The marathon no-confidence motion proceedings got over in the Lok Sabha late Friday evening, with a resounding victory for the Modi government.
Apart from leaving the opposition to pick up its broken pieces of pride and dignity, the day also marked a new episode in Rahul Gandhi’s public drama. The Congress president first gained some brownie points by hugging the Prime Minister, which was later dismissed by many as a stunt after he was found winking at his party colleague when he returned to his seat.
Overall the Social Media’s interpretation of Rahul’s stunt was that of mockery and hilarity, but not too surprisingly many journalists placed the Congress President on a high pedestal. The admiration for Rahul by a section of journalists was so evident that they even slandered Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan after she slammed the Congress President for his stunts.
Such a positive portrayal of Rahul has now also crept into the news stories of Times of India after it in an article titled, “Rahul Gandhi gains confidence, PM Modi gets a hug“, which prima facie tried to paint Rahul’s humiliation as a victory. The content too tried to paint a positive image of Rahul Gandhi, by claiming that his hug with Modi signified inclusiveness.
Predictably this act by Times of India did not escape the gaze of twitter users who proceeded to school it for its actions:
Hello @timesofindia exactly whose confidence did Pappu gain ?@RahulGandhi made a fool of himself , showed the hollowness of the opposition, his utter lack of basic sense, his disregard for the nation & army .#IndiaTrustsModi pic.twitter.com/UKg8NLUXNy
— #IndiaFirst (@savitha_rao) July 21, 2018
— Shefali Vaidya (@ShefVaidya) July 21, 2018
& We at times of India celebrate raga’s “moral victory” ?
— #ChappalChorPakistan (@SupariTroller) July 21, 2018
@timesofindia Editor, I watched the entire parliament session yest and today I saw this in your paper! ?Such an awful representation of the truth you made. Pappu was embarrassing, awkward, juvenile, kiddish, lost & unprepared… U call it confidence?? ??#NaMoTrustVote pic.twitter.com/9tTohxSOur
— Rahat Dhir (@DhirRahat) July 21, 2018
— ??#Chanakya?? (@ChankyaBihar) July 21, 2018
Incidentally TOI was not alone in this regards and Indian Express to carried a similar headline:
Interestingly, TNIE head line also talks of Rahul gaining confidence. This can’t be a sheer coincidence that both think of the same headline or is it that all PIDI’s think alike! pic.twitter.com/Q7eyw5srRU
— Rajen Nayak (@RajenNayak72) July 21, 2018
This raises the question where there was a larger understanding between the media and journalists at play, so that Rahul can go down as the hero who went down fighting, and not a dynast who was handed another defeat in the eyes of the nation?