Rajat Sharma

Rahul is yet to learn lessons from electoral defeat

akbOn Friday, June 21, when the world was celebrating International Day of Yoga, thousands of people in India and abroad performed yoga exercises. In Ranchi, the celebration was led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Rahul Gandhi, who has announced his intention to resign as Congress President after the recent electoral defeat, posted pictures of Army Dog Unit canines performing yoga with their handlers, and wrote ‘New India’ in the caption. Soon, the social media was flooded with indignant reactions with people questioning why Rahul chose to mock this ancient Indian practice of yoga.

BJP President Amit Shah on Twitter questioned this sense of ‘negativity’ and said Rahul has “mocked yoga and insulted our forces (yet again)”. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said, “when somebody insults our armed forces again and again, I can only pray to God to give some sense to such people.”

Congress leaders, clearly embarrassed over the tweet, declined to react. They are still in the dark about Rahul’s present position in the party hierarchy. Several days ago, Rahul had announced his intention to resign and he had clearly said on Thursday that he would not select anybody as his successor.

Senior party leaders expected Sonia Gandhi to persuade her son to retain the post, and there are now reports that the Congress Working Committee will be meeting in two weeks to decide about the party president. With the situation still fluid, Congress leaders on Friday avoided reacting to Rahul Gandhi’s tweet on yoga.

There is not an iota of doubt that the tweet posted by Rahul Gandhi with pictures of trained Army dogs performing yoga amounts to mockery of this ancient practice.

This is quite surprising. It seems Rahul is opposing PM Narendra Modi only for the sake of opposing. It was Modi who had been striving for the last five years across the world to popularize yoga, and Rahul has chosen to mock this. When Modi launched Swachhata Abhiyan to provide toilets in all villages of the country, Rahul had chosen to mock him.

At one point of time, Rahul claimed that Modi ‘feared’ him and the Prime Minister would be unable to stand before him for ten minutes.

I thought that there would be a change in Rahul’s behaviour after the electoral reverses, and that he would realize the reasons why his party lost. But I find there has been no such change. He chose to prevent his mother Sonia Gandhi from thumping the desk when the President was delivering his speech to the new Parliament. Instead of listening to the speech, Rahul was seen busy with his cell phone. And now, he has mocked yoga.

There is a popular adage that defeat is the biggest teacher in life and there is no greater lesson than defeat. It now seems Rahul is yet to learn from his defeat.

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