Even at the risk of these columns being accused of having a Rahul Gandhi fixation, it would amount to a ducking of duty not to raise this query.

What is more ridiculous: his contention that the Congress party had little to do with the sinister, calculated massacre of thousands of Sikhs after the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984, or the plea from family-loyalists that since he was but a callow youth at the time his ignorance of the most vicious blood-letting since Partition could be excused? The party is circling the wagons to protect its ineffective leader, but surely P Chidambaram and Capt.

Amarinder Singh must realise that their own credibility is on the line when they try such a silly defence. Ignorance is no alibi, not for something that was the subject of so much controversy for so long, in fact lingers even until the present day.

Only marginally less silly is legal expert Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s bid to deflect the issue by citing a series of measures to try and identify the guilty ~ with precious little success because while a hand-picked police leadership did nothing to stop the slaughter it worked overtime to destroy/conceal tell-tale evidence.

All that the sycophantic leadership has done is to convince the people that someone as “unknowing” as Rahul does not merit consideration as a candidate for a position to which he suggests he is entitled, remember who were his father, grandmother and great-grandfather.

It is perfectly understandable that Rahul would back-off from naming his father ~ yet someone aspiring to the Prime Minister’s Office is required to be made of sterner stuff. If the Congress fails to attract voters in Delhi and the north next summer, Chidambaram, Amarinder etc would have contributed to that rejection.

Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi’s “apology” for the slaughter has just been negated by Rahul, and the acolytes who continue to hold sway in Akbar Road. Tragically the story did not end in 1984.

Those events actually served as a blueprint for the attempt at ethnic-cleansing in Gujarat in 2002: all accusations against Narendra Modi are returned, with interest, by recalling the line about what happens when “a big tree falls”.

Indian politics has now been reduced to one evil being justified by a precedent, and whether or not Rahul is man enough to accept it, what happened within days of Rajiv becoming Prime Minister has left wounds that have still not healed.

They have actually been reopened, exacerbated by the craven attempt to absolve the Congress party of culpability for 1984. And in that process convinced many a voter that under Rahul the Congress would be a bad choice in 2019.

Has the ignorance of the youth now elevated to the top slot in the oldest political party not driven another nail into its coffin? Rahul Gandhi remains the BJP’s ace of trumps.