Jagan vs Rahul
As the political arena in AP is boiling with Jagan defying Cong HC’s dictat, there are quite a few old leaders in Congress who are advising Jagan to follow Rahul’s footsteps. Is there a merit in their advice? Lets examine.
Rahul Gandhi stayed away from India since his father’s assassination for 10 long years. He learnt management and business techniques while working with Monitor group. In fact, he wanted to start a management consulting firm in Mumbai in 2002. However due to the responsibility of carrying forward the Nehru/Gandhi legacy thrusted upon him, he had to leap into the Indian politics.
Jagan did his early education in HPS hyderabad and earned B.Com from Nijam College, Hyderabad and MBA from Edinburgh. He ventured into business in 2000 by setting up power plant in Sandoor, Karnataka. He was successful in his endeavour. He established Sakshi media to support Congress in the state. He established Bharti cements on the lines of private equity method and earned tremendous success. All this while he stayed close with common people and political leaders especially in Rayalaseema region. Apart from these businesses, he has lot of charitable trusts to support poor. Runs a full fledged International style school for economically backward students in YSR district.
Rahul is on a mission to understand common man’s problems and to establish himself as a youth icon (considering 50% of Indian population is under 25). Having stayed away from India for quite long, it is necessary for him to do so. On the other hand, Jagan was always with common people. He established Bharti cement factory in Kadapa to create employment. He paid additional 2 lakh rupees per acre to the farmers (from whom land was acquired to set up Bharti cements) once his business made profits. This was done even when no one demanded for it. He successfully lobbied and got Brahmani steels to Kadapa. When Sakshi media was launched, he paid double commission to paper boys and dealers compared to peers in the industry. He understands grassroot politics and hence launched Sakshi media to support Congress in AP. Without Sakshi, it would have been difficult for Congress men to find their voice in the Telugu media. Rahul is a novice when compared to Jagan in understanding politics and common man’s problems. If we observe Jagan’s lingo, it matches with that of common man but Rahul has an accented Hindi. Jagan is easily embraced by commoners while Rahul has to work towards it. While Rahul is struggling to establish himself as a youth icon, Jagan has already established himself as one.
Jagan is an extremely confident person while maintaining a level head. He does not fear to speak his mind or take responsibilities at any level. It is evident from his successful ventures in different businesses at a very young age (even though he is not from a business family). He did not fear to take head on with TDP and Eenadu. He emerged as a youth icon with his dare-devil attitude and Congress’s future leader even before 2009 elections (it is another thing that Cong HC is noticing it today after defying its order). He has tremendous appeal as a mass leader. On the other hand, Rahul looks like a self-confident man but lacks leadership abilities. He did not achieve anything significant till date to showcase his leadership qualities. Therefore onus lies on him to prove his mettle.
Jagan has carefully built his political career. He managed his business establishments while staying with public. He launched the Sakshi media just before taking a leap into politics. He was able to build an image for himself outside YSR’s clout. He would have been a political force in AP even without his father’s legacy. (Even YSR was able to build a political career at a very young age without anyone’s legacy. Jagan would have matched his father.) Rahul, on the other hand, appears to have lacked interest in making a political career. His career skills are built to match corporate requirements. At best he would have become a corporate honcho. Much like his father, he was dragged into politics by old Congress leaders who think without Gandhi tag, it would be impossible for Congress to survive in India. Rahul had to prove that he really wants to work for people’s cause and make a political career. And hence he is taking time to take up a ministry for himself. Jagan does need time to prove his intent for work for people’s cause nor does he have to prove of his interest in politics as a career.
Congress HC has safely locked the country’s top job, the PM chair, and has given its key to Rahul. Whenever he wants he can choose to become PM (assuming Congress comes to power). On the other hand, Jagan has to fight for it. Now or never, if he stays in the Congress. Obviously, there is no merit in Congress oldies advice . These leaders are eyeing power and hence asking Jagan to follow Rahuls’ footsteps which will lead him to a dead-end.
One last observation. In Mahabharatha, we do not know if Pandavas fought for people’s cause or if Kauravas did not really care for people. It was a war for power, all the way. Today, political leaders have to fight for power while keeping an eye for people. Jagan is not a power-hungry leader but a man hungry to carry his father’s legacy forward!!!