How to read an interview

Rahul Gandhi’s interview might read like a search engine-optimised content, but his version of change has my vote

shivangi-narayan

Shivangi Narayan | January 29, 2014



The 27 January interview of Rahul Gandhi with Times Now’s Arnab Goswami has been dubbed a disappointment. Keeping the fact that it was pitched as a NaMo-Raga face-off, no one really got any masala. Nothing that Gandhi said incited passion. Few laughs for his repetitive use of ‘RTI’, sure, but anger and rage, none.  It is probably the norm in Indian politics today; till politicians don’t sit on a dharna outside Rail Bhawan and become ‘anarchic’ they are not doing their job well.

In between the obvious guffaws, defensive replies, and refusal to say something headline-worthy against Narendra Modi, Gandhi spoke of systems and processes and the need to change the ‘system’. He spoke about ‘democracy’ and ‘empowerment’ and about ‘opening up the system’. Before we all could point fingers at him, he clearly told the audience how much he hated the dynasty politics and how Indian politics has always worked best when it involved people.

Gandhi spoke about democracy and a democratic process, entities which have become obsolete, now that Indians have developed what political scientists have termed as a ‘trust deficit’ in government. It is this trust deficit which leads to kangaroo courts and judgment without the due process of law – such as what happened in Khirki extension of south Delhi two weeks ago.

Kangaroo courts might provide instant justice, but can a civilised society let them become the order of the day? The due process of law has surely failed many citizens, but what is the path that we want our politicians to follow: dharna and vigilantism, or that of changing the system so that it works for everyone?

What is relief-worthy is that Gandhi opts for the latter. At various points in his interview he talked about making the whole governance more representative and empowering, especially for women. At one point he even asked, “Everybody is happy with 500 people running the system. None of you want to raise the issue.” He added, “I am debating these issues by building structures in Congress. As far as I am concerned, the debate (with Modi) is already taking place.”

Gandhi also said, “If there is an issue of corruption, the law should take its course.” And “I believe in democracy and I believe in opening up the system.” These statements might be just clever PR statements or the actual ideological inclination of Gandhi. His work in youth Congress and national student’s union of India (NSUI) are concrete examples of his agenda of opening up politics to people from all across. You could call him a decade too slow, or someone who has a long-term agenda on hand. And if AAP and its fate in Delhi is anything to go by, slow might indeed be better.

Our constitution is a defining document, which needs to be put into practice. And while dharnas and protests could be legitimate forms of protest, they cannot replace democratic processes. A detour from due course of law concentrates power in few hands, and no one but the common person on the road suffers from it the most.

And till Rahul Gandhi, vice president of the largest party in India and possibly a future prime minister (in 2019?), thinks this way, one shouldn’t really care if his interview was a PR stunt or how many times he used the word ‘RTI’.
 

Comments

 

Other News

BJP will win all 26 LS seats from Gujarat in 2019: Vijay Rupani

Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani has claimed that the BJP will win all 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state in 2019 polls, thus repeating the 2014 general elections victory. Rupani was interacting with a group of reporters in Gandhinagar on Wednesday. Confident of the BJP’s win, Rupani denied C

Mumbai development plan 2034: Citizens, experts raise concerns

A public meeting was organised by the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) in Mumbai to discuss the concerns of citizens and urban planners on the recently released Mumbai development plan (DP) 2034.   The citizens and experts have expressed concerns regarding the shortage of time to

Actor Denzil Smith talks about his love for stage and more

Denzil Smith is a stage and film actor who has featured in several Indian and international productions that have achieved both critical and commercial success. Gurinder Chadha’s Viceroy’s House was based on partition in which he played the role of Jinnah. He also appeared in The Lunchbox a

Can the JD(S)-Congress combine give stable government in Karnataka?

Can the JD(S)-Congress combine give stable government in Karnataka?

Making palliative care child’s play

Sneha Sena is a unique attempt to integrate education and healthcare by bringing school children into the field of palliative care. In Kerala’s Alappuzha district, a government medical officer has decided to create an army of student volunteers to be part of the government’s pain

An African salient

To counter Beijing’s aggressive agenda in the Indian Ocean, New Delhi is seeking to create strategic bastions in Mauritius, Seychelles and Madagascar. The immediate provocation was China’s inauguration of its first overseas military base in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa.

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter