Recently Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, the man who will certainly become the PM if ever a Congress coalition gets a majority, gave his first proper interview to a TV channel. It was a telling interview and spoke a lot about the state of mind of the man who has nicknames like Pappu, Shehzada, Yuvraj and Buddhu on Twitter.
Some things that came through…
1. He can lie like any other politician:
Lying comes naturally to politicians and Rahul was no different. The Congress party never holds a poll to select the Prime Minister. Even if it does, then it has no meaning. Jawaharlal Nehru never wasn't even in the Top 2 PM choices by the party and was still selected PM by Mahatma Gandhi.
It's the same with Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. They were all 'selected'. And yet Rahul kept repeating that Congress MPs elected the PM. He also knows that he has no chance of winning in 2014 and yet he kept saying that he would win.
His comments on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots also followed the same path and Sikh leaders later came on TV and point blank called him a liar.
2. He can evade like any other politician:
Why is he not taking on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi? What would he specifically do with sorting out corruption and especially cases like those against Congress CMs Ashok Chavan and Virbhadra Singh? How exactly is Modi guilty in 2002?
All these questions went totally unanswered as he kept dropping the key words of RTI, empowerment, system, fundamentals etc.3. He has no ideas
: What are his specific ideas for improving the economy, boosting our foreign relations with our neighbours, handling specific cases of corruption, improving infrastructure…
Everything is answered in generalities. He keeps throwing his key words in all his speeches. He comes across as an extremely clueless, confused and superficial leader.4. He's a hypocrite too:
He keeps talking of the system and improving it and how it is closed without stating the fact that it is the Congress party that has created the system of India for better or worse. His family has produced three Prime Ministers and his mother is the most powerful person in India.
A big problem in India is dynastic politics and the Nehru-Gandhi model has been copied by regional leaders. To make matters worse, he keeps talking of giving a chance to outsiders while favouring dynastic scions himself.
RTI and Lokpal have a huge history behind them and dozens of big names have pushed them and yet Rahul has taken all the credit to himself. Also he didn't support the fact that political parties should come under RTI.
Then without giving any explanations of any kind he says, 'I am absolutely for transparency'. He also favoured having an alliance (if it came about) with the RJD even though its leader Laloo Prasad Yadav was convicted calling it an 'idea'.5. He keeps throwing names:
In New Delhi everyone keeps saying 'Tu jaanta nahin mera baap kaun hai?' Rahul keeps following the same path and keeps invoking his father and grandmother who were both Prime Ministers.
He also expressed dismay at his grandmother being arrested, ironic as she imposed Emergency and arrested people in the scores. And then he goes ahead and says things like: I don't actually keep invoking my family name!
He also refers to himself in the third person, which has been a favoured method by kings in the past.
Our standards are super low..
TV anchor Arnab Goswami usually grills all his guests and shouts at them and doesn’t let themspeak many a times. He generally has a dismissive and arrogant tone but he was extremely civil and polite to Rahul.
He also didn’t ask questions like…
Business Insider website claims that your mother is a dollar billionaire. What do you have to say to that?
Do you believe that your father was guilty in Bofors?
You attack Modi for being authoritarian, but isn’t your mother the same and she also has been holding the post of Congress President for close to 16 years now. Isn’t that undemocratic?
Do you think your brother-in-law is guilty in corruption cases? What do you think of his name appearing at airports?
You keep talking of how the system is closed to outsiders and yet people like you are the biggest problems?
Do you believe in monarchy in a democratic country? If no, then how are you succeeding your mother?
But we are used to journalists absolutely fawning over and falling to their knees when it comes to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, that we found it quite a probing and tough interview.
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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs here.