Person of the Week: Rahul Gandhi


Person of the Week: Rahul Gandhi

Illustration: Mandar Mhaskar

Last week under the thick cover of Delhi smog, a scene so dramatic it should’ve been in Baghban was unfolding. The venue was the house of a decorated soldier who had committed suicide reportedly over the government’s half-hearted approach to the One Rank One Pension scheme. The spot soon became a base for politicians across parties to hold candlelight vigils and condolence meetings and led to the detention of a bunch of leaders.

It was no laughing matter. The only thing that could have made the situation more dramatic is if it were narrated by the voice of God, Morgan Freeman himself. Almost on cue, Rahul Gandhi was detained and the resulting footage provided us with exactly the kind of comic relief we needed. For this reason, we are proud to declare that Rahul Gandhi, vice president of the Congress party and the man voted most likely to never be prime minister of the country, is our Person of the Week. Bring along a sympathetic face, because his party is probably never winning another election.

The video in question was shot inside Mandir Marg police station, where Rahul was being detained along with the kin of the deceased soldier. To quote the great philosopher Eminem, on the surface Rahul looked calm and ready to drop bombs, but he kept on forgetting what he wrote down. A cocky-looking Rahul attempts to question the policeman over his detention, who in turn, it is evident, does not have a single fuck to give.

The cop mostly doesn’t respond to Rahul’s aggressive questioning. Once he lets out a sound that seems like he might be sniggering. Another time he answers his phone. Rahul, who presumably is afraid his mother might be at the other end, continues his verbal assault. He asks whether he has been arrested, to which the cop replies that he has not. So Rahul naturally asks if he can leave. At this point, the soldier’s kin must have been wishing that they’d been detained with any other politician in the world. Instead, they were stuck with this Chhota Bheem fan, who exerts less influence in a thana than any random Delhi boy.

Poor pappu! It’s so clear that Narendra Modi and the BJP are not the only ones who dream of a Congress-mukt life.

This incident will go straight into the “funny Rahul moments archive” along with other glorious situations from the past. In fact, if you watch a number of his public appearances, you’re bound to wonder at some point: What language does Rahul Gandhi speak? His Hindi is patchy and accented and his English is not always very clear. Maybe he can only communicate via memes.

For instance, take that time Rahul tried to make a statement against cow vigilantes by “hugging the wrong Dalit woman” just days after the MP was accused of sleeping in Parliament, again. Or the time he displayed his insane math skillz by saying 10 out of 7 young people were hooked to drugs in Punjab. He’s also declared that poverty is just a “state of mind”, that India is the Saudi Arabia of the 21st century, and has won awards for saying “women empowerment” the most times in one speech.

There are two options to consider here. The first is that Rahul is possibly the dimmest bulb to ever have jumped off the factory floor. The second is that all these “mistakes” are actually a part of Rahul’s genius plan – his way of letting the world know that he is not the man for the job. Think about it: It takes special skill to be that clueless all the time, especially when you come from serious privilege and have a team of ghostwriters at your disposal.

Poor pappu! It’s so clear that Narendra Modi and the BJP are not the only ones who dream of a Congress-mukt life. Just like any other 46-year-old teenager, Rahul looks like he just wants to have some fun on a tropical island and not spend his life falling asleep in parliament. In fact, he once even said, “Politics isn’t in your shirts, it’s in your pants”. Clearly he was too busy chilling on the beach to put on clothes that day.

This isn’t to say that he hasn’t tried. He’s eaten televised meals with almost every rural family in the country; he’s delivered impassioned speeches in Parliament at random; and he’s said things at rallies to crowds of paid locals. But when a man is trying so desperately to fail at something, we really should cut him some slack. He’s possibly following Samuel Beckett’s philosophy of “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”