Scene: A popular TV channel presenting live telecast of debate on a very important subject of national interest
Anchor, Miss Malini: “The subject matter of tonight’s discussion is ‘is Gandhi really still a kid?”. This remark was made today by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. He has twetted, ‘Rahul Gandhi is still a kid. His party has perhaps not told him that railway comes under the central government, not Delhi government.’ In fact, the tweet was in Hindi. Kejriwal had used a Hindi word ‘bachcha’ for the Congress vice president.
As you know, the Aam Aadmi Party was protesting against the demolition of slums by the Railways in Delhi. Rahul Gandhi raised the question, ‘Why is AAP doing dharna? They are in power in Delhi.’ The Delhi Chief Minister’s remarks have angered the leaders as well as the rank and file of the party. In our opinion, in the opinion of the media, it is a very important issue. Is the Congress vice president really still a child, as Arvind Kejriwal says? The issue is important because it is linked to the fate of this great country of 127 crore people. Many in the Congress party want Rahul Gandhi to be the Congress president and be projected as the next Prime Minister of India.”
After a brief pause, she continues: “For discussion on this important issue, we have invited Mr Rajeev Chadha, the spokesperson of The Aam Aadmi Party. The Congress party has sent Mr Heera Lal Vohra. He is not the regular spokesperson who appears on TV channels. He is the oldest living leader of the party. The party has sent him in view of the great importance of the subject. No one can explain better than him the stand of the party on this issue. Then we have Mr. Sunil Batra, the spokesperson of the BJP. Finally, we have invited Dr. Narendra Sethi, a noted psychologist of Delhi. He has done his PhD on ‘mature mind of a child and childlike mind of a grown-up man’. He will give us an insight into the human mind. I will first request Mr Rajeev Chadha to explain why the Delhi Chief Minister made that remark and what did he mean by that?”
Rajeev Chadha: “You know, our leader Shri Arvind Kejriwal, a highly educated person, is never in the habit of making loose remarks. When he has said that Rahul Gandhi is a kid, Rahul Gandhi must be a kid. Our leader was constrained to make this remark because of a childish…..”
Heera Lal Vohra: “I take serious objection to the AAP spokesperson’s choice of words. Kejriwal is in the habit of making loose remarks. He himself behaves like a child. He has no understanding…”
Anchor intervenes: “Sir, I respect you for your age and your position in the public life but, please Sir, allow the AAP spokesperson to answer the question. Mr Chadha , please continue.”
Rajeev Chadha: “As I was saying, our leader was constrained to make this remark because of a childish comment by Rahul Gandhi. If Rahul Gandhi does not know that the AAP was protesting against the inhuman behaviour of the Railways which are under the central government, what else can you say about him? Even a school student knows that the Railways come under the central government. Only a small child would not know this fact. That’s why our leader had to make that remark.”
Sunil Batra: “Delhi Chief Minister’s remark was derogatory. You cannot say that a 45-year-old man, who is vice president of the National party, is a kid. He should have…”
Anchor cuts him short. “The BJP spokesperson will have opportunity to give his opinion. Before that I would like to know the response of the senior Congress leader. It is time for a commercial break. After the break, we will continue to discuss this national issue of great importance. We will discuss whether the Congress vice president is really a kid, whether the Delhi Chief Minister made the remark in all seriousness or in a lighter vein.”
Looking at the viewers, she says: “Please don’t go anywhere. We’ll be back shortly. The issue of discussion is very important. It is linked to national politics.”
After the commercial break.
Anchor resumes. “Before going for the break, the AAP spokesperson had tried to explain the background of the Delhi chief minister’s remarks but he did not say whether the Delhi Chief Minister really meant what he said or did he say so in a lighter vein? Mr Chadha, please tell us the truth. The people of this country want to know the truth, nothing but the truth.
Rajeev Chadha: “I have already explained the position. Our leader Shri Arvind Kejriwal whom the people of Delhi have given unprecedented mandate always speaks the truth, nothing but the truth. The truth is that Rahul Gandhi may be 45-year-old but he has still the mind of a child, a kid. Shri Arvind Kejriwal has tried to remind him and…”
Heera Lal Vohra intervenes. “I take serious objection to what the AAP spokesperson is saying. Rahul Gandhi is a very mature person. He is our leader, leader of the oldest party of the country. He is only two years younger than Kejriwal. Rahulji has shown great maturity in organising the party. He has strengthened the party. He is a man of great vision. All of us look at him for guidance. I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that I may be almost double his age but mentally he is far mature than me. He is going to be our next president and one day he will be Prime Minister of the country. That is what the people of this country want. They are eagerly waiting to see him as the ….”
BJP spokesperson smiles. So does the anchor. Rajeev Chadha too smiles and says, “Really? Without election? The Congress party fought the last general election under his leadership which was guided by his mother and everybody knows the result. The grand old party had never such a negligible presence in the Lok Sabha. I can give you several examples….’
Heera Lal Vohra intervenes: “The Aam Aadmi Party has no right to criticise the Congress party. The party knows how to re-emerge. We did so in 1977. We will do it again in 2019. Most of the candidates of the Aam Aadmi Party lost their deposits in the last general election. It is a party of immature…”
Anchor again intervenes. “Please Sir, Let us concentrate on the subject matter of discussion. We are not here to discuss what happened in 1977 or what will happen in 2019. We are here discussing what happened today. The subject matter of discussion is, ‘Is 45-year-old Rahul Gandhi really still a kid?”
Rajeev Chadha: “He is. He may be 45-year-old but that does not mean anything. I can give you several examples why people call him Pappu. You know what he said at an election rally in Gujarat in 2014? He said that Gujarat is famous for production of milk. Then he asked the people, ‘Who has given milk to Gujarat?’ Before the people could reply, he himself gave the answer, ‘Women of Gujarat have given milk to Gujarat. ‘Is this the language of a mature person? I’m surprised that an elderly leader like Shri Heera Lal Vohra calls a man who is half his age, his leader. He looks like a child. When he smiles, you can see dimples in his cheeks, a sign of young boy. The oldest party being led by a kid has gone senile. I say…’
Heera Lal Vohra: “I take serious objection to such remarks by the spokesperson of a party of immature young people. He is quoting our leader out of context. He should first know the full facts before saying anything. There is no respect for any wise person in the Aam Aadmi Party. The party has thrown senior and experienced persons like Shanti Bhushan and Shanti Bhushan because they think that they have all the wisdom. They don’t have a single mature person to be a spokesperson. They have sent a young boy, yes, this spokesperson looks like a young boy, to participate in a debate which is uncalled for.
Shri Rahul Gandhiji is a highly mature person. His 45-year-old. Don’t forget, this is the age at which the world has seen many leaders. In fact, even at much younger age. Napoleon was only 35 when he became emperor of France. John F. Kennedy became president of USA at the age of 43. In our own country, Rajeev Gandhi became Prime Minister, a highly mature Prime Minister, at the age of 40. I can give you many examples…”
Rajeev Chadha: “These examples don’t prove that Rahul Gandhi is a mature person. Napoleon and John F. Kennedy became leaders in their own right, very much like our leader Shri Arvind Kejriwal. Rajeev Gandhi became Prime Minister because his mother was Prime Minister. His mother became Prime Minister because her father was Prime Minister. Sonia Gandhi became Congress President because she was married to Rajeev Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi is called leader of the party because he is son of Rajeev Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, not because he has proved his qualities as a leader in his own right. In fact, his younger sister Priyanka Gandhi is a more mature person. The party should have preferred her to her kid-brother. She has been denied what she deserved. Even now…”
Heera Lal Vohra: “The Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson is crossing all the limits. Shrimati Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister because people wanted her. When the Congress party fought election under the leadership of Rajeev Gandhi, the party got unprecedented mandate from the people. Who should be leader of the Congress party is the choice of the family, sorry, party. The party elected Sonia Gandhi as its president and Rahul Gandhi as its Vice President. The AAP has no business to drag Priyanka Gandhi’s name here. She is always free to decide what she wants to go for the party and for the country.”
Anchor: “Please gentlemen, please concentrate on the subject matter. We are not here to discuss who became Congress President or Prime Minister and why. Now I will like to have the comments of the BJP spokesperson. Mr Batra what would you like to say on this issue?”
Sunil Batra: “This is a matter between the oldest party and the youngest party of the country. Let it be settled between the two.”
Rajeev Chadha, very satirically, “Very interesting. The Congress’s arch rival is not taking advantage of attacking the party. There must be some secret understanding between the two. I can understand the reason. These days the BJP is very much afraid of the Congress and somehow wants to win its support to get certain anti-poor bills passed in the Parliament. But the BJP should rest assured that the Congress will never support it.”
Sunil Batra: “Ours is a party which believes in principles, not in secret deals. It is the practice of the Congress party which the Aam Aadmi party is also following. Look at what they did in Bihar. After winning elections on the issue of fighting corruption, the Aam Aadmi party shook hands with those indulging in corruption. Arvind Kejriwal was seen hugging Laloo Prasad.”
Rajeev Chadha: “Shri Arvind Kejriwal was not hugging Laloo Prasad. Shri Kejriwal was taken unawares when Laloo Prasad pulled him and hugged him.”
Sunil Batra: “Really? In the live telecast, he was seen the smiling.”
Anchor Malini: “I must intervene here. I’m getting message that it is time for break. After the break, we will hear the opinion of the psychologist Dir. Narendra Sethi.”
Facing the viewers, she says: “Please don’t go anywhere. We are discussing a very important national issue. We’ll be back soon.”
After the break
Anchor Miss Malini: “Before going for the break, we heard the spokespersons of three parties. We must also hear the renowned psychologist, Dir. Narendra Sethi. As I had said earlier, he has done his PhD on ‘mature mind of a child and childlike mind of a grown-up man’. He can enlighten us when a grown-up person can be called a kid. Dr. Sethi, please.
Dir. Narendra Sethi: “You see, it is a very delicate subject. Our studies show that it is not necessary that a grown-up person is also a mature person. Sometimes, a person younger in age shows great maturity and sometimes it is just the contrary, a grown-up person behaving like a child. The biological age may be more but mental age may not be matching. I will not like to…”
Rajeev Chadha: “O doctor, we have not come here to listen to your academic lecture. We all know these things. Please tell us whether in your opinion Rahul Gandhi is a kid or not.”
Anchor Miss Malini: “Mr. Chadha, Dr. Sethi is a renowned psychologist. He is not from any political party. You must give him due respect. He has his own way of analysing the problems. Please listen to him. Dr. Sethi, please continue.
Dir. Sethi: “I had no occasion to personally study Shri Rahul Gandhi. It is not fair on my part to comment on the controversial political issue. It is true that he looks much younger than his age. On the other hand, Rajeev Chadha looks as young as he is though he tries to give the impression that he is older than his look. I need to study a subject, I mean the person, more carefully to make any remark. For the present, all I can say is that while it is expected that the mental age should match the biological age but it is not necessarily so. But one thing I can say without studying any subject, I mean the person concerned. In our country as long as a male is not married, his is called a boy and as long as a female is not married, she is called a girl. A boy weds a girl and a girl weds a boy. When a male becomes father no one calls him a kid. Similarly, when a female becomes mother, no one calls her a child.”
Rajeev Chadha: “Thank you Dr. Sethi. Ultimately have said it. I request Shri Vohra to advise his supreme leader to allow her child to get married and grow up.”
Heera Lal Vohra: “I didn’t expect a learned psychologist to bring such personal issues. Shri Rahul Gandhi is not ready for marriage because he wants to serve the country. Ours is the only party that is committed to serving the poor. All other political parties are running for power while our motto is service of the poor, service of the nation.”
Sunil Batra smiles. So does anchor. Heera Lal Vohra remains serious. Dir. Sethi ignores the remark.
Rajeev Chadha: “Yes. You are right. That is why your party kept the people poor. The people must remain poor so that you can tell them that you are serving them.”
Anchor Miss Malini concludes: “Thank you everybody. We had a very lively and useful discussion. I’m glad that despite sensitivity of the issue, the discussion ended peacefully. The time will give us the real answer. Thank you all once again. Good night.”
By Devendra Narain in indiaopines blogs
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