes regarding economy, the transformation of India with the millennial which the Congress party is still grappling with, what changes he wants to take the country forward.

So far Rahul Gandhi has been an occasional politician, a kind of hobbyist indulging in pet projects such as the youth congress and Uttar Pradesh. He has not shown the killer instinct, ambition and hunger of a 24/7 politician.

His repeated vanishing acts, and far from sterling track record, has to be considered against the desperation of the Congress party which sees him as its last ace to hold on to power.

He is now effectively the number one in the Congress party and the final authority and cannot make mistakes. It is to be said to the credit of Sonia Gandhi that despite her handicaps she has never put a foot wrong in politics. Junior Gandhi will have to emulate his mother in this.

While he has left the Congress and the country hungry for more, let`s hope the BJP finally gets it very delayed act together, or prepare for early elections and a new term for the UPA.