A few months back Rahul Gandhi had an open house with female journalists at the India International Center Multipurpose Hall. It was a widely talked about event and was probably the starting point of creating a curated image of Rahul Gandhi. One ‘know it all’ journalist from ThePrint, Jyoti Malhotra, went all gaga over how this leader has now arrrived.
Recently, in one of her video blogs ‘Neera Radia fame newsmaker Barkha Dutt’ tried to potray Rahul Gandhi as the contender against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The attempt was to cast an image of a personality that is flawed and someone who accepts those flaws. Is willing to learn and listen. Smiles often, talks to media persons, transparent in his transactions and is a family person. (Strategically in his press conference RaGa remembers to mention his conversation with his mother about how he learned from NaMo in 2014 on what not to do.) She called it metrosexual.
This image of RaGa was peddled against PMs machismo image. PM is someone with 56" chest, who claims to know it all and be all. Isnt open to questioning. His machismo becomes the central point of discussion. Prime Minister’s development work with Jan Dhan Yojna, Ujala, Ujjwala, Udan, Insurance schemes, achievements in Rail, Road and River transport, Medical assurance scehme, Transparency with GEM portal, his foreign policy gains are all kept aside. Stray incidents are projected as norms. We are told the nation will face chaos and communal riots if this continues. It is told that we have a different ‘Idea of India'. Fear mongering becomes a tool to create a benign image of Rahul Gandhi.
Narendra Modi is the first Prime Minister of India who has attempted to create citizens out of the people who live in India. By involving people in schemes like Swaccha Bharat, GiveItUp, even Demonetisation etc Prime Minister involved a common person, the aam aadmi, in nation building process. Prime Minister gave a vision of ‘New India’ and simultaneously defined this nation making process by giving milestones of 2019, 2022 etc. This is all ignored and someone who wants to take the nation back in the era of Maai- Baap Sarkar Raj, someone who thinks GST is bad for the country and usage of EVMs needs to be relooked (even after the state election wins RaGa was of this opinion) is presented as an alternative.
We as a nation, as it citizens will have to decide how far will we be fooled by cute dimples. Can a person with absolutely zero vision and no dream for the country be allowed to govern us? The media has its vested interests and sadly they dont align with the national interest but as citizens we have our future at stake! Can we risk it?