This Bakrid, the people of Wayanad had a guest among them, whose own life and destiny appears to be inextricably interwoven with theirs in an unusual way. For one, Rahul Gandhi, being the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that overshadowed the destiny of India for much of the seven decades after its independence, was never expected to run for parliament from this remote tip of the vast Indian subcontinent.
Though Rahul Gandhi was rejected by his family’s traditional pocket borough of Amethi, Wayanad wholeheartedly accepted him, offering the greatest of winning margins ever enjoyed by any candidate in the Lok Sabha elections in the state. This week’s visit to Wayanad is the second one for Gandhi after the May elections, preceded by a brief thanksgiving tour immediately after his victory.
But this time, the circumstances have changed, and Gandhi returns to a people who are desperately fighting a battle for survival. Wayanad has been totally devastated—the floods and natural disasters that hit the state for the second year running, has hit Rahul Gandhi’s constituency the hardest. Whole villages have been wiped out and thousands of people have been rendered homeless.