Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Discovery of India’ is following such bizarrely unconventional ways that it is impossible not to subject it to public scrutiny. Last week he thought he needed a phirang co-discoverer and hence took British Foreign Secretary David Miliband to spend a night on a charpoy in the cowshed of a poor dalit widow in a village near Amethi, his parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
Miliband, 43, slept in Karma Devi’s house, whereas Rahul had a sleepover in the thatched hut of Shiv Kumari, another dalit woman in the neighbourhood. Rahul explained the purpose of this rural rendezvous:
“A lot of people come to India and they have a particular perspective based very much on the big cities. I thought it would be quite interesting for the foreign secretary to come to rural India.”
There was of course the mandatory visit to a milk collection centre, a school, a hospital and a women’s self-help group—all bearing the name of the Gandhi family. But make no mistake, it was India’s poverty on display for the benefit of Britain’s PM-in-waiting, courtesy the Congress party’s PM-in-waiting.
As Miliband himself wrote in his blog while leaving for Amethi:
“800 million Indians live on less than 2 dollars a day, 450 million on less than 1 dollar and I will get a chance to see some of the gap that exists between metropolitan middle class India and the rest.
How is Rahuls Poverty tourism different from this ------> tourism-or-voyeurism-at-its-worst