This date will surely be pencilled in as one of the golden and glorious moments of Indian democracy.
Friday 27 September 2013 will easily count, not just as a copybook media moment, for the benefit of the Press Club of India and media watchers, that was to be savored by the Indian media and all the political commentators who make a living out of following Indian politics, but as a golden moment where the Congress Party has shown itself capable of rising above years of dithering and slithering in a morass created and exemplified by an old guard of politicians who have outlived their USE BY Date found on retail packaging.
That Manmohan Singh has become a loaded political liability to the Congress Party has been obvious to many over the last few years, right from the moments when the media flashed images of the smiling Manmohan Singh patting the Telecom Minister A. Raja, on his back while he stood in respectful attendance.
The economist turned politician who had mastered the art of political survival and was at the helm for the circumstantially trifling reason that the scion of the first family in the party, the young heir who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, seemed to be in two minds about his place or otherwise in the hurly burly of post colonial Indian politics.
Manmohan Singh surely had pushed his economic qualifications for the top political job in India too far, and, for too long, for the comfort of the best interests of India.
The personally incorruptible bureaucrat turned politician had surprised even himself by the length of his innings at the helm and at the crease.
Apart from his own personal career, everything else around him, within the Congress party, as well as the precarious maths of coalition politics, in cahoots with regional kshatraps of an equally bygone era, seemed to be nose diving to collecive suicide with UPA-2.
The man who mastered the art of political survival, was not fit to hold anything more than the office of Indian Foreign Minister in the 21st century, at his best and at his happiest, travelling to foreign countries and opening his mouth only for the benefit of the foreign media in various capitals around the world.
Maybe as "leadership material", Rahul Gandhi knew it in his bones that politics is about the drifting, swimming and going with the flow.
However as "great leadership material" he must have known he had the capacity for grasping moments, the moments when ordinary political acumen gets turned into charismatic and uplifting leadership.
Great nations deserve great leaders. Mediocre nations get mediocre leaders.
Great leaders are those who can sniff, spot, smell the moments that are tailor made for them and for their country.
Surely Rahul Gandhi has grasped this one great moment.
More than grasping this moment he has shown himself to be capable of grasping great moments.
Such moments are rare in the lifetime of individuals. They are rare too in the history of political parties which have lost a grasp over ideology and sense of national purpose.
That Rahul Gandhi has shown himself capable of grasping one such moment for India, is surely a decisive and electrifying moment. He deserves praise, plaudits and appreciation for this.
As a political analyst I can only feel heartened and warm, that India, with all its complexity can produce such crystal clear leadership, if not consistently, then at least at some electrifying moments.
Calculations of political gains and losses are always to be made, great tranformative and charismatic leadership however, completely transfigures the layout of the chess board and political game plans.
Here instinct goes a long way and Rahul Gandhi has, at least to me, today shown himself as having come to the cusp of political maturity. Whether it is because he senses the danger of being pitted in a contest of image with Narendra Modi, is besides the point.
The moment will play itself out in many ways in the coming years.
But surely this is an electrifying moment, an electrifying day for the Congress Party and for the vitality of Indian democracy.