Is Robert Vadra the Husband of the Election Season?


Is Robert Vadra the Husband of the Election Season?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Have you made your plans for Valentine’s Day yet? Or are you one of those people who consider themselves above such blatantly consumerist, made-up holidays, classifying V-Day as the cultural equivalent of junk food? Really, it doesn’t matter if you see February 14 as a special day for romance, a waste of time, or an employment opportunity for the Bajrang Dal, because Robert Vadra has won Valentine’s Day even before it arrives.

As Vadra’s wife Priyanka Gandhi prepares to enter the slugfest that is Indian politics (presumably while listening to “Eye of the Tiger” on her headphones), Vadra is ready to become the proverbial supportive man who stands behind every successful woman. And to wish her luck as P, as he calls her, embarks on this voyage, he posted an update on social media that was so mushy, Cupid decided to advance Valentine’s Day by two days just so Vadra’s message didn’t give the internet diabetes with how sweet it was.

Vadra posted a photo of himself with Priyanka – where the couple is seen hands folded, deep in prayer – to send his wife good wishes as she attends the Congress party’s road show in Lucknow yesterday. While referring to her as his “best friend, a perfect wife, and the best mother,” Vadra announced that it was his wife’s destiny to serve the people of India, so he was now handing her over to us, and we have to keep her safe. Going by the way they’ve treated her brother over the last few years, we have to say that Vadra’s quite the optimist if he thinks Priyanka will be warmly received by Indians addicted to trolling. But what’s life without hope?

Who knew, behind the beast-mode workouts, behind the flashy lifestyle, and the designer shades, Robert Vadra was just like any other husband trying to rack up brownie points?

Remember when Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh got married last year? Of course you do, because they had some ten receptions. Ranveer’s antics during the ceremonies were enough to cement his “wokebae” status as the husband nearly every woman wished she could have. Well, if merely showing up to your own wedding dressed like a movie star is enough to qualify as greatest husband ever, then why aren’t we celebrating Vadra with more enthusiasm? After all, he is making time for love-laden Facebook posts while juggling interrogation sessions at the Enforcement Directorate. That’s multitasking at Modi’s level, who leaves Delhi on the PMO’s business, but also manages to work in campaigning for the BJP in his official trips.

And this is not a one-off. Vadra, or at least the version of him that we see on social media, is a supremely dedicated hype man for his wife, who will never miss the opportunity to congratulate her or crow on about her achievements, in a brilliant subversion of the nagging spouse stereotype. Consider how he announced her entry into politics with a photo of the two of them locking eyes, and captioned it, “Congratulations… always by your side in every phase of your life. Give it your best.” At this point, we’re convinced that Vadra waits for Priyanka to come home every day so he can surprise her with a candlelit dinner soundtracked by the “You and I” Vodafone jingle.

Who knew, behind the beast-mode workouts, behind the flashy lifestyle, and the designer shades, Robert Vadra was just like any other husband trying to rack up brownie points before Valentine’s Day with some social-media PDA. A common trick of armchair psychology to strip someone of a larger-than-life aura is to picture them in their underwear, but after seeing Vadra’s post, it’ll probably be easier to imagine them gushing about their better half on social media.

As the election creeps ever closer, it’s only a matter of time before the Lucknow roadshow becomes yesterday’s news, and all the drama surrounding it is forgotten. That’s when Vadra will probably revert to his old role as Priyanka Gandhi’s much-maligned wealthy spouse with a dubious past. But fear not Rob, for we’ll always remember the few days during the election season when you were a candidate for Husband of the Year.