As a practitioner of a devalued craft, namely writing and print journalism, one does not get rewarded much, if any at all. Vindication is perhaps the best reward but it is not a globally convertible currency that one can use to pay bills. Nonetheless, it feels nice for a bit even if I have extracted that vindication myself by juxtaposing what I wrote and what someone else said.
The other day I wrote a comment for the IANS wire about Rahul Gandhi, vice president of India’s main governing Congress Party and possible prime ministerial candidate. The comment was prompted by Rahul’s very public and dramatic rejection of an ordinance being issued by the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that sought to protect lawmakers with criminal conviction. Rahul’s repudiation caused quite a flutter in India’s political world since it was seen to undermine Dr. Singh’s authority.
As part of my comment I wrote, “It is clear that (Rahul) Gandhi’s construct was rather churlish and unbecoming of someone who has been projected to be India’s next prime minister. It may have been representative of his youth but it was crafted in a manner that fell short of someone who has been reared in the rarefied world of power and privilege all his life. If the purpose was to reveal a politically rebellious and irreverent side of his, then it did not quite succeed other than sending news anchors slobbering to their chairs. Even if the comments were made out of genuine conviction – and it seemed they were – they were still lacking in finesse.”
This was an appropriately pompous way for a journalist to basically say that in publicly berating the Singh government over the ordinance Rahul had fucked up. My comment on September 27 was widely published and, presumably, widely read. Or so I have chosen to conclude because how else would I extract the reward of vindication? Then yesterday, during a visit to my native of Ahmedabad, Rahul was quoted as saying by the media, “My mother (Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi) told me the words I used were wrong. In hindsight, may be the words I used were strong but the sentiment was not wrong. I am young….”
Once you take my verbiage off what I have said and what Rahul has said is pretty much the same. Since I said about him days before what he said his mother said about him, I am conveniently filing it under the “Vindication” column. Of course, there is next to no chance that he read what I wrote, felt compelled to agree because of its brilliant persuasiveness and issued that clarification in my home town. However, as I said at the beginning of the post, in the absence of any financial reward for ‘I told you so’ I am going for vindication. No one has given it. I have simply grabbed it.
Let me paraphrase what Dev Anand said, “You can all stand and vindicate.”