Off the two political scions
One comes from a strong lineage of political leaders and freedom fighters; to the outside world it appears that he has everything that he needs to formulate a career. I mean having Gandhi in your name can never worsen things right? Another is a newbie, he also hails from a strong dynasty. People identify with him and at a really young age he is ready to take a major role in country politics and his party. Both are struggling to make something of their political careers. Both come from political dynasties in South Asia and have suffered unbearable personal tragedies. Comparisons are inevitable.
On the face of it both Rahul Gandhi and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari have a lot in common. In a sub continent where politics oscillates between tragedy and farce they seem to have faced it all. Bilawal’s mother, late Benazir Bhutto, was the two-time prime minister of Pakistan and lost her life to jihadi extremism. Rahul’s father, late Rajeev Gandhi was the sixth prime minister of India and was assassinated in a well plotted bomb blast while campaigning in Tamil Nadu. His grandmother late Indira Gandhi was the third prime minister of India and was killed after she carried out Operation Blue Star. But the emergence of both these political scions is marked by contrasting styles.
While Mr. Gandhi has been at it longer, his here-today and absent tomorrow approach has had a detrimental effect on his political career. He hasn’t shown that his quest for power is real. He has appeared a reluctant politician and has kept largely out of the limelight, generally refusing media interviews, and the one which he did give (infamous Times Now interview with Arnab Goswami) did not do much for him. On the other hand Mr. Zardari has hit the ground running with his Sindh festival and blistering attacks on jihadi extremists. He is very active on social media and has a massive following on Twitter. Mr. Gandhi however doesn’t have a twitter account. In this day and age and especially ahead of the bruising election and with Congress’ battered image he can’t afford not to use social media for instant communication.
However, while drawing comparisons, one cannot forget that the task ahead of Mr. Gandhi is much more daunting. The Indian youth and middle class are growing to be more politically aware than ever, where Mr. Gandhi has to fight against the apparently “honest party” and the projected “Messiah” of the country, Mr. Bhutto’s task seems a tad simpler( not belittling him in any way). Mr. Bhutto’s fight against religious extremists is most likely to met with a positive response, in a country which learning the meaning of democracy everyday.
Both Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Zardari share a similar history and have inherited their family’s good looks but it is their contrasting styles in politics that make it interesting to see which one does better.