Home Opinions How media has been finding a new and improved Rahul Gandhi, every year

How media has been finding a new and improved Rahul Gandhi, every year

“He had just about enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wanted to eat, but certainly no more.” – PG Wodehouse

Believe it or not, the above quote finds it way into an article published on Firstpost on 3rd November 2017 and no prizes for guessing who it’s about! But the piece is a revelation, informing you, After several years, brand Rahul Gandhi is in demand again.”

Firstly, one wonders when brand Rahul was ever in demand considering he almost holds a record for the most number of elections lost under his watch. Secondly, it is bizarre that both these statements are being used to describe the same person. It is amusing that the dichotomy isn’t obvious to the author.

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Well, the article informs us how “the manufactured novice he appeared to be” has repackaged and rebranded himself, thus “getting both applause and attention”. It almost trashes him first before putting him up on the pedestal, going gaga over his “new and improved, rebooted” avatar. It is hilarious that the ‘intelligentsia’ can believe that because of the selfie with a ‘fan’, he has transformed into the “one politician you would like to bring home, not for a selfie, but a quiet meal with the family.”

Other politicians could learn a thing or two from this. This one selfie earned him brownie points from fans across all media persons. Multiple articles (1)(2) were written praising Rahul Gandhi.

But what these fans probably did not notice is how quickly Rahul Gandhi has learnt from other politicians. Not so long ago, in September 2016, he had remarked that “Narendra Modi is a machine that takes selfies and makes promises,” and boy, did he learn!

Apart from this now famous selfie, he has made very steep promises of all that his party will do if voted to power again. The media very religiously prints every word he says, wisely ignoring questions that arise about why he didn’t do any of this when his party was in power just three years ago.

A very large section of our media simply loves Rahul Gandhi; going by the number of times they have printed articles about how he is the PM-in-waiting. He is compared for similarities with his father, grandmother, great-grandfather, and how he almost “deserves” the throne, if it may be called so!

Let us go back in a time a little.

In August 2010, Economic Times ran an article titled “From Rajiv to Rahul,” wherein it was said, “Nobody would have imagined that Rahul Gandhi would capture the nation’s imagination as he has today.

In Nov 2017, in the aforementioned Firstpost article, it says “Who would have thought, to rephrase Lady Macbeth, the young man would one day generate so much interest?”

Reminds me of the lines “Old Dog New Tricks!” You can even call it the same old wine in a new bottle! The branding, rebranding and re-rebranding by the media of a “new and improved” Rahul Gandhi, good enough to be Prime Minister now, seems to be a never ending story!

Just like his “coming of age” stories.

India has more chances of getting a “Guinness Book of World Records” entry for the most times one person has been “rebooted, rebranded and remodelled”, especially by the media, to be a Prime Minister, than in any other category!

The media is so desperately waiting for Rahul Gandhi to emerge as a challenge to Narendra Modi, they have been repeating the words “reboot” and “Modi’s challenger” unendingly! India Today (Feb 2016) even quoted Paulo Coelho in this context and said “the political environment of the country also conspired to back him in this mission.”

One fine day, in true “Avatar” style, Rahul Gandhi arrived in a helicopter. Did you just say “So what? Even the ultimate Aam aadmi Arvind Kejriwal travels in choppers now!” Well then, hold your breath, there’s more! In a brief flashback you are reminded that when Rahul Gandhi last visited the area in March 2008, he had said, “For the tribals of Kalahandi, there is a solider in Delhi named Rahul Gandhi.”

You can easily see how the NDTV correspondent must have been inspired enough to add an “India’s Avatar?” to what might otherwise have read “Rahul Gandhi arrives for tribal rally in Orissa”.

In Feb 2016, India Today published an article which was touted as “The inside story of how a Leader in Waiting scripted a remarkable revival for the Congress.”

This article speaks of how Rahul Gandhi did not join the Manmohan Singh cabinet fearing it would undermine the authority of a person he holds in high regard. If only this magazine would also tell its readers which portfolio Mr. Gandhi might have actually been able to handle! This was also said to be the reason he was not able to contribute constructively in the Government.

Since he joined politics in 2004, his party was in power and he “felt trapped in a strange place” because he could not speak his mind if it contradicted the government’s position.” It is for this reason perhaps, out of extreme respect and regard for his senior party worker – the PM – that Rahul Gandhi, in one of his many avatars, tore away the ordinance of his own Government.

The latest is Rahul’s Twitter avatar which has undergone a makeover. It is full of “witty one-liners”, dog-tricks, selfies, memes and Aikido and surely, all of this, complete with scores of bots, will suffice to revive the Indian economy and bring down the hunger-index as claimed by Rahul Gandhi and his faithful Lutyens media. His speeches are just as hilarious even today, with unintentional phrases like “Is Jawaab ka Sawaal dena hi padega”.

I am waiting for the day some bright spark uses this brilliant quote from P.G. Wodehouse about one of his speeches while explaining his evolution:

“It was one of the dullest speeches I ever heard. The Aged woman told us for three quarters of an hour how she came to write her beastly book, when a simple apology was all that was required.”

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