Someone in the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi’s image managers decided he must finally do a TV interview. They decided to do it big. They decided it shouldn’t be a “chota-mota” interview with regular Congress propagandists like Rajdeep Sardesai or Barkha Dutt. They decided it should be a full-length, almost 75 minutes, interview with Arnab Goswami on TimesNow (January 27). I had recorded the whole thing but thankfully TimesNow also put up the transcripts but seem to have later removed it but it’s also available here. If you watched the interview you would know RG had come thoroughly prepared for the task. He had memorised all the answers he could but it turned out they were all answers to questions his coaches might have asked. One had to often struggle to find a connection between what Arnab asked and what RG answered.
The good news first. RahulG decided that this was an occasion of great significance so he must have felt the need to shave and come clean for Arnab. Any of those Gillette brand managers would be impressed. The make-up, the looks and the appearance was great. Unfortunately for viewers, RG also had to talk and that’s the tough part. For me, RG only confirmed what I had suspected and written many times on this site that the man is incapable of thinking on his feet or any kind of comprehension skills. Let’s just sample some of the Q&A (excerpts, some edited):
Arnab Goswami: Specifically speaking how is Narendra Modi, your party criticised him for the 2002 Gujarat riots, and how can you do that when he has been given a clean chit…. Do you believe that strategy of your party is fundamentally wrong?
Rahul Gandhi: The strategy of the party is very simple. Everything we have done over that last 5-10years, in fact if you look all the way back to the freedom movement, every single thing we have ever done is empower people. We empowered people in the freedom movement, we empowered farmers in the Green revolution, and we empowered the citizens of India when we did the telecom revolution. We have empowered millions and millions of people through frankly the most powerful legislation that has ever taken place in this country called the RTI- Right to information. Things that used to be closed, things that were in closed doors which nobody knew about.
That was the trend and pattern of the whole interview. Arnab asks something and RG goes into a banter about some unrelated issue. The few words most used by him were RTI, Women empowerment, system and fundamentals. This is apart from “my daddy, my grandmother” who are regular features of his answers to anything. Vote for me because my granny died and because my daddy died and that makes me who or what I am. So the reason, I suspect, Congress is so connected with corruption and scams is they were busy empowering everyone. You can ask any question you like but RG had only answers on RTI and empowerment. Mind you, even RTI is not an original Congress formulation. People are now better observers of what screw ups politicians do and they don’t use lipstick like a Vinod Mehta or Varadabhai tend to do. I think it is fair to say RG came for an essay on the cow but he was asked to write one on a dog instead. You see, this is the problem with people asking questions. Arnab should have first checked what RG had come prepared with, no? Some more where RG analyses RG and tells us how we should analyse RG:
Arnab Goswami: Are you avoiding a direct face-off with Narendra Modi? Is there a fear of loss Rahul because this election is not looking good for the Congress party from overall estimates? And the growing belief is that if Rahul Gandhi has not picked up the challenge officially that means that there is a fear of loss, he is avoiding a direct one on one battle with Narendra Modi, you must answer that?
Rahul Gandhi: To understand that question you have to understand a little bit about who Rahul Gandhi is and what Rahul Gandhi's circumstances have been and if you delve into that you will get an answer to the question of what Rahul Gandhi is scared off and what he is not scared off. The real question is what I am doing sitting here, you are a journalist, when you were small you must have said to yourself I want to do something, you decided to become a journalist at some point, why did you do that?
Arnab Goswami: You are asking me the question
Rahul Gandhi: Yes, I am asking you a question, it is a conversation
Arnab Goswami: Because I like and enjoy being a journalist, it is a professional challenge for me. My question is you avoiding a direct face-off with Mr. Narendra Modi?
Rahul Gandhi: You are not answering my question, but I will answer the question and that will give you some insight into how Rahul Gandhi thinks. For that I will have to expand a little bit about my growing up, how I grew up and the circumstances in which I grew up. What I saw when I was a child ,was my father, who was a pilot, and because of circumstances was thrown into the political system and all I saw when was small after my grandmother died was my father in constant-constant combat with the system in India and then I saw him die actually. In my life I have seen my grandmother die, I have seen my father die, I have seen my grandmother go to jail and I have actually been through a tremendous amount of pain as a child when these things happen to you, what I had to scared off I lost, there is absolutely nothing I am scared off…. The system everyday-everyday hurts people and I have felt the pain that the system can cause. I felt the pain with my father, I saw him every single day of his life, so the question of whether I am afraid of losing an election or whether I am afraid of Mr. Modi is not actually the point. I am here basically for one thing, I see tremendous energy in this country, I see more energy in this country than any other country, I see billions of youngsters and I see this energy is trapped...
On one point RG is off the mark though. I believe when Arnab was young he wasn’t thinking of being a journalist or even thinking of journalism. It is quite possible that Arnab just had a lot of questions for the nation or on behalf of the nation. So Dr. Rahul Freud Gandhi analyses Arnab’s diaper days and tells us how a man from Assam who wasn’t “empowered” decided and became a journalist. Whoa! When you don’t have answers you also fool yourself with lies. RG often cries about his granny and here mentions her being jailed. It doesn’t occur to him or his party that the criminal Emergency saw thousands of people being dumped in jail by IndiraG for no rhyme or reason except their opposition to her corrupt misrule. Thus, it is evident that this guy neither understands reality nor acknowledges truth and gives the impression that events in this life have caused a lot of mental damage. Some of this damage seems irreparable.
Arnab Goswami: Explain that. Government of Gujarat was aiding and abetting the riots is what you just said, explain that?
Rahul Gandhi: I mean it’s not me...it’s the large number of people who were there, large number of people who saw actively the Government of Gujarat being involved in the riots.
Arnab Goswami: You will keep that line despite the CM getting a clean chit form the courts?
Rahul Gandhi: I mean, people saw it. I am not the person who saw it, your colleague saw it. Your colleagues told me
Arnab Goswami: What are you saying? Can you explain?
Rahul Gandhi: What I feel is that this country needs to look at the fundamental issues at hand, the fundamental political issue at hand is that our Political system is controlled by too few people and we absolutely have to change the way our political system is structured, we have to change our Political parties, we have to make them more transparent, we have to change the processes that we use to elect candidates, we have to empower women in the political parties, that is where the meat of the issue but I don't hear that discussion, I don’t hear the discussion about how are we actually choosing that candidate, that is never the discussion.
This is a fantastic answer to who saw the Gujarat govt abetting riots in 2002. RG foolishly fumbles and states he was told by others. He mentions Arnab’s colleagues saw govt employees aiding the riots and Arnab’s honourable colleagues at that time were Rajdeep and Barkha. So RG is not really off the mark here. It’s a fact that the most number of lies were peddled by Arnab’s colleagues who, if you go by RG, are superior to any court or SIT. But asked to expand on his silly answer, RG again takes us through his nonsense of “fundamental issues” and changing “processes”. Nobody tells this jerk that most of the ills in our system and polity were installed by his own party. And even so, there is hardly any sign shown by RG of improving or changing anything in the last 10 years that he has been in politics and part of the govt. Naturally, the Congress cronies at CNN-IBN and Firstpost were quick to use this as a headline “Rahul blames Modi for 2002”. It’s now a tradition. By this token, RG should still be held guilty of abducting Sukanya Devi.
Rahul Gandhi: My long term view is that we need to take the Indian political system to a different place. We need to bring in youngsters and we need to move away from this concentration of power. Unfortunately the political system today is at a particular place and I can’t simply ignore the fact that the political system is at that place, so certainly there are points at which you might have to take a decision that you are not a 100% happy with but the long term idea for me is to transform the system, to bring in youngsters and make sure they are empowered.
Arnab Goswami: Lalu Prasad has been convicted on the 30th of September 2013 ….
Rahul Gandhi: Our alliance in Bihar is with a political party with an idea not an individual, we are making alliance, and it is not certain that we are going to make an alliance, we are in process of talking to people and our alliance is with an idea, with a party, not an individual
Who can disagree with all this? I’m sure RG and Congress have a rare vision through which they see RJD as separate from the criminal Lalu Prasad and they also see an “idea” of the party which they are willing to marry. This is the moron who claims he is against corruption. This is the moron who talks non-stop empowerment and change in systems. But he proves only one thing: that he doesn’t have the slightest idea what BS he is talking about. RG is just an over-grown kid who uses big words without any idea what they mean.
Arnab Goswami: You're avoiding a debate. Will you have a debate with Narendra Modi if he agrees to a debate on any of these issues? My question is direct. If Narendra Modi says I'm willing to debate these issues...
Rahul Gandhi: I'm debating these issues by building structures in the Congress party that's going to transform it.
So even where a debate is concerned RG is debating by building structures in his party. By logic it means RG is debating all the time. So someday he might reach a conclusion and when he does it will probably require changing the whole structure again.
Rahul Gandhi: It all depends on what you're trying to do. I told you that I'm here because I want to help use the energy of this country. I want to make this country powerful. I want to project the ideas of this country. To do that, I think there are basically 3 things one needs to do. One, is changing the way we do politics here. Getting away from the superficialities, getting away from the small issues and moving deeper into the issues right. Questioning the system, changing the system. Things like RTI, things like Lokpal, things like how we choose our candidates. Things like bringing youngsters into politics. Second is empowering the women of this country. Really bringing them into the system. Really pushing them forward. And third is using the energy of the youth of this country. Bringing in the type of jobs that they need. This stuff is not done in 5 minutes. This stuff is frankly not done in this type of discussions. This stuff is done through concentrated thinking and long term work. It's frankly difficult work, it's painful work….. The real thing is that it's a heart thing. It's a soul thing. Why are you here? I asked you that question, why am I sitting here? I'm sitting here because I feel with all my heart that we need to change the system here and not enough people are actually asking that question.
It’s a heart thing! It’s a soul thing! This stuff is not done in 5 minutes. This stuff is done through concentrated thinking. I can keep laughing at this moron but he is a serious problem to himself. What exactly is concentrated thinking? Like you lock yourself up and think? One can pick what he or she likes or dislikes from an interview but I am convinced this man is a danger not only to the country but to himself as well. There is neither clarity in thought nor a demonstrated skill of comprehension. All the nonsensical nuggets by RG are pieces of his usual meaningless speeches which he could have delivered with anyone asking him questions. I am also convinced that he keeps referring to “systems” because he doesn’t know what it is that needs changing or fixing. Even Harsha Bhogle who analyses cross-bats and googlies for a living couldn’t find a connection between the questions and answers.
I may have mentioned this before that in the theory of change one answers three simple questions as a leader. This comes from the book “The Goal” by Eliyahu Goldratt about a factory manager struggling to save his plant in the 3 months given to him:
1) Change what? – This is simply identifying what or which parts of a system to change.
2) Change it to what? – This answers whether you change a donkey to a horse or a horse to an elephant. In other words, mere desire of change doesn’t mean anything unless one is clear on what to change it to. If one part of a system needs to be changed 100% or be made an online process. RG has not shown anything in his political life of what he would change things to.
3) How to – If one knows what to change and change it to what then the obvious question is how to do it. RG is not only a powerful person in his party but also holds power over the govt. I haven’t seen any knowledge or skill in this interview or any time before that he possesses the answer on how to change things.
Empty words and an empty mind; there is a reason why RG has been nicknamed “Pappu”. As the years pass he only keeps giving us more proof why he is such a big disaster. When there were only black cars and people demanded more colours, Henry Ford was famously reported as saying “we have all the colours you want, as long as it is black”. RG was no different, you can ask all the questions you want he has only four answers: RTI, Women-empowerment, system and fundamentals. I believe it is not just that his answers are incoherent but perhaps his mind itself is incoherent.
PS: Vote on the poll for worst journalists 2014 (Right margin of page).