My column on Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi’s leadership style, and Modi’s illusory image and complete inaction in governance is now published on National Herald as part of a series of Opinion Columns titled ‘Leadership’ on the occasion of Rahul Gandhi’s birthday on 19 June. Having started writing on this blog 15 years ago, I then moved on to write mostly for online media, and with this I debut as a print columnist on a Nehru legacy. I couldn’t be happier. I’ve come a long way.

You can read the piece here:

The piece actually started when I wrote a Twitter thread titled ‘Where is Narendra Modi?’ A recent Indian Express editorial by Pratap Bhanu Mehta ‘India Is Headed To Uncharted Territories With No Leadership‘ also made similar points. I feel proud that I thought of the same thing ahead of someone as senior as PB Mehta.

Here is brief summary of my piece

The Indian media so fond of asking “Where is Rahul Gandhi?” does not dare ask “where is Modi?” Do you know why? Because God and Charlatans are supposed to be that way.

There was a terrible beast which often used to visit my grandma’s tin roof back in North Bengal. Every few days, in the middle  of the night the tin roof will creak and rattle and she will whisper, “bham esheche (The bham has come).” Soon the chickens and hens in the backyard will make terrible noises, hearing which the children will tremble in fear and hide their faces in mother’s lap. Next morning we’d wake up to find some of them missing. Apparently ‘bhaam’ was something that took away our poultry but what exactly was it nobody knew, because nobody has seen or heard it.

And that is a scary thing.

There is no doubt that the scariest thing mankind has known are things that cannot be seen or heard with ordinary sensory perceptions but can still do terrible things to us. God will be one such example. And then there is Narendra Modi. I must be mad, you’ll think. He is after all the most available, most communicative leader ever. One who works without taking a single vacation, conducted so many rallies and speeches, chai pe charcha, mann ki baat, 8 pm on TV, web conferences etc.

Modi Modi everywhere but never the one to be really seen.

But Rahul Gandhi has been everywhere. He has participated in dozens of people’s movement and protests in the last 14 years. Yet, people ask where is Rahul Gandhi. Read more here.