Bengaluru, Jan 18 : Renowned historian Ramachandra Guha on Saturday said India desperately needs a credible opposition to take on the Hindutva forces which he doesn't see in Rahul Gandhi.
"We desperately need a credible and sustained opposition to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). I believe, however, that Rahul Gandhi cannot provide the leadership to such an opposition," told Guha to IANS.
Though he hesitated to say who can rise up as an alternative force, he said if the Nehru-Gandhi legacy goes away a credible leadership may rise within the Congress party or outside.
"Gandhis are suppressing the emergence of a credible leadership," Guha said.
Guha said the Hindutva forces are damaging India and unchecked Hindutva will destroy the country.
"I believe that the country desperately needs a credible opposition to take on the Hindutva forces. I believe Hindutva is damaging and unchecked Hindutva will destroy India," he said.
According to Guha, based on past record, it is abundantly clear that Gandhi cannot provide a sustained leadership for such an opposition which can take on the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Hindutva forces.
At a literature festival in Kerala on Friday, a staunch critic of the right wing, Guha portrayed Gandhi as a "fifth generation dynast" and praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "hard working and self-made".
"I have nothing against Rahul Gandhi personally. He is a decent fellow, very well-mannered. But young India does not want a fifth-generation dynast. If you Malayalis make the mistake of re-electing Rahul Gandhi in 2024 too, you are merely handing over an advantage to Narendra Modi," said Guha said at the Kerala festival.
"Because Narendra Modi's great advantage is that he is not Rahul Gandhi," observed Guha.
According to Guha, Modi ran Gujarat for 15 years, gaining administrative experience. "He is hard-working and does not take holidays in Europe".
Analysing years of political activity, Guha said he cannot predict the future but only describe what can see there today, saying, "It is clear that Rahul Gandhi cannot be a credible leader." Reacting to a news agency's report on a talk he gave in Kerala on Friday at a literature festival, the historian said: "I gave a one hour talk and a news agency reporter took two sentences out of it. Hear the whole one hour talk and write about it." Guha said he spoke an hour about jingoism and religious majority in India today and urged the pubic to react only after listening to the entire speech.
Guha's speech and his observation on the Congress scion went viral with several retweets, comments and reactions to his remarks.
Satisha K.S. tweeted: "Ramachandra Guha admits that Rahul Gandhi is a useless guy and Left is anti-national." "I know he is a disgusting person who has sounded for Modi," tweeted Chinu Mahapatra about the historian.
Another sarcastic tweet by Rasik Vajpayee, said: "Courtiers first blamed EVM, then polarisation and then poor intelligence of electorate and now a historian cum space scientist with lifetime services to a dynasty bites his master." (Sharon Thambala can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text