Priyanka Gandhi’s roadshow on the streets of Uttar Pradesh came across as yet another attempt to encash upon her resemblance with Indira Gandhi. Both the Congress and the general public singularly harped on Priyanka’s similarities with her grandmother in all quarters. Even the banners hung by the party in Lucknow intended to remind voters as to how Priyanka Gandhi was Indira Gandhi 2.0. Even a couple of the leading English dailies are carrying a statement made by a congress supporter, “It’s like Indira Gandhi has come back.” This actually sums up Priyanka Gandhi’s visit from both Congress’ and voters’ perspective. However, is that really enough?
- Priyanka Gandhi’s roadshow in Uttar Pradesh came across as yet another attempt to encash upon her resemblance with Indira Gandhi.
- It is as if both the common public and the Congress party cannot dissociate the two.
- Why is it so easy for political parties to swoon us with sentimental projections like these.
- However, as voters, we need to look beyond this imagery and test Priyanka’s mettle outside of the image we are being fed.
Banners in Lucknow with photos of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and grandmother Indira Gandhi
Follow LIVE coverage here: https://t.co/RQT0dQ4d2X pic.twitter.com/12fdHjPkeh
— NDTV (@ndtv) February 11, 2019
We people of India see Doosari "Indira gandhi ji" in Priyanka gandhi ji. Youth r looking forward to build "New India" under the leadership of Shri. Rahul ji and Smt Priyanka ji . Younger generation belive in developmental politics rather than caste/ Religion politics .
— M.Nagaraju alias NagarajYadav (@chiranthana88) February 12, 2019
Her resemblance to her grandmother did peak our curiosities. But how long will this spell of splitting similarities between the two of them last?
Yes, she looks like her, she dresses like her and she is a gifted speaker, but when is Congress planning to let Priyanka emerge from her grandma’s shadows? When will they stop trying to swoon voters with this pitch of reincarnation of Indira Gandhi? Her resemblance with her grandmother did peak our curiosities. But how long will this spell of splitting similarities between the two of them last? Shouldn’t we be keen to know what Priyanka Gandhi brings to the table? The unemployment rate in India for the year 2017-18 is at a 45-year high, with women being the worst hit. Crime against women is on a rise not just in the state of UP, where Priyanka is campaigning, but across the country. There is a general feeling of unrest among Indians because we need solutions.
Her entry to politics can alter the choice of the electorate, but that can only happen if we see a formidable leader in her, with original ideas, who is brimming with an intent to usher in an era of positive change in the country.
What are Priyanka’s strategies to manage issues like these at hand? It is after all not just about Priyanka’s debut in UP. This is about the entire country. Her entry to politics can alter the choice of the electorate, but that can only happen if we see a formidable leader in her, with original ideas, who is brimming with an intent to usher in an era of positive change in the country. Not someone who merely basks in the aura of semblance to a great leader, whose own legacy is so big, it can easily overshadow her and end her career prematurely.
We have spent too long harping Indira Gandhi’s glory, forgetting that is now in the past.
And for that to happen we need to first dissociate the past from the present. We as voters are equally responsible if her own party is doing nothing more than playing on our love for Indira Gandhi. For Congress and Priyanka to pull up their sleeves and begin taking her political debut and upcoming general elections seriously, it is time that we begin asking questions. We have spent too long harping Indira Gandhi‘s glory, forgetting that is now in the past. Her legacy cannot be our only expectations from her granddaughter, because that is fair to neither of them.
The problem with the Indian electorate is that we get swooned very easily. All it takes is an emotional connect of any kind with a leader for us to fall for him or her. Sometimes it is their story of struggle, sometimes it is their promises, and sometimes it is a mere reminder of a revered leader which is enough to attract us. Perhaps that is why Indian political parties have grown so lazy. They know how to manipulate us and keep us from making relevant demands. They are not even making efforts other than bringing back legends from the dead or taking jibes at the opposition. We aren’t even goading them to try harder. In times like these, one feels that perhaps we deserve what is coming.
Picture Credit: Deccan Chronicle
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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.