Monday, September 21, 2020
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Is Rahul Gandhi the Taimur Ali Khan of Indian politics?

Babies are cute. Whatever they do appears to be cute to onlookers and parents. Family members willingly shower cute comments even if the baby pisses on an expensive cushion in the living room. The media’s admiration for Rahul Gandhi, even though he continues to lose elections is somewhat similar.

One of the political commentators on Twitter Ram (@ramprasad_c) made a very interesting comment linking two media divas recently. He said that Rahul will be treated as the Taimur Ali Khan of Indian politics. Rahul could be seen as an infant who manages to amuse his family even as he falls, fumbles and fails in his daily activities as per him.

Soon after finishing his speech in the Congress plenary, Rahul went down and hugged his mother and one of the journalists with India Today felt that it was the ‘moment of the day’! This gives credence to Mr Ramprasad’s theory. The media’s overdrive to pump up the image of Rahul seems to be well planned.

This tweet reminds me of the way media felt it had report Taimur’s horse ride with his daddy. Family moments are blown out of proportion and given needless attention in the media for both these personalities. The necessity to do so for Taimur can be understood (in some way), but it is a bit too late for Rahul to deserve such a coverage.

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Even as Rahul speaks utter nonsense while he claims that PM is colluding with India’s biggest crony capitalists without any evidence, India Today thought it was a ‘fiery’ speech. For better or worse, they felt he was taking on PM Modi with his illogical comments on those having the surname ‘Modi’.

When Rahul admitted that he doesn’t know details about NCC training and ‘that kind of stuff’, his admirers didn’t see incompetence in a person who aspires to be the PM of the country. Instead, they saw an honest kid in him. There is nothing inherently wrong with saying ‘I don’t know’ when asked about the largest volunteer uniformed youth organisation in the world. At the same time, such a person must not position himself as a PM candidate.

NCC cadets who responded to Rahul Gandhi’s comment were not happy. This shows that the kind of message that the youth of the country are getting about him is not positive. Instead of accepting their views some media persons went on to criticise them on Twitter.

Rahul hopes to campaign and win assembly elections for his party in Karnataka. But he is incapable of pronouncing the name of important and respect personalities like Bharat Ratna Sir M. Visvesvaraya. Any politician in his late forties fumbling hopelessly to pronounce the name of a well known Indian personality is quite embarrassing. It may or may not be easy to pronounce some names, but you have to come somewhere close to get points for trying.

Even after Rahul failed to win an election which had a significant anti-BJP momentum, one of the journalists could find 8 ways in which Rahul had shed the reluctant politician tag. He felt that Rahul was now sounding coherent, consistent and did not throw up gaffes as he did earlier. This reminds me of first-time parents who proudly say that their kid is now saying ‘dada’ and ‘mama’.

The cabal’s admiration for the Pidi tweet by Rahul Gandhi is a case in point. Many thought it was cute and a game changer for Rahul on social media. Of course, many people are indebted to the dog for helping BJP to win Assam assembly election. Cuteness is not going to help Rahul win elections. The ecosystem may know this very well, but right now they have nothing much to sell apart from that.

The ecosystem needs to revisit the comments of the journalist Gardiner Harris. He summarises the ongoing drama aptly. In fact, the same drama may continue even if Congress loses 2019.

Of course, Taimur is still a kid and deserves all attention. But what about Rahul Gandhi? Can he still afford to be that nice kid who keeps doing cute things with his dog, admit to his ignorance openly, fails to win elections and still claim to be the leader of a pan Indian party like Indian National Congress? Time is running out for Rahul Gandhi because people are simply not ready to accept him as a capable leader.

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