Rahul Gandhi, son of Rajiv Gandhi and grandson of Indira Gandhi; stuff he repeatedly reminded us of, hence keeping the flag of dynasty politics fluttering throughout the interview.
Everyone really wanted to hear from this man, in first person. The whole nation was watching. Everyone watched as he blinked, fumbled, dodged, stuttered and made a complete fool of himself. This son of the Gandhi’s came across as a complete joke. Twitter immediately ripped him apart. He must have gone home and completely regretted having taken this decision.
See, when you are the Vice President of independent India’s oldest ruling party, the scion of the nation’s founding political party with a surname that spells history, and belonging to a party that has just miserably lost in the elections, you know you will have too much to answer for. The journalist is not going to give you an easy ride. You will be asked uncomfortable questions, the past shall be brought out, the future will be questioned. And if you come for such an interview, making your first ever television appearance, knowing the country is watching, you CANNOT come prepared with four answers. And you absolutely cannot try to retro fit them into any question that is asked. It is NOT acceptable for the Vice President of any party, much rather India’s first, to be so immature and unprepared for something like this.
This has happened because Rahul is genuinely not involved in the grassroots of politics. He is just a face bearing a name. And to continuously try and gain sympathy for the deaths in your family only makes you appear meek. Why don’t you be your own person? A born leader like your great grandfather, grandmother and father were. They were strong personalities; never so weak and fumbling. What Rahul really is he is a spoilt, mollycoddled son born in an influential family in independent India. He’s never really been exposed to any hardship whatsoever to firstly, understand the needs of the people and secondly and more importantly, gain any strength of character. The four answers that he came armed with for this interview also seemed like they were fed to him by his advisers, or more likely the supposed agency he has hired for 500cr. It had the material that MBAs all around the country fill their powerpoint presentations with and marketing managers still vouch for. Youth, youth, youth. Wimmen wimmen wimmen. RTI RTI RTI (which actually is a doing of Anna, Kejriwal and gang). I mean, anyone, anyone even moderately educated and slightly researched on the topic one has to speak on can make up passable answers. Confident bluffing is not, dear yuva congress man, any rocket science (See Video Below).
But he couldn’t even bluff. He couldn’t save face even through deceit, and that also says something about him. Either he is genuinely “an anomaly in this environment”, as he himself said, not possessing skills for political tricks and word play. Or he is plain dumb. I think both the points are fairly true. He is just holding the political baton for his family because that’s what’s making them rich and powerful. Personally, he has no interest in politics. He’s got firang genes, he’s educated abroad and I don’t think he himself feels he belongs here. That he has no interest in people’s welfare is easy to digest because which politician really does? What’s strange is his inability to even put a facade, the only thing the rest of his clan has mastered. And the others can put a facade because they keep themselves abreast with everything, even though they don’t do anything about anything. That knowledge gives them the power to bluff. So slight research you gotta do ya RaGa, party ke Vice President ho tum. If answers were cylinders, dear Rahul, 9 cylinder se baat nahi banti, tumko 12 cylinder chahiye!
But there are some other things to be considered here.
First about Sir Arnab Goswami and what a hyena he is. Fumble once, show one weak card and he will rip you apart. And growl at him once and he will cower for cover. Remember that interview with Raj Thackeray? Aren’t there enough and more stuff to blame the Sena/ MNS for? But Arnab was like the sacrificial goat in front of a hungry lion, talking like Raj was holding a gun under the table, throughout the interview.
And while we are on interviews, why leave out the Modi – Karan Thapar one, where Modi walked out when he could no longer take the questions. Well, there’s a threshold for bluffing too.
At least Rahul didn’t do that. He could sense how the interview was going, but he didn’t walk out. Well, that says something too. He remained seated. He took all the questions. He answered them the way he did, but i think there’s more to things than the way they appear. Consider all the factors. Let’s consider Arnab’s chameleon like tendency; Modi’s walking out. Maybe Rahul came prepared to dodge specific questions and make four core points the crux of his interview, repeat them knowing that the nation is watching and for them to understand the focus areas of his politics. If that was his strategy, it may be sound good on paper, but he did not execute it well. It was clearly a “first” interview. He was not prepared. He may have had the first time jitters too. So, the question is, are we capable of letting that pass? Can we consider his inability to deceive answers as a mark of an unpolitician like politician, and isn’t that sort of ‘fresh’? What have all those eloquent bastards given us anyway other than words? Powerful oratory makes a person appear more leader like. But it’s always the silent underdogs who manage to do the most work. He said he has no thirst for power. He may actually not aspire to be PM by himself. Maybe, just maybe, as it has been spoken about him sometimes, his heart is in the right place. Maybe, as Arnab pointed out, he is not thick skinned enough to be a politician. So, what can be the objective of exposing this weak nerve to the nation, when he could have maintained the persona of THE Rahul Gandhi, from a distance. Some miscalculation has definitely happened here. Because I don’t think this interview did them any good. And I don’t think people are going to be kind.
And why should they be? It’s not like giving multiple chances to Katrina Kaif to learn to act or speak Hindi. We are talking about the country here. You are the leader of a front running party whom the people have elected multiple times. Congress and BJP were the only two options we had, and we kept oscillating between the two. Electing one to power, getting dejected and then electing the other one. Pendulum Politics.
And then one man rises from the masses to give democracy it’s true meaning. To release us from the shackles of lack of choice. He presented us with what we urgently needed since many many years – a third option. And a solid one I think. The Aam Aadmi Party. Our muffler wearing common man is now the Chief Minister of our Capital, after having defeated that old lady under whom, ironically, Delhi was declared the most unsafe state for women. On the very day of this Rahul – Arnab interview, I was watching a Kejriwal exclusive interview on another channel. His work precedes him and the journalist trying to ask him tough questions was the one appearing ridiculous. Nevertheless, Kejri was armed with print outs and solid answers for everything. He doesn’t have a strong personality, has sort of a funny voice, and coughs vehemently, in not a very understated chief ministerly like manner. But look the people got him to power! We don’t just want a person with “his heart in the right place”, we want things to move and we want them to move fast. Look what he has managed in just 30 days of coming to power! People accuse him of ridiculous things like anarchy. What anarchy? He is stepping outside his cush chief ministerial office and taking things head on. When leaders don’t do anything, people have a problem. And when this guy is doing so much, just shut up and support him. Give him a chance.
This is his interview with Rajdeep Sardesai that went viral too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd9AQeD9hxQ (Editorial Note – For some reason this video interview has been removed)
And this is an article that presents an alternate view of the Rahul interview. Though it could totally be an exercise of the Congress PR.
So there you go. This went on for longer than I expected. Do not mistake me to be someone heavily involved in politics. I’m just like all of you. I don’t have any special knowledge on any political issues. I, like all of you, have discussions with my friends on how we should all move abroad. But I do watch news making interviews like these. I do gape at speeches of Obama and the American election time proceedings and public debates and marvel at how professional they are. I mock at our politicians, but I also vote, since the year I was eligible to do so. And when I vote, I research on the candidates of my constituencies (it’s all available online) and vote for the one with the least criminal records and most education, even though he/she maybe an independent candidate and my vote may never count. I choose complaining and never considered joining the “dirty” world of politics. Even if I wanted to, I have way too many embarrassing party pictures to ever be the face of anything in the public space. But when we were presented by a third option from an honest man who was brave enough to do so, I signed up for the party on a registration drive, not even knowing what it would practically require me to do. I may not be the most aware, but I’m also not the most inert. I just know, when good things are happening, we should support them. Worst case, we will be let down again. But that’s been happening anyway.
This piece is not an out pour. I was just shocked after watching Rahul’s interview. I saw it again. And I felt like getting some perspective and a lot of times, I get that when I write.
By Umma Saini