Rahul’s ‘charm’ bowls media over, substance be damned

S Sudhir Kumar | Apr 05, 2013

Rahul’s ‘charm’ bowls media over, substance be damned

“Indeed, Mr. Gandhi — in a marathon and somewhat rambling 75-minute-long interaction — offered no road map or specific solution, sticking to a general, if folksy, analysis of the situation in the country…”

No, this is not another rant by a disgruntled ‘troll’ on the net. The above excerpt is from a report in The Hindu. Slowly, the tide seems to be turning, thanks to the efforts of Rahul Gandhi himself! The more he talks, the more he reveals the vacuum in his mind!

But the self-proclaimed ‘national media’ refuses to call Rahul Gandhi what he is. Let’s start with CNN IBN.

Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai had this to say:

Rahul speech: very average. Q and a responses; very, very good.

Not just good. Very very good.

Rahul Gandhi read a speech for 26 minutes. In fact, he lost a paper in between and said “I have lost it!” There was nothing new in his speech. It was just another rant. Then he said, “he’d be happy to answer questions”.

The first question was on Centre-State relations and how it is affecting economic policy in India. It is safe to assume that the basis for this question is the recent FDI fiasco that UPA presided over. Rahul Gandhi goes on a tangent saying this is not about Centre-State at all. It is about the village pradhan. The village pradhan does not have the power, so anything else is a waste of time to discuss!

While people were still recovering from that answer, the second question was posed. One gentleman wanted to know his thoughts on water-management given the precarious condition of water availability these days. The question was a very good one — something no politician has been asked in recent times. Here’s where Rahul Gandhi’s “very very good” answer blew the minds of the lakhs of people watching it.

He continued his rant — it’s not just about water but it’s about the system. You cannot get anything done within this system… blah blah blah. Then he goes into giving power to a billion people. Rants about power being in the hands of a few moves to how Youth Congress elections are held. Then he enlightens us that individuals cannot solve the problems of a billion people and that it doesn’t matter what Rahul Gandhi thinks about an issue because it is ‘irrelevant’. After that I lost interest in his ranting.

He answered two questions for about 30 minutes (longer than his written speech) and in summary he said, “You are foolish to imagine that I’d solve any of your problems. And because I can’t do it, I tell you this with full authority. No one can solve your problems. Anyone telling you otherwise lying.”

It’s such a sad reflection of the quality of political analysis on our TV when the editor-in-chief of IBN thinks that this oft-repeated rant is a “very very good” answer to a question of better water-management.

Meanwhile, National Bureau Chief of IBN, Bhupendra Chaubey says this (amongst some other gems):

Rahul G clearly challenging Namo, that’s what he is saying by talking about “individuals” #RGCII

Not to be left behind, Pallavi Ghosh says:

Rahul’s dig at modi? ” It can’t be about one person”

Outside of the IBN stable, Director, The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy, Malini Parthasarathy tweets:

Rahul Gandhi’s excellent warning to India not to fall into messiah trap but to hear aspirations of billions

It’s amazing how these ‘analysts’ don’t see the supreme irony in Rahul Gandhi saying it’s not about individuals. Malini even paraphrased it as his warning not to fall into the messiah trap. This same Rahul Gandhi never misses an opportunity to extol about Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi – all individuals. This same Rahul Gandhi never misses an opportunity to credit Rajiv Gandhi – an individual – for all the supposedly great things that this country has seen. This same Rahul Gandhi, in his recent Jaipur rant, has fully credited Manmohan Singh – an individual – for getting us out of the 1991 crisis. And this same Rahul Gandhi enlightened us yesterday that this same individual, Manmohan Singh, cannot solve all our problems!

But hey, analysing like this would mean that you miss a chance on hitting out at Modi, so why go down that road?

But this speech also ruffled a few feathers. Like I said, the tide is slowly turning. Almost all the ‘national’ news anchors were wondering why Rahul is still ranting against the ‘system’ when he had the power to change it?

Vikram Chandra, CEO of NDTV:

The problem with #RahulGandhi criticizing “the system” is that he and his party ARE the system right now! Solutions, pls!

Rajdeep Sardesai:

Rahul speech: nice first principles, but where are the solutions Mr Gandhi? Or is that left to Dr Singh?

This is the exact same point that the trolls on the internet have been making since 2007! Rahul has a dismal record of participation in any law making activity, and yet hasn’t faced a single tough question from any media (even in Press conferences) so far.

The contradictions in Rahul Gandhi’s speeches are open for anyone to see, but if one chooses to be blind to the content and harp on charm, it’s a real tragedy.

Finally, not to be left far behind, Sagarika Ghose had this to say:

Liked how Rahul presented himself, tho. Low key and informal. None of the swagger and bombast of You Know Who..

Sensible strategy of Pappu not to try and compete with Chappan in loud aggro swagger. His only hope is to sell the contrast in persona..

Great language coming from a deputy editor of a ‘national news channel’.


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ABOUT AUTHOR

S Sudhir Kumar

Obsessive eater, Compulsive sleeper, Repulsive Writer