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Still reeling from the scathing indictment of Justice Katju by Arun Jaitley in his blog, the Markandey Katju fan club based out of New Delhi’s India Habitat Center wears a mournful look. Mr. Jaitley had portrayed the former Supreme Court Chief Justice as an establishment lackey for his partisan attacks on BJP ruled states while remaining conspicuously silent about the sins of the UPA, and went on to deliver the coup de grace by calling Katju “more Congress than the Congress”.
Katju fanboy and club President, Gautam Prakash, admitted that morale was down. “We always looked up to Katju sir as the nation’s conscience keeper. Now after reading Jaitley sir’s blog, we wonder whether Katju sir too is part of the 90% of Indians that he considers to be idiots,” he said.
However, all is not lost. To dispel the notion that he is a chamcha of the Gandhis and regain the love and respect of his fans, Justice Katju has penned an opinion piece, similar in structure and tone to the one he wrote on Modi, for The Unreal Times in which he explains why Rahul Gandhi is not Prime Ministerial material. Here are excerpts:
All the perfumes of Kuwait
Rahul Gandhi is being projected by large sections of the Congress party as the real life version of Neo, the chosen one, who will lead his party to victory against right-wing, left wing, ultra-left wing, and the unclassifiable (Didi, Jaya, Mulayam) forces arrayed against the Congress in the 2014 General Elections. It’s not just paid hands such as Sanjay Jha who are saying this, but even veterans and Union Cabinet Ministers. And a large section of the rank and file have been swayed by the propaganda that Rahul baba is the best thing to have happened to the party since Mahatma Gandhi landed on Indian shores in 1915.
I was flying recently from Delhi to Ludhiana. Sitting beside me was a Congress politician from Punjab, Puneet Kalra. I asked him of his opinion of Rahul. He went into a reverie, praising Rahul for his dimpled smile, his pedigree, his rosy cheeks, the way he shook his hands once and looked into his eyes. I interrupted him and said, “All that is fine. But what about the fact that victims of the 1984 Sikh pogrom have been denied justice while his family controls the levers of power at the top?” At this remark, he took offense and changed his seat on the plane.
Questionable claim to leadership
Rahul’s supporters claim he is a true leader because he is Rajiv Gandhi’s son, Indira Gandhi’s grand-son and so on. I for one am not impressed by his royal pedigree. Captain Amarinder Singh is a scion of the Patiala royal family, young Jyotiraditya Scinda hails from the House of Scindias. The other day, a Congress worker from Ghaziabad told me he is a descendant of the Great Mughals. So why this clamor for Rahul baba when there are candidates boasting of far more impressive lineages?
And I am highly skeptical of his supporters reeling off statistics about the number of poor households he has slept in since he joined politics. Has anyone tracked the change in poverty of these families since he slept in their houses? What fraction of these family heads have a body mass index under 18.5? To what extent have malnutrition rates in these families dipped? I reserve my judgment until someone furnishes these statistics.
In contrast to Rahul’s ‘baba log’ brashness, I am awe-struck by the modesty and humility of his aide, Kanishka Singh. Why can’t he be made the PM? After all, he does all the grunt work for Rahul such as co-coordinating field trips, taking copious notes when Rahul makes small talk during stop-overs in Dalit households, and following up on complaints such as fixing faulty water pipes, burnt transformers etc.
With this piece, Justice Katju hopes to set the record straight about his being a chamcha of the first family. “Now the only politicial leader I haven’t attacked as yet is TN CM, Jayalalithaa. But I admit even I don’t have the guts to take her on,” he said sheepishly.