NEW DELHI — Before he went on his 57-day sabbatical, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi rarely ever made his presence felt in Parliament. Since May 2014, when Narendra Modi government came to power, he hasn't even spoken in Parliament once, despite being widely expected to take over as president of the Congress party from his mother anytime now.
And nobody really knows what he did during his sabbatical, but there seems to be a consensus among media speculators that he was reflecting and meditating in Myanmar and Cambodia.
If that is true, then he could become the poster boy for the effectiveness of meditation. The country has been watching the results in back to back performances. You couldn't tell this is a man commanding the smallest Congress presence in Parliament in history.
Exhibit A: The day after he returned. The Congress Kisaan Khet Mazdoor Rally that was held on on April 19.
Not only did Gandhi speak vocally about the plight of the farmers, he was also his sarcastic best as he talked about the rising price of land.
Next, he poked some fun at BJP MPs for insisting that he should refer to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the country's PM, not just BJP's PM.
"Yeh suit-boot ki sarkar hai... aapki sarkar bade logon ki sarkar hai," he said while taking a dig at Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.
He has also been very vocal at the Lok Sabha, speaking for over 20 minutes on the Land Acquisition Ordinance:
And today, he spoke out on the net neutrality debate, requesting the government to stop Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's consultation on the issue.
"Please stop the consultation and look into either changing the law or writing a new law for net neutrality," Gandhi told the lower house of the parliament. "The government is planning to carve out the net and hand it over to some corporates," he alleged.
Whatever it is that he did in those 57 days is a pretty dramatic productivity booster. The Reluctant Heir is suddenly looking like an eager leader. He should pass on the secret.