What is new about Priyanka Vadra?

What is new about Priyanka Vadra?
Highlights

Amplification is a devise in which language is used to extend or magnify or emphasise It is always a part of rhetoric and common in oratory Amplification, often, is used to attain a particular effect If one were to study Dickens work, say, Our Mutual Friend one would understand it easily

Amplification is a devise in which language is used to extend or magnify or emphasise. It is always a part of rhetoric and common in oratory. Amplification, often, is used to attain a particular effect. If one were to study Dickens work, say, 'Our Mutual Friend' one would understand it easily.

Here is a passage for you from it: Mr and Mrs Veneering were bran-new people in a bran-new house in a bran-new quarter of London. Everything about the Veneerings was spick and span new. All their furniture was new, all their friends were new, all their servants were new, their plate was new, their carriage was new, their harness was new, their horses were new, their pictures were new, they themselves were new, they were as newly-married as was lawfully compatible with their having a bran-new baby, and if they had set up a great-grandfather, he would have come home in matting from the Pantechnicon, without a scratch upon him, French-polished to the crown of his head.

That is it. That is amplification. So Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, sister of the Congress President, Rahul Gandhi, takes a plunge into politics full time going by what the Congress party leaders say. This 'game changer' as they put it enters the political world as the ultimate weapon of the party to take on the BJP.

'A Brahmastra' they call her. Will she be so? In ancient Sanskrit writings, the Brahmastra and its variant the Brahmashirsha astra were supernatural weapons used in various Hindu mythological wars and are collectively called Brahma weapons. The Brahmashirsha astra was a weapon that could destroy the world. These weapons are all created by Lord Brahma.

While browsing Hindu mythology and epics we come across Brahmastra as the ultimate weapon which never missed its target and wiped out the enemy. There was a condition however, it was to be used with a very specific intent against someone or an army to uphold dharma. Rather it was to be aimed at adharma to annihilate the villain completely.

It also needs to be launched with an invocation that is given to the one who handles it. Famous Swiss writer Eric Van Daniken described it as something more powerful than an atom bomb in its destruction capability while drawing a comparison with modern weapons.

This Astra is to be used as a last resort! And so is this the Day of Epiphany for the Congress? An epiphany it has to be for the party because Rahul Gandhi is nowhere near success despite the recent quirky successes of the Congress in some Assembly elections. His leadership, which is still not fully tested, is being questioned and the party's contribution in matching BJP's skills still doubted.

The biggest challenge ahead of the party is not how to trounce the BJP or Narendra Modi's leadership. It is all about making Rahul Gandhi an acceptable face of the Opposition - or at least the erstwhile UPA partners. He is not being taken seriously by the likes of Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav. Leaders like K Chandrasekhar Rao and Naveen Patnaik simply ignore him.

BJP's triumph in the 2014 general elections was because of its performance in UP largely. That is something one cannot ignore. With 80 seats, UP offers the biggest challenge to any party. The coming together of Mayawati and Akhilesh and their preference to keep Congress out of the 'gathbandhan' is a remarkable move to check the Congress. The traditional Congress vote has dwindled in all states including in UP.

If any, it has to share the upper caste vote with the BJP in the absence of the blocks of Mayawati and Akhilesh. The minority voter is too clever to fall into the Congress trap and only chooses the winning candidate (against BJP) nowadays.

Enters Priyanka at this juncture at the behest of her mother who still is not sure whether to give her an all India role though she might have made her a general secretary of the AICC as of now. Priyanka has a charisma no doubt.

Epiphanies are studied by psychologists and scholars, particularly those attempting to study the process of innovation because it is an experience of a sudden and striking realisation. As the very word indicates, Epiphanies are relatively rare occurrences and generally follow a process of significant thought about a problem after the realization. Often they are triggered by a new and key piece of information, but importantly, a depth of prior knowledge is required to allow the leap of understanding.

Here is where the Congress stumbles. Has it ever shown any wisdom reflecting its assessment skills? Secondly, what is new about Priyanka? Curiosity factor apart, she has already been tested in the past. Even now the Congress says that it would use her campaign for its benefit in Eastern part of UP. Priyanka has always campaigned in Amethi and Rae Baraelli in the past, though with diminishing impact.

Even if Priyanka campaigns what is her invocation going to be? Rafael? Corruption? EVMs? (This one sounds bizarre as her own party was in power in 2014 and yet it claims today once again based on some unproved allegations of someone whose face was masked that the voting machines were tampered. The Foreign Correspondents Association which accommodated the person at their London briefing later regretted giving him space).

Or, is it to unsettle the BSP-SP leadership? The resolve of Mayawati will only get strengthened with Priyanka Vadra's move. Her entry will not convince any leader opposed to Rahul being named the Prime Minister. The game has changed now completely. The narrative has changed. The issues have changed. An election is all about social engineering, scientific approach and statistical equation and mathematical precision.

To take on Modi, one needs to keep the sensitivities and situations too alive in their mind in drafting an effective strategy. All the heightened concerns have to be knit together properly and presented to the people without any ambiguity. It is a larger canvass of accommodation with the entire anti-BJP Opposition which is what someone like Chandrababu Naidu is striving to do but with limited or no success so far.

Congress is not known to do this and has not attempted it. It squandered away its chances in the recent Assembly elections to Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh thus displaying its streak of arrogance in not joining forces with the BSP. Priyanka may not be a game changer under these circumstances for the Congress.

For every 'Brahmastra' or 'Brahmasirshastra' there is a 'Brahmadanda' that absorbs it and nullifies its effects as sage Vashista has displayed in mythology when Vishwamitra used the 'Brahmastra' against him along with all other Astras! What if this ultimate astra of the Congress is not effective?

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