`Amul’ Rahul, a taste of VS

By T S Sudhir

It would seem no one in the Congress is fond of Amul Butter. How else is it that the tag line of Amul, which reads `The taste of India’ escaped the collective consciousness of India’s grand old political party. By describing Rahul Gandhi as an Amul baby, VS or `Very Smart’ Achuthanandan had inadvertently given the Prince a left-handed compliment !

But no, the Congress went on the offensive, with Pranab da calling the remark “uncivilised”. An even more angry Abhishek Manu Singhvi advised the CM to act his age, adding “Such kinds of comments are an insult to the entire youth community of India.”

Clearly the King, or in this case, the Prince is always right. How else could the veteran LDF politician’s remark be seen as “uncivilised” coming as it was as a retort to Rahul’s graceless swipe at the chief minister’s age at an election meeting in Ernakulam, where Gandhi Junior said : “If the Left Democratic Front wins in Kerala, you will have a 93-year-old chief minister by the next assembly election in 2016.”

‘Amul Babies’ is a jibe that is used commonly in Kerala to taunt those born into privilege and those who have had it easy. In that sense, the Leftists believe, VS did not say anything incorrect. In fact, they chuckle at VS hooking Rahul Gandhi’s bouncer for a sixer.

But what Rahul displayed was that in his scheme of things, old is not gold. The scion of the Congress party obviously believes that ageing politicians are  a case of diminishing returns. Not that the Congress itself has an effective retirement policy. A look at the UPA cabinet will show Rahul that many of the senior ministers, are in fact closing in on VS.

Of course, Rahul also forgot his party’s ally in neighbouring Tamilnadu, Karunanidhi will be 92 in 2016. Who compared to a more sprightly VS, is bound to a wheelchair.

You could argue that Rahul was only cajoling the voters to give the UDF a chance, the party having fielded many a `young’ candidate compared to LDF’s geriatric political giants. Rahul is also shrewd enough to realise that Kerala is the only turf (Bengal is seen as Mamata’s turf while Tamilnadu is iffy for the DMK-Congress combine) where he can undo the damage caused in Bihar. Where his `Ekla chalo re’ slogan came in unstuck and he was left with a report card of 4/243.

A UDF victory in Kerala will mean the Congress karyakarta will go overboard in crediting it to Gandhi’s presence along India’s south-west coast. His offensive salvo will then unfortunately be seen as the X-factor in the UDF campaign.

The UDF has predicted that VS will be history post May 13. Given the quality of rule by the LDF, VS might well be. But to behave as if the senior citizenry of India, by extension, may as well find refuge in an old age home, is bad manners.

Rahul would do well to remember that only last week, a 73-year-old forced the might of his government to give in without a whimper. And in Anna Hazare’s case, age did not matter.

I do understand that Rahul is engaged in the discovery of India. He has three more years (till 2014) to show the `Amul’ baby has grown up.

But one thing is certain. Amul does not `butter up’ always.


About t s sudhir & uma sudhir

Uma Sudhir and T S Sudhir are senior journalists, based in Hyderabad. Both work for NDTV. Uma is a Tamilian, who was educated in
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One Response to `Amul’ Rahul, a taste of VS

  1. ijswamy says:

    Rahul`s political advisor is actually working against him .

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