Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rahul Gandhi's PI - Is There More to it Than We See?

Rahul Gandhi (or his PR team) finally decided that after ten years in Indian politics he could give a one-on-one interview to a news channel. And interview he did give, though it was reduced to the butt of jokes both on the incoherent Rahul Gandhi and the unbelievably restrained Arnab Goswami.

To sum up the interview, you need not watch it for the entire one and a half hour of its duration. The chaos that Rahul Gandhi's mind is on display, when he tries to explain himself and whether he fears a certain political unspeakable or not. His faff like responses to questions on Sikh Riots or for that matter on why Gujarat riots were really a blot seemed rote, under-prepared. This was shocking, since it is understood that when people of considerable political importance are interviewed, the questions are usually vetted by a set of people around the person in question. To then have a ramble pass on as an interview was incredible. Even someone as tempestuous as Arnab Goswami, despite his greatest pretentions, seems uneasy for most parts of the interview by the garbled, disjointed murmurings of Rahul Gandhi.

(Courtesy Times of India)
While Congress spokesperson were trying their hard to portray the interview as a success, privately many people within the party are disappointed, and daggers have been drawn within camp Congress on who let this debacle happen. However, as per an old Telugu saying - you may scrub an elephant with as hard a brush as you like, but it will still remain black. There has been talk about him being a reluctant, unwilling politician who did not want to participate in the process to begin with, prompting keen interest on this issue even outside India. To force him to take command of the troops would mean nothing less than suicide. Does this reluctance have something to do with the interview though? After all, some observers would tell you that Rahul Gandhi is not as stupid as he seemed during the interview. This might have been taken up as an excuse by him to prepare an exit route for himself out of this world that he does not wish to be a part of at all.

Can there be more to this interview than is seen by the eye? There's another potential theory. A section of the party has been more than keen to get Priyanka Gandhi, his sister, into the mix. This was driven by the disaster of losing two out of the fifteen districts of Amethi and Rae Bareili Lok Sabha seats in 2012's UP state assembly elections. Priyanka certainly seems more at ease and comfortable with the rigmarole of Indian politics, even going as far as to revel in it. Rumour mills were spinning overtime when Priyanka Gandhi attended the Congress core committee meeting earlier this year. This section of the party that backs Priyanka and promotes her as a natural successor to Indira Gandhi's legacy see her as a hope for the party, and thus pushed hard for the Rahul Gandhi debacle, knowing fully well that it would only bolster their demands for her involvement, something she has shunned away from so far.
(Courtesy The Hindu)

So could it be one of the two things? Only time will tell. As of now, one can safely say that Rahul Gandhi has made himself the star campaigner for Narendra Modi and BJP in 2014's general elections. The Congress shall now fight the elections only to salvage some pride.

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