29.1.14

The morning after with RG

I have been proved right. Rahul Gandhi has touched a nerve. It rankles them. In the process, obviously, they will call anybody who has a different viewpoint names. It is expected, and I commiserate.

What is cause for some chortling is the insinuation that my 'deconstruction' of the RG interview with Arnab Goswami was part of a PR exercise. Again, how can one blame those who, in Oscar Wilde's words, know the price of everything and the value of nothing? And does not taking a position that is opposite reveal another PR exercise?

'FirstPost' sought my permission to reproduce yesterday's post. It was published a couple of hours ago at their site.

I am conscious that all political parties have a publicity machinery, and some even have snoops. We aren't living in an idyll, however much we may wish to be idealistic.

There is also a need by voyeurs to make assumptions in keeping with their limited exposure and indulge in short-term dismissal because attention spans are short. No one is to blame. It is, shall we say, the system?!

However, of the many pieces I have written on RG, among others, I found this list of questions. It is extremely interesting to see how many of these featured on that mega-hit interview. Despite my antipathy towards Modi, I did not even bother to add him to my list.

Here is the post from Sept 15, 2012 in full

If Rahul Gandhi is going to play a bigger role “soon”, as he enigmatically put it, then he better be prepared to answer questions. It is two years away from general elections and no one yet knows much about him.

The post of the prime minister is not about distributing wheelchairs and hobnobbing with youth icons of questionable merit. I do not know about the rest of you, but I would like to ask him a few things:

1. What is his stand on reservations – for Scheduled castes/Tribes, Other Backward Classes, women, minorities, and a Uniform Civil Code?'

2. How does he view foreign investment as opposed to encouraging local industry, and if he does not see them as mutually exclusive then will he clarify?

3. What is his opinion on the role of the army, AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act), separatist leaders, and Jammu & Kashmir?

4. If he stands by the nuclear deal, can he elucidate his reasons?

5. What are his views on foreign policy with the west?

6. Where SAARC and NAM are concerned, does he see India as a superpower or as an equal stake-holder and why?

7. On Indo-Pak relations, is he a hawk or a dove or some other bird, and does he believe that trade and people-to-people contact are sufficient for diplomatic ties?

8. Regarding terrorism, is he able to tell chalk from cheese and cheese from rat, or does he prefer to go along with the US “war on terror”?

9. What are his views on regional autonomy and how much leeway would the Congress give its allies in coalition politics?

10. Does he realise that giving sops to people/communities amounts to bribery, so what does he think about such corruption?

This is not an exhaustive list, but as a layperson I have no idea about how he thinks, and the two mum 'M's in his life - mummy and Manmohan Singh - are not of much help. Leave those mid-day meals and donation drives to people who need those jobs.

I do not want the BJP to come to power at the Centre. But, junking the devil for the deep sea only to find it shallow is no alternative.


To wit, let me just say that the blindfolded cannot see that others do have their eyes open.

(c) Farzana Versey

Also, do check out:

Dr. Do Little: Rahul Gandhi As Placebo

Rahul plays while Manmohan is away?

11 comments:

  1. FV,

    Please note that in my comment, I did not accuse you of being on the payroll of Congress. Or the Saudis. Not even in jest.

    Rahul Gandhi's interview and your eye-popping praise thereof was funny enough. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Strange, you did not mention this in your comment there. Perish the thought that you learned it 'on the job'!

    As you know, I like to bring a smile on people's faces.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, yes, the intellectual vomit served in your "analysis" is actually fine cuisine. It is pity that the morons who read your post are not as smart and bright as you are to know the "real truth" (TM). Yes, this Emperor Rahul Gandhi is dressed in the finest attire -- time to keep all the little kids locked in the house for total victory in the coming elections.

    ReplyDelete
  4. FV,

    QUOTE: "..As you know, I like to bring a smile on people's faces.."

    In that case, you really should write more often about Narendra Modi and spread some more cheer in my miserable household! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. We all know the answers to the questions above - Women Empowerment, RTI and Candidate selection. Why bother pursuing them at all?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Farzana,

    I don't suppose FirstPost picked-up "The morning after," as well?  :)

    Likely not, in that "publishers," whatever the media, rarely run a columnist/opinionator back-to-back. Still, the link-back to Cross Connections was nice.

    >>What is cause for some chortling is the insinuation that my 'deconstruction' of the RG interview with Arnab Goswami was part of a PR exercise.<<

    How did you know?  :)

    >>Again, how can one blame those who, in Oscar Wilde's words, know the price of everything and the value of nothing?<<

    Ouch.

    >>And does not taking a position that is opposite reveal another PR exercise?<<

    It does indeed. There were maybe two responses -- possibly three -- that evinced some indication of an awareness as to your object. The rest were so patently partisan (anti) so as to suggest drones cruising the net for "targets of opportunity," as it were, to "put the record straight," as they might suppose. What they in fact did, near as I can tell, was become a most excellent object lesson . . .

    >>To wit, let me just say that the blindfolded cannot see that others do have their eyes open.<<

    Clearly.

    M.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Sudhir:

    {We all know the answers to the questions above - Women Empowerment, RTI and Candidate selection. Why bother pursuing them at all?}

    If our takeaway from the RG interview was just that, and we don't think any of the queries posed here are relevant, then it speaks more about our lack of interest. I am glad that one TV appearance has not been the sole manner to judge. My previous critiques, as opposed to mere criticism, bear this out. 

    ---

    F&F:

    {In that case, you really should write more often about Narendra Modi and spread some more cheer in my miserable household! :)}

    In that case, I have been singlehandedly keeping your household happy for a fee years now, as per your own refrain about my Modi obsession :-)

    PS: Are you sure the 'misery' is not because of you?!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Mark:

    {I don't suppose FirstPost picked-up "The morning after," as well?  :)}

    Nope. Isn't the morn after usually a private moment? Btw, I deliberately used this sort of headline to rub it in...FP's link-back to CC wasn't just "nice"; it is basic professional courtesy. 

    Re. insinuations about PR, I know many things..."reliable sources", shall we say? More obviously, the comments there and many I did not publish here said so. 

    While is Wilde "ouch"? And why does my pain not register?! Et tu? 

    Getting an "object lesson" from the comments is interesting, but van get tiring too. 

    Did you notice, though, that in his last comment there F&F sounds kimd of possessive about this blog? Cute, besides of course being proprietorial about doing the "sekulars" here:-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Farzana,

    Usually? Well, for private thoughts certainly -- now and again an inward groan, perhaps -- perhaps even an "OMG, what have I done!" And then there's the old joke about trapped creatures gnawing off a limb to escape . . . the latter crass and unfeeling to be sure; but it certainly paints a vivid picture.  :)

    >>While is Wilde "ouch"?<<

    Empathy? Or is it sympathy? I can never remember which is which.

    >>And why does my pain not register?!<<

    Well, judging from your typos, my guess is you've been tipping back a few with Manish.  :)

    >>Et tu?<<

    Moi? Good question. Thinking about it, I did read RG's interview in its entirety.  :)

    >>Did you notice, though, that in his last comment there F&F sounds kimd of possessive about this blog? Cute, besides of course being proprietorial about doing the "sekulars" here:-)<<

    I noticed. Mayhap he had his own 'private moment'?  :)

    M.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mark:

    A vivid picture cannot remain private...

    Empathy-sympathy...in one there is more identification?

    My typos...you have attributed them to something way too interesting. More likely, the touch screen was shaken.

    Shall I say ouch to the finale?!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Farzana,

    >>A vivid picture cannot remain private...<<

    No, I suppose not; though I would suggest that, as with the difference between giving a man a fish and teaching him how to fish, a vivid, public picture may have unseen depths to it nevertheless. One may have to go in deep to find out.

    And he to whom worshipping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet
    visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.


    Yes, something like that.

    Mark

    ReplyDelete

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