Here is my report card on Rahul Gandhi’s interview with the loudest yet most strangely captivating man in India, Arnab Goswami
(Full disclosure/disclaimer: This is in total jest. No one should sue me or delete my blog or send 4 dogs after me because this offends them. I am offensive. The world is offensive. Get over it. Or you know, close your browser.)
This is how this report card will work. I will give Rahul Gandhi 100 points to begin with.
1. 10 points are deducted the first time he is vague or deflects an issue or says unrelated stuff. This is because it is unbecoming of a man widely perceived as a potential Prime Minister. He needs to have the flow, man.
2. 10 points are added every single time he is specific and direct or at least normal. This naturally follows from the previous point, and leads to the next one
3. 20 points are deducted for repetitive stuff.
4. 30 points are added if he silences the raging vocal-chord express that is Arnab.
5. 50 points are added if he actually manages to convince me, a staunch Congress hater, that yeah, this guy is legit but his party is shit.
6. 1000 points are added and I will personally bestow upon him the title “Ruler And Caretaker Of All Known Universes” if he says something dramatic, controversial and unexpected.
Anything below 50 is “Fail”
Anything above it upto 150 is “Meh”
Anything above that is “Totally rad and possibly getting my vote (in spirit, because I can’t vote as an NRI)”
Let’s get started.
Part 1: Introductions and niceties.
RahulScore: He answered pretty much to the point and it was a generally normal conversation he had with Arnab. For that, 140 points.
Part 2: The conversation.
His PM answer, in my opinion, was pretty solid. That’s right, I am convinced by what he said. Whether he means it or not is an entirely different thing, but what he said makes sense. So 10 points to that. I mean, there is a system to elect leaders, and it’s not by having a PM candidate announced before hand, though doing that isn’t bad.
He then lost all the ground he began to gain, by rambling something about his “difficult” history with the system. I find that hard to believe, that Rahul Gandhi – as a totally privileged person who grew up in India’s First Family – has had anything difficult. Come on man. I’m not even in a privileged family and I have it reasonably easier than 70% of India’s population.
He then goes on to lose it more by saying things about empowering women. No no, rabid feminist who loves my blog. I am not against empowering women. I just don’t think its the right answer to “What do you feel when Modi calls you Shehzada”. It just..doesn’t..you know? -60 to all that.
And then he gains it all back by saying (confidently) that the Congress will whip some BJP ass in a few months. Seriously man, you could have saved us the faux-history lecture by just saying this when Arnab asked you.
By now, you would have noticed a pattern here. He doesn’t answer any questions to the point, or at all in some cases.
For example, he reveals more of this “can’t answer a question convincingly to the point” skill by trash-talking Modi and the BJPs apparent animosity towards democracy and democratic values. And then some more things about women and stuff.
It’s not a bad tactic, but it’s useless when it’s broadcast on a channel which has historically high ratings and viewerships because of its very awesome anchor. His quotes seen from a stand alone POV make a lot of sense. I mean I can write an entire wiki-quote page about what he said in that interview, by just looking at his answer as-is. It sort of makes an enormous amount of sense.
It just didn’t make sense in this interview, which was seen by millions of people, which led to more ridicule about RG himself and the Congress Party in general.
But I get it, you know. The whole “keep talking about what you did, and don’t let this fucker control the direction of the interview and you’ll be fine” makes sense? It should. I would do the same thing: keep my bases covered and make sure I dodged all balls thrown at me.
Unfortunately, I am not a baseball player, and this is why I’ll never be one. In baseball, the objective is to hit the ball back, not dodge them. In this metaphor, baseball means leader. This is why RG will never be a good leader. Deflection instead of forceful retaliation doesn’t make a good leader. People want to see men with conviction, not privileged individuals (with sort of reasonable intentions) talk crap.
Anyway, going back to the interview.
He continues saying a lot more shit. But one and just one caught my attention: he wants to make India a manufacturing powerhouse like China.
Never have truer words been spoken! +50 points! India is on the cusp of reaping a huge demographic dividend. China is on the cusp of losing its. More Chinese are aging, and more Indians than ever are young and able to work. If the power (or the lack of it) situation is fixed, and the policy paralysis kicked hard in its nuts, India can take over from China as manufacturing central of earth.
Which is good! It’s great!+50!
Sure there are a lot of problems. India never really had a completely industrial economy to move into the services-based economy that it is now. Yes it’s not black and white, but seriously, how many of you will claim India is a manufacturing powerhouse?
So we’re in the perfect position to take over from China. And he gets it. Or I hope he does.
And then he loses it again by talking about Indira Gandhi again. JESUS MAN GET OVER IT! He then takes his own time to acknowledge that Congressmen were involved in the shameful “pogrom” of Sikhs from Delhi, but then blames BJP for the Gujarat riots. His rationale: they were in power, and it happened, so they did it.
Using that logic, I can say the Congress was in power during the many famines that happened in India before the green revolution, or in power during the demolishing of the Babri Masjid and the subsequent riots and bombings that followed in Bombay. Weren’t they, the Congress, responsible? No? Then why is the BJP responsible?
It’s kind of fucking stupid to blame a sort of exonerated individual or his party over what happened 12 years ago.
He then makes an absurd claim about how the Government of Gujarat reportedly aided and abetted the riots. His conclusion comes from the vocal (read: not submitted physically or verbally to any courts in the country) opinions of “people who were there”.
In other news, people think the moon is a piece of Swiss cheese, therefore it so totally is. Because people are so reliable.
Anyway, I simply refuse to hold the words of a man higher than the decisions of a few courts. -20 dude.
Then *sigh* he again loses it by saying more unrelated drawling shit (like what I’m doing now) about women and safety and empowerment and things not in the book of “What Arnab Goswami asked”. More -20.
Finally, in a rare show of decisiveness, he accepts that political parties probably need to be brought under the RTI. Arnab finally got a proper answer out of him (after 8 questions). 10,000 internets to Arnab! and +10 to RG.
RahulScore: If you’ve bothered to keep count without realizing it was all a smart ploy for you to get curious enough to read my rambling, here’s the score: 100.
Part 3: The conclusion
Most of the people who saw the interview, saw Rahul Gandhi for what he portrayed – a dumbass who can’t answer a question. A dumbass who kept deflecting.
I mean, look at how he answered Arnab’s questions on Kalmadi, Ashok Chavan, Vidarbha Singh and other corruption related stuff. He didn’t give any…tangible, concrete satisfying answer that hits you on the head with a soft whoomp.
He gave vague, crappy
answers sentences things all having the following (to speak in internet parlance) tags: youth, process, Lokpal Bill, RTI, six bills, Parliament, empowerment, system, power, progress.
I’m really going to give the latter part of the entire interview -500 because it was that fucking retarded. I mean, look at this fucking exchange between A and R, ok?
Arnab: Mr. Gandhi the other question is about price rise and you got a round of applause when you spoke about the LPG cylinders, you told the Prime Minister quite charmingly – that Mr. PM please make things less difficult for households.
But I am questioning your silence all these years, because in this period from 2004-2013 the wholesale price index of food goes up by 157%, vegetables by 350% and Onions by 521%, you don’t speak on that. When Raj Babbar says you can get food at 12 rupees a meal, you don’t speak then , when Rashid Masood says you can get food at 5 rupees a meal you don’t speak then, the accusation there is and the general feeling Mr. Rahul Gandhi is that you have really woken up to the issue after the 4-0 drubbing in the last state election, do you concede that?
Rahul: No, I think women are the backbone of this country and women need to be empowered and I felt that price rise is an issue cylinders were a big issue, I went to Kerala and I go a sense that women were concerned about that and I made that view clear to everybody in the AICC session.
I’m sorry, what? Even I can’t, in good conscience, call that anything but utter rubbish. How did he get from A to B? How did he get from what Raj Babbar said, to women? What is it with him and women?
What’s going on? Can someone from the Congress explain? I’m used to political rhetoric (its entertaining), and I’m used to factual inaccuracies (it’s fun to point out). I am not used to this…whatever this is.
In all honesty, this was the turning point. It really began to go downhill from his RTI answer. When Arnab asked him about Kejriwal, Rahul answered saying he wants India to be a manufacturing powerhouse. This is simply indefensible.
Here’s a horribly kept secret about Rahul Gandhi: he’s not that great at giving speeches. He’s confident, but his thoughts are very disjointed. I know. I’ve seen his previous speeches.
The advantage he had with his previous speeches was that not too many people knew about it. Not many people saw it live. One person quoted it, and it sort of became viral afterwards.
This was the opposite. It was instant viral, just proving how empty the Congress is, it’s serious leadership vacuum and it’s lack of a vision. And amazingly, just a year ago, the BJP was this disorganized and confused.
I mean dude, the Congress has really, really lost its way. If this is the kind of image they’re going to project, having a terrible orator who is sort useless as a leader, they have no hope of winning. Even if they use the “Priyanka
Vadra Gandhi looks sort of like Indira Gandhi, so lets project her as a leader bro.” tactic. There’s like, no hope for them.
Look at all of his subsequent answers (conversations): he dismissed Subramaniam Swamy, he didn’t dismiss the Congress’ chances of winning the election and he said other stuff that he is clearly very passionate about – and I’m not being sarcastic here – but that stuff really didn’t make sense. Nor was it necessary.
But he said nothing solid. He didn’t say things like “I’m going to revamp the Congress” or “I’m going to make sure India moves forward” or even “I’m going to crack the whip in the party”. Nothing. Just some metaphorical, weird, disjointed medium-level stuff.
He just seems to me like a really reluctant politician. He’s not experienced, and I think that in his own way, he is trying to be an anti-within-the-Congresss-establishment kind of guy. He just seems unwilling to movemovemove and be decisive, and I wonder why. The one time he did it, India was sort of thrown – when he attacked the corruption legislation that was being debated.
RahulScore: -400. I’m sorry dude.
Rahul Gandhi thinks the Congress can win, and he’s ready to take responsibility if it doesn’t. He’s also unwilling to have a US Presidential style televised debate with Narendra Modi on live TV.
He’s unwilling to give a clear idea about anything but on the same token, he’s also unwilling to back down on issues that bother him the most. We all know these issues, because he kept mentioning them repeatedly: manufacturing powerhouse, youth, women empowerment and the system that prevails as a whole.
He is simply confusing, vague, inarticulate and reluctant. No number of PR agencies can solve this very unique problem.