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Rahul Gandhi and how the media has been making him ‘come of age’ for the past 10 years

If Modi manages to win the Lok Sabha elections, as is expected now, watch out for the next instalments of this franchise where the focus would be how he emerged as the national face of the opposition

This is the age of sequels and franchises. Whether it is our own Bahubali or Hollywood’s Avengers, this trend in films is the vogue now. It may come as surprise to many that India media also has a big franchise to its credit. Confused? Read on.

Longtime Opindia followers may remember this story, where media went out of its way to herald the arrival of the new messiah. This was much before the 2014 debacle. In the previous article, we have covered how the media had tried to tell the nation right from 2009 to 2014, how Rahul Gandhi, the reluctant politician was ‘coming of age’. Despite repeated failures, the pliant media tried reviving the sagging fortunes of Rahul Gandhi. One would have expected that the media would learn from its past mistakes after the 2014 drubbing the Congress party under Rahul received. Alas, that is too much to ask from a media ecosystem that is in bed with the dynasty.

After 2014 elections, efforts to resurrect his sorry career continued after every speech he gave in the parliament, after every odd election wins and after any success during news cycles. One upgrade, from the Congress ecosystem perspective, is that new age digital news platforms joined the traditional media bandwagon in this pursuit of building the franchise.

Now, let us see how “Rahul – Coming of Age” franchise is one of the most successful in the Indian media ecosystem.

First off the mark was DailyO, where the author was blown over by Rahul’s mentioning potato price in a parliament speech. I strongly recommend the readers to read this piece, where the focus is on where and how many times Rahul has talked about potatoes. If only he had known that “yahan se aaloo daloonga, wahan se sona nikaloonga” was coming, the author would have saved some ink.


The follow-up act was done by FirstPost (and think later). Apparently, a quote from Mirza Ghalib – and not any policy position – was sufficient to impress the writer about Rahul’s growth.


When Mirza Ghalib is good enough, why not tweets and jokes. Because none of these are his creations or ideas. The benchmark for Rahul is so low, that if he delivers the given lines with some clarity, his entourage is ready to back him up with stories. Like here, DNA seemed to be mighty impressed with his khakhra jokes and tweets.


When the new age media is cheerleading, can the traditional media houses be far behind? The Indian Express was effusive in praise of the scion for – take a guess – coining the term “suit boot ki Sarkar”, “Gabbar Singh Tax” and having an interaction with students at the University of Berkeley.


Is anyone thinking where are new ideas or policy position from Rahul that can be called as a game changer? Read on…

This author claims that Rahul indeed has risen to the occasion by being appointed as the President of the Congress party by his mother. You will not be wrong that these intellectuals would have demanded a national holiday if he had been elected as the President of his party through an internal election.


With the 2019 elections around the corner and wins in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh under his belt – there would be no stopping Rahul. Or his sycophants in the media. The “Coming of Age” franchise has some content for support now. All – big and small, national and international – all agencies were activated to give the Prince one final push.


The Straits Times

The Statesman

The Economic Times

And, of course, the most recent by the Chief of India Today Aroon Purie where he shared an article hailing Rahul Gandhi by Raj Chengappa.

Aroon Purie

If Modi manages to win the Lok Sabha elections, as is expected now, watch out for the next instalments of this franchise where the focus would be how he emerged as the national face of the opposition. If Modi wins big, then a variant of this franchise can be expected – where Priyanka will be seen “coming of age”. If Modi loses – I cannot assure if you will be able to visit this website after May 23, 2019.

Enjoy the franchise till then!

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