Rahul Gandhi Who Redefined Leadership is Leading The List – a Debate is On


An eventful year 2009 is coming to an end in just 25 days before it slips into history. The year 2009 would be remembered for it redefined politics in the country. If 2008 was a violent year in the chapter of the country, 2009 would remain as an eventful year for most politicians. A debate is on to choose the best politician of the year. Who would be best candidate for the award?

There are many contenders among the politicians for the top honour. The debate is on in most of the news channels where experts and political commentators expressed their views. Not surprisingly, topping the list was Rahul Gandhi. Even his bitterest critics have opined that it was Rahul Gandhi who redefined political leadership through his act of identifying with the poor. His breaking of the protocol and breach of security to live with the poor Dalt’s in UP was not a political stunt but a sincere attempt to identify himself with the problems of the poor. His stay overnight in a Dalit family, bathing in open air and moving freely with poor, have all enhanced his leadership quality.

People began to feel the arrival of a real ‘Gandhi’, a practicing ‘Mahatma’. Though many in the past have tried to enact ‘Gandhi’ but were unimpressive.

Rahul Gandhi, a favourite candidate for PM post, refused even a ministerial berth. According to him, PM post was not his priority but to work for the upliftment of the poor. This impressed one and all. Naturally, he came out on top of the list. Peoples’ confidence was brought back to Congress party in the 2009 general elections was all due to the effort of Rahul Gandhi.

It was he who single handedly made great strides into the bastion of Mulayam Singh and Mayawathi and both were left gasping unable to stop the tide turning in favour of Rahul Gandhi. It forced even Amar Singh, a close friend and leader of SP to acknowledge that SP suffered reverses particularly from Muslim community largely because of Rahul Gandhi’s inspiring leadership. Even Mayawathi tried to belittle Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Dalits homes but then candidly acknowledged its impact and effect on them.

Mamta Banerjee came close to Rahul Gandhi. It was she who redefined politics in West Bengal, a home for the Lefts. 30 years in power, they could do nothing to stop the Juggernaut of Mamta’s Trinamool Congress rolling over them in one election after another. Now the Communist bastion has been shaken and it is a matter of time before Banerjee unseat the communist in the next elections. She is the new Avtar of politics so far as West Bengal is concerned. The mercurial leader with her down to earth leadership quality and clean image is all going to play a vital part in her ascendency to the top post in West Bengal. But she fell short to unseat Rahul Gandhi from the top list.

Nitish Kumar, CM of Bihar was also a contender for the top honour. But then his leadership received a jolt in the recent by-elections, where Lalu-Paswan combined rattled his apple-cart. His popularity is waning in Bihar. He is therefore out of contention.

Sharad Pawar, Karunanidi, Sonia Gandhi and even Dr. Manmohan Singh were in the list for consideration. But they were eclipsed by Rahul Gandhi’s dynamic leadership quality and his popularity among the masses.

Ironically, none of the BJP leaders were in the list for consideration. Whether it is Modi, Jaitely or Advani, none could come for scrutiny for there was nothing in them that could claim the top leadership honour. All are waning and became unpopular because of the contradictions in their leadership quality.

In the end, undoubtedly Rahul Gandhi would be unanimously crowned as the POLITICIAN OF THE YEAR 2009. Jai Hind.

A.M. Jamsheed Basha is a Chennai-based columnist, political commentator, who writes on matters of importance, political, social and self-improvement.