The scion of one of the most powerful families in India has just declared himself to be against dynastic politics.
What that means exactly for Rahul Gandhi is questionable. But he makes that assertion with great conviction.
Rahul Gandhi, who is his party's prime ministerial candidate, has thrown this opinion in the middle of campaign wranglings, to, of all things, challenge a rival's own campaigning tactics.
Although Gandhi is running on a progressive agenda, he is still dogged by accusations of corruption. He is still pushing for what he claims is a program of equalization and inclusion, that would see a betterment for those in Indian society that are faring the worse.
Gandhi however, is the son of Sonia Gandhi, an Italian who married into the most powerful Indian dynasty. His great -grandfather was Jawaharlal Nerhu, and his grandmother Indira Gandhi.
His position in India's history precludes a truly inclusionary vision, considering that he still has not expressed an apology to the Sikh community, which suffered retaliation after his grandmother's assassination by a Sikh extremist group.
However, most see Gandhi's approach as 'populist' and self serving. Furthermore, many see Rahul Gandhi as unfit for governing India, being unprepared and intellectually incapable of solving India's numerous and difficult problems.
As the opposition gains in numbers, and Rahul's reticence to confront his rival is increasingly criticized, the BJP is having a field day pointing out Gandhi's shortcomings.
At stake at the moment, is the matter of the anti-Muslim riots of 2002, which Gandhi has said were abetted by the government. The pushback has come swiftly from the BJP in the form of pointed references to the inaction taken during the riots against Sikh communities in 1984, following Indira Gandhi's assassinations
Either way, it's politics as usual. Tit for tats reign, while complex problems remain in the background languishing, sacrificed to the empty political wranglings that characterize present day Indian campaigns.
Source: the Hindu/ Al Jazeera/ 1.28.14