By Nanditha Sankar:
I can feel the words ‘women empowerment’ and ‘cleansing the system’ ringing in my ears. For the uninitiated, Arnab Goswami, the prominent media anchor, interviewed the heir-apparent of the Congress Party – Rahul Gandhi. Touted as one of the most looked forward interviews of the year, piqued by all the TRP-gathering tactics of the media, the pre-interview hype was enough to make just about anyone tune in to the interview. Now that the storm has raged and the damage has been done, Rahul Gandhi would have himself to blame for uncalculated, vague and borderline ridiculous answers he spun while blinking cluelessly every 2 seconds.
When the person on the dais is RG, Modi has to come to light. One would’ve expected him to give a candid reply as promised but instead he left it to his logic to trust the words of ‘others’ who had seen the Government of Gujarat massacre but failed to apply the same wisdom to the riots of 1984, expect that he found them ‘horrible’. To quote him , ‘Gujarat happened, people died’. Either he has trouble framing sentences or he clearly learnt his answers wrong. He could’ve bettered people’s expectations with a better answer on Kejriwal but RG chose to play spoilsport by letting the world know that Kejriwal was the leader of the opposition. Seems like only a genius like RG could’ve spotted it.
Not writing on ‘the system’ or ‘women empowerment’ would be a crime when discussing this interview. These words played like the ‘Om’ in a bhajan – repetitive, recursive and what not. While his key focus at one point was to cleanse the system (let’s just assume he forgot that much of the ‘system’ we see today was forged by his own party), women empowerment seemed to be his comfort-spot. When answers weren’t coming, like a nervous student sitting for an exam, he chose to field that topic for each and every question directed to him. Claiming to be a strong critic of the ‘dynasty’ politics which he himself is clearly a part of, he chose to take shelter in the names of his family when tough questions were posed to him. He was tongue-tied at the mention of the Adarsh Scam and Ashok Chavan, confounded at the idea of corrupt politicians but thoughtful enough to churn out new punch lines like ‘prices are a reality’ when questioned about the rising prices.
I’ve tried hard to find so much as an iota of sense in the interview that transpired. Rahul Gandhi may be earnest in his attempts to cleanse the system but his confusion cannot be masked. He seems unclear of what his key priority is every 10 seconds. He seems to lack answers to tough questions despite having been around in Indian politics for so long. Contradiction is his mantra. His facts seem ill-founded with shaky foundations. The harder we try not to mock him, the more he throws himself into the arena. He’d better hire a better PR team to teach him better answers or else he’d better become the next Alok Nath!